Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Aged Copper Wall Treatment

If you're familiar with my jewelry creations, you already know that I love aged copper! It's warm, casual, and depending on the patina, it has an array of colors ranging from light green to deep burgundy flowing through it adding even more texture and interest.

Several years ago (before my life of jewelry) I had a faux finishing business and one of my clients requested a wall of copper so I created this technique. It actually became a popular choice with my clients and I thought it was so cool that I decided to create some walls of copper in my own home.

I also created a focal area on the bedroom ceiling to tie in with the tub area.

I used the Modern Masters line of metallic paints,
a chip brush and a rag to create this effect.

The metallic colors needed are Pale Gold, Copper, Sage, Plum and Smoke. These paints are expensive but they can be purchased in a smaller size which would be plenty for each color except for the Pale Gold and the Copper. It's been awhile since I've looked but as of two years ago Rodda Paint carried this line of paint.

I'm sorry that I don't have step-by-step photos of this process but I did this a couple of years ago when we remodeled our home and at that time I didn't even imagine that I might need them to share on a blog! Faux finishes are quite difficult to explain so I hope that my explanation is more helpful than confusing.

Before I applied the main coat of metallic paint I base coated the walls with a neutral beige color. This is an important step because the Pale Gold is semi-opaque so a neutral paint that is close in color helps give an even look. I mixed extender (also a Modern Masters product) into the Pale Gold and applied two coats with a Modern Masters Metallic Paint Roller (sorry, I don't have a picture of it but it has a really long and ragged nap which makes it easier to apply the paint with an even look).

Next, working in a small area at a time, I used the chip brush to apply Copper in a random swirling fashion. I quickly, patted and lightly rubbed the Copper with a damp rag spreading and blending it out. Metallic paint dries very quickly so I had to work fast. I did this until the entire wall was covered in an overall random fashion. It's best to start light and build each layer as needed - I applied two very light coats of the Copper.

Next, I applied the Sage - in the same manner as the Copper but with far less overall coverage. It is more of an accent color randomly spaced here and there. I repeated this same process using the Plum. Again, I started lightly and applied more as needed.

For the final step, I mixed some glaze with the Smoke. I used a professional grade glaze but glaze purchased from Home Depot would work just fine for this project. I applied the Smoke/glaze mixture in the same manner as the Copper except that I wiped most of it off. This step helps tone down the metallic shine of the paint and gives it that beautiful aged look but be very conservative with this step or the wall will appear dirty and dingy.

The white ceiling medallion and molding where too harsh against the copper so I painted the medallion with some gold spray paint and antiqued it by applying a black glaze and wiping most of it off and I painted the molding with metallic Pale Gold allowing some of the white to show through.

This copper technique can be used to transform other projects as well. I updated a client's old oak kitchen table by painting the legs black and painting the top to look like copper. I sealed the table top with three coats of polyurethane to preserve the finish.

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  1. Your aged copper wall treatment came out fabulous...It especially appeals to me since I love paint and I love metal...the perfect combo. I am your newest follower and would love it if you would follow me back and get in on my driftwood sailboat give-a-way. Looking forward to hearing from you, Sherron

  2. Kathy, this is GORGEOUS {as is everything you do} - It's so rich and warm and inviting! You really capture the look and 'feel' of copper. I want to touch those walls! Just Stunning.

  3. That is beautiful, Kathy...really has the rich look of copper!

  4. Modern Masters is the only way to go for metallic faux finishing!
    You did a fabulous job! Love the ceiling accent tying in to the tub
    surround!!! Nice touch...

  5. As with everything else in your house, this is beautiful! Everything you touch just turns to gold...or in this case, I should say copper!!

  6. Kathy, I love your copper walls! They turned out beautifully! I am an amateur...but I love to experiment with wall treatments myself. The last one I did was crumpled tissue paper painted to the wall to give it texture. I was happy with it! Anyway, I wanted thank you for sharing your talents at the party today and for following. I am now a follower on your blog too!

  7. How beautiful! and so much work! Interesting how it is like a big piece of jewelry for the wall : ) You are super talented in so many ways!

  8. Super Cool idea Kathy!! It makes the room inviting and warm!!Hugs,Cat

  9. Looks great! I can see why it became such a popular choice with your clients!

    Melissa @ lovebugliving

  10. WOW! That is just gorgeous! Thanks so much for linking it up at Shine On Fridays!

  11. This is breathtakingly beautiful!!! I'm so impressed! I'm your newest follower!!!

    Aimee @ ItsOverflowing.com

  12. what a beautiful wall treatment and accent to your room. Bravo!

  13. Oh I love copper!! How cool! Very nice.
    Thanks for sharing at Show & Share!

  14. And fyi I'm featuring this in tomorrow's party! Hope you'll grab a button! :)


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