Thursday, January 28, 2010

How to paint naked brass...

While I love the warm shimmer of naked brass sometimes you need a bit more color in your designs. The upcoming Valentine's Day holiday allows me to indulge in my love of all things red and I wanted to celebrate with a some red hearts.

To prepare your metal make sure to wipe the charms down with alcohol. Often stamped brass will have a very thin layer of machine oil on it that you can't see. Wipe this off to make sure your paint sticks.

For these hearts I wanted to create an enamelled look that was almost like cloisonne. When I am creating smooth paint surfaces and not mixing colors I like to use spray-on oil-based enamel paints. Brands like Krylon or Rustoleum are available at your local hardware or paint store. Avoid 'decorator' paints that are not oil-based as they won't give you a smooth, shiny finish.

After you have cleaned your charms place them in a single layer on a sheet of paper or cardboard. Using quick short strokes apply the paint in a thin layer. Because of the viscosity of the paint, raised areas in the charms may show through the paint as you see in the heart above. If you want a solid, all-over color you can apply a second coat after 30 minutes. Allow the charms to dry for at least an hour before you touch or move them. The heart shown above has only a single thin coat of paint so the raised areas on the side really stand out.

Here are three different heart charms I painted. The one in the middle has some mysterious painted fuzz on it that I removed very easily after it was dry.

If you wish to seal your charms you can use a thin coat of clear spray paint or for a really shiny, glossier seal apply a thin layer of Diamond Glaze with a small paint brush. The brass heart charms are available here. Tomorrow I'll make something with my charms!