Faux Bronze Patina
Rating 2.5 -moderate
For use on doors, furniture, and objects.
Simulated bronzing effects are ideally applied
over metal surfaces, or wooden objects, to
create the appearance of a genuine bronze
patina. Whether on entrance doors, coffee
tables, stair railings, mirror and picture
frames, this decorative treatment will impart
the impression of strength and hardness to
old-world, or contemporary furnishings and fittings
technique can be created on any type of furniture or object. You can use new, un-finished
furniture, an old antique, or even a painted
object. Whatever the surface may be, you will
first need to prime then apply a base color. For more
information on preparing painted, stained,
varnished and unfinished furniture visit the
This faux Bronze entrance way creates a
sophisticated formal look,
a solid first
impression as you cross the threshold of this
all nails and repair any damaged or cracked areas. Place protective drop cloths
around object or furniture, and tape any areas
not meant to be painted or refinished. Refer to
the artSparx basic preparation resource for
tips and techniques.
good quality primer will always result in a
higher quality final finish. If creating the
Bronze patina over a metal surface it will be
necessary to use an oil-based metal primer.
Over objects, frames and furniture,
water-based primers will suffice.
resource for more information on
sandpaper and sanding techniques.
Step 3: Applying the
base color. There are two options for creating
the reflective base tone required to
successfully simulate the faux Bronze patina.
The first is created using gold paint, and the
second is created over gold or imitation gold
Where to use
the proper base color/material
||Gold or Imitation gold leaf
For information of gilding techniques please
visit the artSparx Gilded Corner...
Do not use spray gold paint!
Metallic spray paints do not have a strong
enough protective sealer to allow a bronze
effect to work properly. Should you glaze over
metallic spray paints, the brass particles
suspended in the spray paint binder will flash
and turn brown, resulting in loss of color and
metallic reflectivity, both essential to create
an effective bronze appearance.
Step 4: Applying Gold paint. Use
'Hammerite metallic gold paint'. It is an
industrial strength metallic paint, often used
for radiators and metal surface. Apply with a
mini roller in clean even motions when ever
possible. Avoid overlap marks that create a
darker seam. A smooth appearing gold surface
will provide the best results.
To create a gold leaf or
imitation gold leaf surface, follow the gilding
tutorials at the
artSparx Gilded Corner, then complete the
effect with the following glazing technique for
the Bronzing patina.
Mineral spirits, Raw Umber and
antique Bronze mica powder, satin sheen oil
based varnish and clean brushes and rags are the
Step 5: In a 2.5 quart bucket mix satin
sheen oil based varnish with your
Universal Tinter colorant. Mix Raw
Umber and Burnt Umber in a 4:1 proportion (RU:BU).
You will need to create a strong, dark varnish
So 80 drops of Raw Umber and 20 drops Burnt
Umber, mixed in 1 quart of oil based varnish. You may need to add more (like
100 drops RU to 25 drops Burnt Umber) so mix
some up, rub on
as a test, then add
more tinter as
Add 1/4 cup mineral spirits and
1 0z. bronze mica powder. Mix thoroughly. You
have now created the Bronzing glaze.
Because varnish is heavier than
mineral spirits, it will be necessary to
continually stir the Bronze glaze mixture,
occasionally adding small amounts of mineral
spirits to keep the glaze fluid and preventing
the glaze from becoming too thick and dark.
Step 6: The bronzing patina is created by
using the 'Pouncing' effect. You can find out
more about this process by visiting the
You will need 2 clean brushes and a clean rag.
The first brush will be used to apply the glaze,
the second for creating the pounced 'Bronze'
effect. For small surfaces a regular 3 inch
brush will suffice to create the effect. For
larger surfaces you can purchase a stipple brush
or create your own.
|Pounce or stipple
You can buy special commercially made
They tend to be expensive, so it is important to constantly clean these
brushes during use to prolong their use and to protect your investment. To
create your own, inexpensive pounce brushes, follow the simple procedure by clicking
Step 7: Start your project from the top,
or highest point, working towards the bottom.
This guarantees that drips doing fall onto
lower portions that have been already glazed.
On large areas work in segments, progressively
working from one area to the next. Wearing
protective gloves, begin the Bronzing patina
by wetting the surface with a rag moistened
with mineral spirits. This will allow the
glaze to flow easily over the surface. Do not
get the area too wet, as the glaze will run
Step 8: Using a clean brush, apply the
bronzing glaze over the surface. Loosely brush
over an entire segment, insuring complete
Step 9: Using
the pounce brush, begin the pounce process by hitting surface directly on
with bottom of the brush, holding the brush perpendicular to the surface. Use a
firm hand and continually move your wrist to vary pattern being created. This
will remove the freshly applied glaze from the surface, revealing the base
color and producing a spotty or sandy texture. It is best to go over the
surface loosely once, then return and begin to refine the pattern with your
Regularly wipe brush dry with a clean rag to remove excess glaze
and to ensure a fresh pounce pattern. Work evenly over surface.
If glaze is too fluid and continually
sags or runs, allow to set momentarily then return and work at glaze with
a dry brush until smooth. Be aware that oil-based glazes set quickly.
Watch this Bronzing video clip
Step 10: Move
to next area and repeat. Do not stop until entire surface has been treated. Do
not put glaze on previous edge but rather apply within 1 inch or so and soften
into previous edge with your pounce brush or another dry brush.
|Corners and difficult edges
At corners apply
glaze to within ½ to 1 inch of edge and with a dry brush, work into corner,
then soften, smooth and pounce with a smaller, single brush. Use light, gentle
|Applying a protective varnish coat
Step 11: An
oil-based varnish, such as
oil varnish, may be applied after pounced surfaces have dried completely (24 hrs.) for protection. For wall surfaces it
is recommended to use
|Optional: Adding the final
details with bronzing waxes
We've created a Bronzing Patina on the central wrought
iron stair railing. Because of all the edges and interesting
curves, we set out to highlight the bronze effect by using
bronzing and gilding waxes.
Once the Bronze surface is
completely dry apply gold or bronze gilder's
wax on the edges and corners of the surface or
object. Simply dab a clean rag into the
gilders wax and gently rub over the high
points, or edges to create a softened, buffed
Finish off by accenting
details and buffing high points for the truly
polished and hard metallic appearance of genuine bronze.
Step 12: Clean
up with mineral spirits.
Step 13: Retain
some of the master glaze for future touch ups in a covered glass container.
Dispose of remaining glazes properly.
Important Tip - How to fix drips and spills
If wet glaze gets onto an area that has already been
finished and has begun to set, it may dissolve the previous finish. Simply blot
area with a dry rag to remove excess. Any attempt to repair area before
completely dry may result in a mess that is virtually irreparable. Small areas
are manageable. Correcting large areas may require removing all the paint and
reapplying it from scratch.
Small area repair:
Once completely dry (24 hrs.) fresh glaze may be touched in with an artists
brush until desired results are achieved.
Large area repair:
Treat before drying is complete. If
a large area of glaze is affected and begins to burn away, or dissolve, the
removal of the entire glazed surface may be required. To do this, dampen a rag
with mineral spirits and wipe surface until clean, using multiple rags if
Alternatively, you may allow wall to dry completely (24
hrs.), then repaint base coat and begin again