Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Creating Patina

My Jeweled Ambrosia earrings.

I LOVE me a good patina. I was standing outside my mil's home, waiting for her to answer the door, and I studied her old metal windchime and the natural patina on the lighthouse charm. It was blue and green and a nice river of pale yellow where the rain drips down the side. I thought, this has been sitting here for about 5 years now, how do I get that lovely patina?!

Bangle by Tider Design Gold and black patina with gorgeous etching is lovely adding to the artistic development of the piece.

Well, there is Jax Patina, a chemical you use to paint it on layer by layer that looks gorgeous! You can also patina copper with a torch, and there is also the ammonia method, enameling and eggs, Silver Black or Liver of Sulfur for oxidizing sterling silver (this discussion is reserved for another time).

Or, you can of course, let your metal pieces sit outside for 5 years...

Stacked Rings by Painted Metal

But, then there is this method, shared by the wonderful Vintage Bead Shop, the authority on vintage jewelery and supplies (go visit her shop and get some lovely goodies and kits!) She shares her absolutely wonderful method of creating colorful and artistic patinas. Everything in her photo she has done by hand. Remeber, I focus on jewelry here because well, I LOVE jewelry, but really, this would be great to use on a pair of old candlesticks (like I did HERE), drawer pulls, frames, pretty much anything metal that could use an update.


Materials Needed:
Paper Plate
Xtra Fine Steel Wool (for buffing, if desired)
Any color paint that is suitable for metal. I like a satin finish paint but you can also use semi-gloss or gloss. If using spray paint, just spray a little into the paper plate so you can dab it on with the sponge. Just a little goes a long way.


1) Cut off a small piece of sponge and wet it with water. Squeeze out any excess water so the sponge is just damp.

2) Dip the sponge in your paint and blot on the paper plate to remove excess paint from the sponge. When it makes a "blotted/sponge" pattern on the paper plate, you know you have the right amount paint on your sponge. You don't want to much paint on your sponge :)

4) Selectively dab/paint your piece as desired. You can coat the enitre piece or just dab it here or there....your choice. You can even use more than one color for a truly unique and colorful effect (see hearts illustrated in first photo).

5) Allow paint to semi-dry (about 15 minutes), then (if desired) just buff with xfine steel wool to expose the desired brass highlights. Note: On the dragonflies, I paint a thin coat then wipe off the wing edges to expose the dark oxidized patina underneath while the paint is still wet :)

If using for jewelry, you can either brush or spray with a clear satin polyurenthane to provide a nice smooth, hypo-allergenic finish. I like Ace Hardware brand "Great Finishes". It is available in a small can for brush on or in a spray can if you prefer to spray your pieces. "

For MORE excellent tips, tricks and methods on creating patinas, see the Yours Truli post HERE!!!

Amie King Custom Charm Necklace

Now, on a totally different note, I was selected to do an alchemy request for the Neverending Story Childlike Empress' Headpiece, for a Halloween costume. I know it isn't EXACT... but pretty darn close given the materials I could find!

And now, I must be off, as I hear laughter, squeals, banging and yogurty sounding splashes resounding in the kitchen. Oiy.

(10 mins later) Well, I was wrong. It was a brand new bucket of butter. Yay. Why am I here you ask, and not cleaning up the mess? Well, I am composing myself so I can deal with the situation in a calm manner! (Trust me, it is a lot worse than in the photo.)


ZENABU said...

Awesome alchemy head dress, I won't have even noticed the difference until you mentioned it. Great job!
What a mess. I wouldn't know where to even start with a mess like that! My daughter hasn't reached that stage yet, thanks heavens but I know that day is coming. I can always email you for first hand tips. LOL
Awesome that you are being so calm, don't know if I will be that calm.

Bejeweled said...

Gorgeous alchemy head dress! You did an awesome job!

Oh, that butter mess! Great photo though - definitely one for the family photo album :)

aurora said...

Hey there, Girlie! Thanks for stopping by my blog. ;)

Love all of your beautiful things. I think that I will be lost on your site for a while, and then will wander over to you sis's and mom's stores... hmmm, so much for laundry. ;)

Okay, the headdress is GORGEOUS! You have a gift. Truly.

And the butter mess... Tragic! And, ummm, he is on the wrong side of the carefully placed gate!

Estela said...

everything is sooooo beautiful!!

Vanessa said...

Everything is beautiful! Wow great headpiece...it looks exactly the same!

Catnip Studio said...

Awesome post, loved the patina bit, and your jewelry is just stunning! And, by the way, how could that butter mess possibly be "worse"? ;-) No, wait, don't tell me...

Waterrose said...

We oxidized our house numbers out on the mailbox that are made of copper...looks so great. The head piece is perfect! I can't tell you how many times I watched that movie with my son...who now has a dog that looks so much like the flying dog...what was his name?

ZENABU said...

Love your jewellery, especially the stacking rings. Gorgeous!
Please view this link I nominated you for the fun weblog awards.

Little Lovables said...

Thanks zenabu! But those stacking rings aren't mine (sadly!) they are Painted Metal's. I will definately check out your link :)

Little Lovables said...

Oh, the dog's name was The Luck Dragon... wasn't it? I am sure there is a fancier name though. I just remember thinking his back looked like a giant corn on the cob.

Anonymous said...

Well... the pearl is just a little too big. Okay it's WAY too big but it's GORGEOUS how ever did you make it?

Lydia said...


I had a very similar situation when my now 19yr. old,(not the jewelry maker), got white -out, magic marker, and garlic oil on her older sister's bed,shelves,and handmade rug from China!

I put her in front of the kitchen sink on a step stool and told her to stay there and wash her hands. She was probably about 2yrs. old. It took 2 1/2 hours, but remarkably got everything out! (I was highly motivated:) ) Kept checking up on her. Well, when I did my final check, she flooded the kitchen, and the basement a bit!!!

Another time she got to eggs feeding her stuffed dog in her sister's bedroom. I got the video camera out, instead of yelling. There are a few more stories like that w/her. Creative she is! :) I totally understand about composing oneself with these little , uh, 'angels' :)tehe

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