Metal finish on wood

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Blog entry by Ronald G Campbell posted 10-21-2013 02:16 PM 3128 reads 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In this blog I am going to give you a how to on my metallic finish of copper patina and rust application on wood

As you can see I started with a small vessel that has been hollowed. This vessel is about 5 inches in heigh. I only want to rust the top as I am going to copper patina the base. The rust paint is a paint from Michaels which is a hobby store here in the USA. The paint is very thick and contains metal flake. It is put on very heavy and allowed to dry.

Here I have applied the rusting solution. I have also applied this heavy but don’t want any runs down the side of my vessel. There was one small run and I wiped it as soon as I saw it

The next step is to seal the rust. You must use a water based sealer to seal the rust. As you can see I applied it again heavy and allowed it to cure for 24 hours. It is finished at that point.

In the photo you will notice that I applied a coat of copper paint over the top of the black paint. The paint is applied as I don’t want the copper and patina to be the only color. I also want the patina to bleed away some to give depth of color

Shortly you will see some rust starting to appear. I let it set overnight and more rust appears Below you will see the piece as it appears in the morning. Fully rusted

I now start to patina the copper. It has dried and will start the application of the patina. As you can see I am using Cupric Nitrate from Art Chemicals. There are several acids that you can use to get different effects

The next photo is the following day after the acid has done its work. At this point I made the decision to melt most of this back. If I wanted it to stand out more I would now apply the water based sealer. Instead I will melt it back with rattle can lacquer.

Yes I did transfer the copper paint to a plastic bottle that was easier to pour from.

Here is the finished piece.

Here are some of the other pieces I have done

I hope you all get something from this. If you need more help let me know I will follow up.
My sources

Thanks for the look and looking forward to your comments

-- Ron Campbell

5 comments so far

View Scott's profile


121 posts in 2463 days

#1 posted 10-21-2013 03:01 PM

Wow, nice look. I’d like to be able to do all that, but I have enough trouble just getting a nice coat of lacquer on my stuff.

View BENTWOOD's profile


373 posts in 2021 days

#2 posted 10-21-2013 04:16 PM

Awesome work Ron and very thorough on the process. You make it look easy. :)


View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2277 days

#3 posted 10-21-2013 09:41 PM

Thanks for the tutorial – I love the look and have always wondered how to do it.

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View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2608 posts in 3923 days

#4 posted 10-21-2013 09:47 PM

Thanks for sharing Ron, I admire the results you achieve on your projects. Now the search begins for similar material in Aus.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3062 days

#5 posted 10-22-2013 06:33 AM

Great work Ron, & thanks for the “show n tell”, like Bob we look for similar materials Down under.
I love the effects you achieving right now, keep it going. :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

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