Welcome to the tutorial of DIY furniture painting: The weathered, rusty, patina look!
Patina paints are my jam! I love painting with the Dixie Belle patina paints and the things that you can do with them are truly unbelievable.
This adorable bombe chest came to me from Facebook Marketplace. She was not well-loved, nor well cared for so I adopted her and turned her into the stunning beauty she is today.
I am, by nature, a very messy painter, so my pieces often end up looking just like that, old, weathered and full of chippy goodness.
Supplies needed for this project:
- White Lightning
- B.O.S.S White
- Yankee Blue
- Iron Patina paint
- Bronze patina paint
- Green Patina Spray
- Blue Patina Spray
- Colonel Mustard
- Barn Red
- Top Coat Flat
- Fine Misting Bottle
- 4 Chip Brushes
- Mini Paint Brush
Prep your furniture!
I cannot emphasize this enough. At least half of all problems with painting is caused by not prepping the surface properly. The other half is usually caused by the quality of the paint you use.
You start by following the instructions on the white lightning and then with a scrubby sponge (yes you heard me correct) you scrub down your furniture. Are you hearing me in the back of the room? Scrub it down!
The amount of grime and dirt that will come off is sure to surprise you. After you are done scrubbing it clean, take a bucket of clean water and a clean cloth and wipe the furniture down completely so there is no residue from scrubbing left anywhere.
The base coat
Furniture tends to "bleed". That means that if you paint it, the stain from the furniture comes through your paint. Often, this doesn't happen until you put the top coat on, and then you have wasted a lot of paint because you need to seal it and start over.
To prevent bleed-through from happening, I always apply 2 coats of B.O.S.S. before I start painting. This will seal the surface so bleeding doesn't happen. You can skip this step if you choose to, but don't say I didn't warn you :)
The first paint color
I used Yankee Blue paint for the base color as that is the color I want to come through once I apply the rust and patina. Simply one coat of this is enough for this particular project. I applied it with the mini paintbrush, which in my opinion is the best paintbrush for painting furniture.
Now the fun starts with creating the rusty, patina look!
Now it's time for my favorite part, the patina paints! I started with iron patina paint and applied it under the knobs and all the places where I want rust to show up.
TIP: The patina paints and spray form real rust and patina. The chemical reaction is very strong, and therefore I highly recommend doing this outside, or by an open door and wearing a nose and mouth mask.
The first coat I stippled on took about 30 minutes to completely dry. Then I applied the second coat and while still wet, I sprayed the green patina spray over the iron paint and let it sit for a while.
Since this is a project with a weathered, chippy look, I left all the drips going down from the green patina spray. However, if you don't like those, you can simply wipe those away with a clean, dry cloth.
TIP: The patina paints have real metal flakes in them to react with the patina spray. They tend to go to the bottom of the jar. Make sure you shake the jar vigorously before opening and stir it with a stick (especially over the bottom) to make sure it is mixed well before you start painting
It takes a while for the chemical reaction to be done so in the meantime you just keep on painting.
Let's play with some color
While the patina paint is doing its thing, I added some color to this piece. I dabbed on some colonel mustard and barn red on the front and later on also on the sides, in the corners, and along the top lines. Then I spray it with my misting bottle filled with water so the paint thins out and starts running down.
Later on, we are going to blend all of this together. I used a chip brush and using very little paint, I dabbed it where I wanted it. As you can see it's already starting to look pretty drippy and weathered.
The patina is what makes this piece complete. I took another chip brush and applied the bronze patina paint wherever I wanted the surface to show patina. My goal was to almost make it look like a patina and rust waterfall so I applied most of it in the middle.
The bronze patina paint needs the same treatment as Iron paint. Shake well and stir before applying. Always use a cheap chip brush with this paint, because I can guarantee you, you won't be using that brush again when the project is done :)
I let the first layer of bronze dry and applied a second coat. While still wet I went it over with the blue patina spray and as you can see on the picture, patina starts forming almost instantly. Isn't that so cool?
Like the iron paint that formed the rust with the green spray, the bronze paint with the blue spray will need time to finish the chemical process. So at this point, I walked away from the project and let it be overnight.
Finishing your project
Now that I was done with the front of the project, I repeated the entire process both sides of the chest and added more to the front to almost completely cover the surface.
I applied the rust in the corners, colors all over the top and the side, added more rust after that in the middle and then patina all over the place. I did the iron paint and green patina spray on the top surface as well.
It's a matter of playing around with it. I add, walk away for a while, come back, add some more and so on until I am happy with the way it looks.
It is very hard on pictures to capture the beauty of this rusty, patine piece. So here are some pictures that show you the details of this stunner. You can see all the rust, patina and many layers overlapping each other.
Putting a top coat on
For this project, I used Flat Clear Coat to seal everything. I put it on with a chip brush, dabbing and sippling until I reached all the nooks and crannies of the texture and I put 3 coats on the top because that will get some use and needs more protection. When all is applied, let your rusty, patina beauty completely dry for 24 hours.
She is done!
And here she is, in all her glory! You can see that it lightened up quite a bit as the chemical reaction finished and the rusty patina parts completely dried.
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