How to Create a Patina Paint Job

"Patina" is the name for the green tint taken on by genuine copper items as they age. Unlike dirt or tarnish, this finish is very desirable. It indicates that the copper has been cared for and carefully preserved as the item has matured gracefully, like a fine wine or artisan cheese. However, if you do not have years to wait or you want to create this look on a surface that is not made from real copper, you can create a similar look with paint.

Colored metallic paint can help add realism to your project.
  1. Lightly sand items with slick finishes to create a surface for the paint to grab. Apply a coat of beige paint evenly all over the item. Let the paint dry completely.

  2. Dip the stippling brush into the dark-green paint. Tap it gently once or twice onto a paper plate to remove excess paint. Pounce the brush all over the pot in diagonal lines that go upward so that three-quarters of the surface area of the item is covered.

  3. Let the dark-green paint dry most of the way. Mix together 1 part clear glaze to 2 parts medium green on a paper plate, and 1 part glaze and 2 parts light green on a separate plate. Apply these two colors with clean stippling brushes, alternating between the two and covering approximately half of the item.

  4. Allow the new layer of paint to dry approximately 80 percent of the way. Apply the copper-hued paint with a clean brush, working it between the green areas so that it gives the impression of copper peeking through. Let all of the paint dry completely.

  5. Seal the painted item after 24 to 48 hours. Spray on two coats of clear varnish to protect your work. Let the varnish dry completely before using your item.