Thursday, December 28, 2017

DIY: A Copper Bronze Furniture Finish

There are many things I love about being a decorative artist. Near the top of that list is the thrill of finding diamond in the rough furniture.  I've spent many weekends at flea markets, consignment stores and antique shops on the hunt for unloved but unique pieces. And best of all, since no one knows what to do with them, you can score a real bargain. My whole house is filled with these treasures.

This time the project is for a client.  I've already finished the walls, columns and table for this dining room. Plus I helped select the paint and light fixture.

Faux Effects Quartzstone, Stuco Lustro, Old World Venetian Wax and Mica Powders

Close-up of high polish plaster in Charcoal with Bronze and Copper Mica Powders.

Copper Crystal and Rubbed Bronze light fixture

The dining table in Faux Effects Copper Faux Metal and Custom tinted glazes.

A big trend for 2018 interiors is mixed metals. Obviously our main metal is Copper with a mix of a golden Bronze.  So I was excited to find this sofa table at a Kansas City consignment store. The marble is in perfect shape and the colors are spot on.

But the wood base was drab and dark.  No worries. Time for a Metallic Makeover!

The first step in a furniture makeover is the clean the surface, a light sand, and a final wipe down with denatured alcohol.  My base paint is Faux Effects Designer Metallic in Charred Gold.  I wanted the base to be a warm brown based gold therefore I did not add the silver concentrate that came with the Designer Metallic. The easiest way to apply with out spraying is to brush on the paint and pounce it with a Leon Neon.

Well I've been reversing the first and last name for years! Leon Neon.

I let my base paint dry over night.  The next step is unexpected but I use this mix and technique a lot on furniture, cabinets and front doors.  Mix 1 quart of  Aquawax + 2 Cups of Metal Glow + 1/4 Cup So-Slow Super Extender.  The wet mix will look cloudy-that's the wax. But it will dry to the metallic color.  My mix will fill in flaws, protect the surface and create a strong slick surface for further glazing.

The Metal Glow for this project is Ginger Brown.  There is not much wood on this side table so I cut my recipe in half.
I brush the mix over the surface and pounce with the Leon Neon (see you will use this brush a lot).

Even though there is So-Slow Extender added this layer usually is dry within a few hours. Always check each layer for bonding before proceeding as dry times vary due to climate and thickness of application.  Next I mix a pint of glaze medium: Faux Crème Clear, Aquacreme or FX Thinner (all will work with Metal Glow) + 1/2 Cup Sunburst Metal Glow + 1/4 Cup Antique Mahogany Stain & Seal.

Brush on the mix and pounce with cheesecloth. I wipe back the high areas more with the cheesecloth.

I use a flat small squared brush to tip and shape the architecture of the piece.  Van Dyke Brown Stain & Seal thinned with FX Thinner will work for this step.  The glaze and detail layers should dry overnight.

To seal the piece, I mixed a pint of  un-tinted Aquawax  with 2 TBSP So-Slow Extender. This is thinly brushed over the surface and wiped back with the cheesecloth. Avoid letting it collect in the deeper areas or corners to avoid a frosty look.  I used the Aquawax because I had it in an earlier layer but you can top coat this finish with Varnish Plus or C500 if desired.

Here is a version of the same finish with  Faux Effects Fauxstone Pull-Off added under the base coat.

Don't forget this is the last week for the December Metal Glow Sale if you want to try this finish yourself.