DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina

Who knew it could be so easy to make your own aged metal letter….without having a metal letter?!  I transformed a cheap wooden letter from a craft store into a faux aged copper letter with just a couple coats of paint, some spritzing, and an afternoon!

This method would also work great for a variety of home decor projects: frames, lighting fixtures, doorknobs, hardware, oven ranges, gutters, planters, patio furniture….the possibilities are nearly endless!

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

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DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina

Supplies

 

My Letter

I stumbled upon this decorative wooden capital R letter in Michael’s clearance aisle.  It grabbed my attention because my son’s name is Rowan, and this could potentially make for a cute piece for his room (I mean, it’s not like I don’t already have enough personalization in his nursery….).

Once I picked it up out of the bin, I realized why it was on clearance….it was all kinds of banged up!  However, the price of just a couple bucks was spot-on, so I snatched it up.  This baby would make the perfect project for testing out this new metallic paint and aging effect I’ve been dying to try….it almost seemed serendipitous.

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Applying the Copper Metallic Paint

I snagged some Modern Masters Metal Effects paint in Copper a while ago, not really knowing what I’d end up using it on.  It contains real metal particles, and once you apply the patina solvent over top, it creates a real aged and weathered effect….pretty cool, huh?!  They also have Bronze and Iron paint as well, and different aging effects like blue patina (which is what I’ll be using), green patina, or even rust.

Technically, I guess you’re supposed to apply a special primer first to ensure the metal effect unfolds correctly.  But ain’t nobody got time (or money) for that!  So I decided to wing it and went without a coat of primer…..I know, I’m such a rebel.

I first applied a light coat of the copper paint with a brush and let it dry completely.

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

Once the paint had fully dried, I took my letter outside to get ready for my second coat and patina spray.  And here’s what I mean by a light coat…..pretty rough looking, I know, but a little goes a long way.

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Applying a Second Coat of Paint & the Blue Patina

I wanted a natural, weathered look for this letter, so I needed to spray the patina on as opposed to painting or rolling it.  The patina bottle doesn’t come with a spritzer cap (it’s of course sold separately), but I just raided our bathroom cabinet and dug out a travel spray bottle and hijacked its cap.  It fit perfectly and saved me $3.99!

The key to getting the aged effect is to apply the patina spray to the second coat of paint *while it’s still wet.*  Yep, that’s the entire process: apply first coat of paint, let dry, apply second coat of paint, spray patina while paint is still wet, let dry.  So simple, right?

I first put down a flattened cardboard box so I wouldn’t get any splatters on our sidewalk (that makes for a grumpy husband), then I put on some gloves….safety first, folks!

Next up, I painted on my second coat of copper paint.  It dries pretty quickly, so I rushed a little bit to cover the entire surface of the letter, then I started spritzing the blue patina spray all over.  I wasn’t really sure how much spray I needed in order to get an aging effect, so this project was going to be an experiment (those are always fun!).  I was going for the natural, haphazard look anyway, so me getting a little crazy with the spraying was alright in this instance.

I then headed back inside and let the patina do its thaaang.

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

Several minutes later, I came back outside to check on the patina‘s progress….and it was actually working!

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The Final Results: An Aged Copper Letter!

About an hour or so later, I came outside again (and apparently so did the sun) to give my letter another looksy.  The paint and patina were {mostly} all dry….and looking very aged and super cool!

I LOVE the uneven, natural weathered look that the patina spritz gave….the splatters, the dripping, the puddling and pooling.  All remnants of the beat up pink letter are forever gone!

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

Outside in direct sunlight, it does look pretty blue, but inside it looks more greenish and very Statue of Liberty-esque.  Regardless, I am so impressed by this stuff!

It’s nearly idiot-proof (helloooo, I used it!) and completely transformed this basic, beat-up craft letter into a piece that genuinely looks and feels like aged copper.  Also, since it’s a natural aging effect, there’s no need to seal it (if you’re using this on an item that will remain outdoors, then you’ll probably want to seal that, however).

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

You can see that I was a wee bit heavy-handed with the patina on the backside (haha, whoops!), but it still looks pretty darn neat to me (and like I said, this was an experiment!).

That’s one of the cool things about this process….you can add more or less patina depending on what type of look you’re going for, or even leave the paint as is without any aging effect.  It’s all just personal preference.

And if you accidentally add too much patina like I did here, it still looks awesome!  And honestly, the more I look at it, I’m kinda liking the super aged look on the back better than the front….

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

Alrighty, I guess I fibbed earlier when I said that all remnants of the letter’s former pink life were gone….you can see what a transformation I had here!

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

So I decided to place my DIY faux aged copper letter up on our mantel instead of in Rowan’s room.  It holds pride of place (for now at least) right next to a wood print of the little man himself back when he was a tiny four-month-old….so little and toothless {sniffle}.

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Faux Copper Letter Aged with Blue Patina | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

I cannot wait to use this copper paint and blue patina for more projects!!  I have literally been walking around my house thinking to myself “Ok, what can I turn into aged copper??”  Frames, vases, lighting fixtures, mirrors….they’re all fair game now!  Ha!  So look for more of these kinds of projects on here in the future. :)

 

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About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky toddler and his mini-me infant brother, and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. I (try to) spend their nap times getting my craft on and I blog about my creations and adventures in parenting at Where The Smiles Have Been. My loves are all things DIY, especially Silhouette projects, wreaths, & personalized decor. And ice cream....definitely love me some ice cream.

Comments

  1. I’m so happy I found this post on Pinterest. And to answer someone’s question, yes, it works of metal. I just applied the paint and glaze to so 1950’s rusted porch posts that I am converting into shelving to hold my antique copper collection. I am THRILLED with the way they are turning out. Wish I could post pictures of before and after. And this was sooooo easy. thanks again!!

  2. do you think this technique would work on metal?

  3. Deidre Layne says:

    I LOVE this!!! Definitely doing this for my kitchen! Btw, your son is so adorable!! And especially that picture next to this R! I miss my kids being tiny and toothless too :(

  4. This looks brilliant. I have a weatherbeaten wooden H with white veneer that I wanted to revamp. This would be just the thing.

  5. Carren Larson says:

    Where do you purchase the paints you are using?

    • Hey Carren! I purchased my supplies from Amazon. There are direct links to all the products above. Thanks for stopping by these parts!

  6. Wow, that really looks like it was made from copper. Great tutorial. Pinned.

  7. I love this look! I’ve never heard of Blue Patina before but now I have to check it out. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Talented Tuesdays last week; I’m featuring you today! I hope you can join us again. Have a great week Christine!

  8. This is awesome, Christine! The patina is gorgeous! I’m featuring this at tomorrow’s Creative Spark party. Come on by to grab your featured button and link up with us again. The party begins at 6am EST!

  9. This came out great (can’t believe what you started with).
    Thanks for the very clear tutorial too.
    David

    • Thanks so much, David! I’m very impressed with the transformation too. I just love a good clearance find upcycling project! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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