Monday, June 02, 2008

How to create a verdigris finish on raw brass charms and stampings

Here is a tutorial on how to paint an antiqued or verdigris patina on raw brass findings, stampings and filigree. If you have wanted to use a  raw brass charm but wanted them to look a little bit old or worn or just more colorful, this tutorial will show you how.

You'll need
Charms to paint, I used 2 small seahorses and one large from
Spray paint in 2-3 colors. For the painted seahorse I used a light, acid green and a darker, kelly green.
Spray paint in clear as a finish coat.
Paper towels or a smooth surface scrap cloth (not terry cloth)
Gloves (optional)
Paper or cardboard to use as a painting surface

1. Clean your brass. I use dish soap to wash the brass to remove any finishing oils or dirt. This is especially important if you have worn the charm already or if it is a vintage, flea market find. Skin oils or oils used in the manufacturing process will make the paint pop off. Wash the charm in soapy water and then dry it with a clean paper towel. Handle cleaned brass with a paper towel or with gloved hands.

2. Place the dry and cleaned charms on your painting surface. Using the kelly green paint, paint them with a thin coat. Immediately pick the charm up with a paper towel or gloved hand and use a second towel to wipe the surface, leaving paint in the details. Allow to dry 10 minutes.
3. Place the charms back on your painting surface. Repeat the painting and wiping with the acid green paint. These two steps can be repeated several times until you are pleased with the amount of verdigris finish. Allow painted charms to dry 1-2 hours.
4. Place the charms on painting surface and coat with a thin layer of the clear spray paint. This seals the surface and adds depth to the finished patina. Allow to dry overnight before using in a design.

Tomorrow I will post with the directions for the necklace I made with my painted seahorses. If you are in Raleigh, I recommend the spray paint selection at Askew Taylor paints. They have an amazing variety of shades and colors including acid green!

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