DIY Aged Copper Patina Tutorial

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A paint brush has been my best friend this summer. (when isn’t it, really?) I have painted our entire exterior of our home, twice, by myself.  That doesn’t include the furniture pieces I have done as well.  I guess that makes me a lean, mean, paintin’ machine…or just plain nuts. ahem.

One of the changes I wanted to do was to fix up an old aluminum awning on our back door with a DIY aged copper patina.  Totally 1950’s style, ugly awning.  And, while I was at it, I thought I would also dress up an aluminum window box I took off the front of our home and was planning to put on our shed.  Nothing goes to waste around here.
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Since our home is taking on a more rustic appeal, I wanted to give these metal items an earthy look.  In my mind, there was no other way to go than an aged copper look.  You know, the lovely copper color with a green cast to it…oooh…perfect patina.

This time, though, a spray paint and a rag are my best friends.  Follow along and I’ll show you how to make anything; wood, metal, plastic, into a faux tarnished copper piece.

DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I have really come to love the newer Rustoleum spray paint products with all the different metals…hammered, aged, and rustic, and it sticks to anything.  Right away I knew I wanted to use their Aged Copper spray paint.  These cans are great!   You can spray in any angle, whether upside down or not, the flow never cuts off (unless it needs shaken).

*affiliate links are included in this post.

 

Getting all the chippy paint off and giving it a good cleaning was the first step. I had no idea what the top looked like before I took it down. Geesh.
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Next I sprayed like none other. (Make sure to do this in a well-ventilated area!!)

Tip: When spraying a surface or object, make sure you begin spraying before you hit the piece and continue until you’re off the piece – working in back-and-forth motions.  This will give a nice even look.

Here’s after only the first coat.

DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesAfter 3 coats (which took 3 full cans to do both awning top & underside + flower box), allowing for drying time in between, I was ready for the next step.

Most aged copper not only has that awesome bluish-green cast to it, but it also gets a dark mottling or splotchy marks.  So, in order to achieve that look, I took dark gray paint and thinned it with a little water, then took an old t-shirt rag and dipped it in.  I pounced all over and under the awning and window box, making it as random as possible, and darker in some places than others.

DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Once that coat dried, I dipped my gloved fingers back into the thinned gray paint and flicked splotches all over in a random manner.  Tapping it lightly with a rag so the drops didn’t look round.  That extra bit really gave it a true aging look.

My end idea was to get an in-process copper aging, not a completely green color.  In order to do that, I took a minty green paint and thinned it like the gray paint earlier.  This time I did a glazing; wiping it all over and then wiping it off with a cotton cloth leaving a little behind here and there – all the while giving it a that luscious green color cast.

DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Just simply wipe it on with a generous amount, allowing it to fill in any nooks and crannies.

DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Then gently wipe off, leaving a washed layer behind.

DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Because I knew my awning was going to take a lot of weather abuse, I also decided to give it a top coat with a matte sealer to give it a bit more life.  (I really didn’t want to have to take it down and redo it any time soon – remember, I’ve been painting for months!!) I did not extra coat the flower box, because it would be out of the weather.
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
See those specks that create that natural weathered look?
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
Here they are put back into place and adding a rustic touch to the exterior of our home.
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesI like the effect the awning gives and it still serves as a functional part of our home.
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
Here’s the underside that I see all the time.
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
I love the look and am so glad I have the ability to do these types of treatments myself with just a bit of time and paint.
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesOur sweet little shed now is ready to be dressed up and the box adds that extra homey touch.
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
 Yes, I realize there are no flowers in the “flower box”, but I haven’t had a lick of time to do anything but paint.  tsk.  Soon they’ll be some planted.
DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesI also did the same finish to the metal roof on the cupola on our garage and the top of our whole house vent. All this bit of extra effort creates a coordinating blend from the front of the house to the rear where the awning is.

DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Here’s a little ditty I sang to myself while up there: (didn’t know I sing while I work, did you? tsk.)

“Up on the housetop, Mama paints.

It’s all good until she faints.

Give her a hammer with lots of nails.

She’ll come down when the kiddies wail.”

{applause}

Share if you love this!

DIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now onto our shutters and window boxes for the rest of the house.  sigh.  Maybe I’ll show you how to do that too…if you say pretty please!  I will share before and after photos of our home when and if we ever get it done, so become a follower to see the progress.

Give this finish a try…I know you’ll LOVE it!!

More makeover project for you:

Budget-Friendly French Farmhouse Master Bedroom Makeover Final Reveal by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

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14 Comments

  • Helen's Decor

    Hi Larissa,
    How clever of you to create the way to make a change without making it look brand new. I so agree with attention to the age of a home. I’m visiting you from The Dedicated House link and would enjoy having you drop by #9 to see me.

    Thanks,
    Helen

    July 29, 2013 at 6:33 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Hi Helen! Thanks for stopping by and your kind words. I’d love to stop by! :o)

      July 29, 2013 at 6:53 pm Reply
  • kellyorr

    Looks great, Larissa! The paint looks so authentic and goes great with the color of your house. 🙂

    July 31, 2013 at 11:30 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Kelly! It’s fooled some neighbors so far, and I just finished our cupola… I think it looks good…makes the house gel.

      July 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm Reply
  • Pamela

    What a great project! It turned out perfect. I will have to look for that spray the next time I am out. Thanx for partying at THT!

    August 1, 2013 at 5:36 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Pamela! The paint is great stuff…my favorite is Oil Rubbed Bronze. I’ve used it on everything…my standing lamps, knobs, drawer pulls, etc.

      August 1, 2013 at 10:40 am Reply
  • Christine Graves

    That’s such a clever idea….love how you gave it new life too!

    XO,
    Christine

    August 1, 2013 at 11:00 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yep, so rewarding to reclaim my own property and add that extra touch. Thanks, Christine! :o)

      August 1, 2013 at 11:03 am Reply
  • Good Time Charlie

    Wow!! I didn’t know they had this new color, buying some today, or soon. It turned out so awesome, and great tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing at Redoux!

    August 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Yep, it’s a great color and so versatile! Glad you liked it. :o)

      August 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm Reply
  • Julie Metz

    LOVE the door color!! Can you please tell me what it is? I need to repaint my mustard-colored door, and yours is the exact shade I’ve been thinking of……..

    April 21, 2016 at 10:33 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Julie! I actually custom mixed it myself with paint I had on hand…sorry!

      April 21, 2016 at 4:05 pm Reply
  • curious

    Ummm, what brand/type paint did you use for your aging? (The grey and patina green/blue) You show the spray paint used, then do not mention the others at all.

    September 11, 2017 at 11:01 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It was what I had on hand and I did this over 3 years ago. It doesn’t really matter the shade since the effect will be the same. 🙂

      September 11, 2017 at 5:46 pm Reply

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