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This Bronzing effect works wonders on railings, objects and furniture accents and details.


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Bronzing Patina

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Universal Tinters
  Raw Umber
  Burnt Umber
Painters tape
2.5 quart paint bucket
1 - 3" paint brushes
Stipple Brush
Clear oil-based varnish -
Satin or semi-gloss
Mineral Spirits
Oil-based primer
Hammerite gold paint
-OR-
Imitation gold leaf
Bronze mica powder
mini-roller
rags
disposable gloves
Gilder's Wax - optional
Drop Cloths


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"Poetry is superior to painting in the presentation of words, and painting is superior to poetry in the presentation of facts"

Leonardo da Vinci  1452-1519

 
 
 
 

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 alike.

 

Preparing the surface

This decorative 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 artSparx Basic Preparation workshop.

This faux Bronze entrance way creates a sophisticated formal look,
a solid first impression as you cross the threshold of this residence.

Priming and undercoating

Step 1: Where necessary, remove 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.

Step 2: A 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.

Visit the artSparx priming 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 leaf.

Where to use the proper base color/material
Paint Gold or Imitation gold leaf
Doors
Walls
Objects
Frames
Furniture
Objects
Frames
Furniture

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 Burnt Umber Universal Tinters, antique Bronze mica powder, satin sheen oil based varnish and clean brushes and rags are the essential ingredients.

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 glazing mixture.

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 painted surface as a test, then add more tinter as needed.

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.

The Bronzing process

Step 6: The bronzing patina is created by using the 'Pouncing' effect. You can find out more about this process by visiting the pouncing tutorial. 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  brush: You can buy special commercially made pounce brushesThey 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 here.

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 and sag.

Step 8: Using a clean brush, apply the bronzing glaze over the surface. Loosely brush over an entire segment, insuring complete coverage.

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 second pass. 

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 movements.

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 Paintmanufacture low-luster finish.

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 metallic edge.

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 necessary.

Alternatively, you may allow wall to dry completely (24 hrs.), then repaint base coat and begin again

 

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