Faux Zinc Finish with Paint

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One of my favorite naturally occurring things on this planet is patina. But, “What’s patina?” you say. The definition by the book is, “a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use”. Patina is what today’s post is all about…creating beauty without having to wait decades, years, or even days. I am going to show you how to take most anything, even a box store plastic planter like this one found at Wal-Mart for $21 look like faux zinc…

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

…to achieve a timeless time-worn beauty like this.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Crazy thing is, in some places, a real zinc planter like this retails for over $100…yikes! No need to break the bank, just create your own. And that’s not it!  The best part is that you can used this technique anything…light fixtures, wood boxes, decor, furniture…you name it!

All you need are a few things to achieve this effect.  Here is the list of materials:

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

*this post does contain affiliate link so you can find the products I love too!

Check it out. What could be better than zinc in a can? Seriously, this stuff is made of zinc and therefore will give you the power to turn anything you spray into a zincified object.  Easy!

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now you might be wondering what’s wrong with the urn as is? Nothing really, but it doesn’t have enough character in my opinion. I am drawn toward the French/Nordic style that is all about texture and patina.  This particular urn was a dark bronze sort of color with gold accents, and had a texture to the surface that I made it a great candidate. Time to create that faux zinc look I’m after.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Obviously, this project is better done outdoors for ventilation purposes.  This stuff goes on easy and thick, with dry time for second coat in about an hour. When you’re spraying, be sure to stay about 12 inches away from the object, and don’t forget to keep the can level. Also, make sure to shake it every so often to prevent clumps. This stuff sprays great and I’ve never had a problem with it.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

To achieve an even coat, start spraying before you actually hit the object and continue until after you’ve went past.  By doing this, you will give the spray a chance to get heavy and this will help give you a nice, even coat.

Check out how the planter looks after only one coat.  Nice and solid, right?

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I could have stopped there, but I wanted a heavy coat. So after an hour of dry-time, I applied a second coat and let that cure. Once that’s done, it’s time to add the time-worn wear. We want it to look aged (have a patina) and not fresh out of the factory.

A couple of years ago, in haste I bought some cheap ceiling paint to use in my kitchen to give it a quick refreshing. Mistake. It was almost 100% water and did nothing to refresh, only waste my time and money. However, because I work on furniture, it was the perfect consistency to white-wash my pieces for my shop, like this one. This leggy table makeover is here.
DIY Faux Zinc Finish on a Garden Urn Planter by Prodigal Pieces for RemodelaholicLet’s get started with creating patina and that faux zinc look. Grab some cheap ceiling paint, or flat white paint and your paint brush.  (note: to make your own using flat paint: add a slight 2 Tablespoons of water to 1 cup paint to thin)

Since most real zinc pieces have oxidation that occur naturally, we want to replicate that in our project. When you look closely at a real example, you can see this aging happening in the nooks and crannies, and trickles down vertically. I started on the rim of my urn and worked in small patches. Brush on the paint, coating the section you’re working on completely.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Depending on your temperature and humidity, you will need to quickly wipe most of it off with a dry rag. Be sure to leave some behind to rest in those crannies.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

For the rest of the body of the urn, take your brush and (again, working in small patches) brush vertically, so that it looks like years of rain have washed it and created this effect.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now, same as before, grab your rag and wipe vertically, and even pounce to create that patina we’re after.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

After you’re happy with the look you’ve achieved, let your project cure for a couple of hours (allow 24 hours for complete curing). Then, it’s time to fill your planter. Here is what I chose to fill my urn – a selection of mostly perennials. (I plant to transplant these into the ground before winter so that I can make use of them each year in my garden beds. Come spring, I’ll purchase some new and do the same.)

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Time to fill it up! What’s nice is that most of these plastic pots have drainage holes, but I like to add broken clay pots or rocks to the bottom to promote better drainage and prevent soil loss. The rocks also add a bit of weight because these things can get top-heavy.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

After adding some potting soil and the plants, my zinc beauty is ready for display.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I think we achieved the time-worn look we were after, and created an eye-catching piece that looks as if it cost a hundred bucks.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

With the base coat of zinc, and addition of the whitewash, those embossed details being drawn out, it’s now a welcome addition to my garden.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The plants will grow and spill over the edge later on, and may even outgrow my urn because they’re meant to be ground cover. Fun!

Aren’t those details spectacular?

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now go on and give this technique a try, then stop by and show me what you do with it. I created this finish in early spring and my urn has been baked and weathered all summer and the finish is still holding strong after several years. Love it!

Do pin and share to inspire others to DIY and get the faux zinc look.

You can create a timeless faux zinc finish by only using paint. Come see the step-by-step DIY tutorial on how to achieve this look in a day by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
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Until next time!

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If you liked this faux zinc technique, you can also see how I’ve used in my garage door tutorial and in my faux copper tutorial. Please feel free to ask any questions, I’d love to help!

diy-faux-wood-garage-doorDIY Faux Copper Patina with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint by Prodigal PIeces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces


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8 Comments

  • Diane

    Wish we could get rust-oleum here in Portugal…but no nada nothing like it which is a real pity because this is a great idea!

    August 24, 2015 at 7:48 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Bummer! There has to be something similar like a flat gray paint that would work, you think?

      August 26, 2015 at 10:04 am Reply
  • GWEN

    you always amaze me – nice look!

    August 24, 2015 at 9:51 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Gwen. You’re the best!

      August 26, 2015 at 10:03 am Reply
  • Patty

    I just bought two yesterday’s at Joanne’s. I planted mums in them and put them on either side of the driveway. I think when I remove them for the winter (we are in Connecticut and are supposed to get hit hard AGAIN this winter) I will do what you did. I love the look. Incidentally I also removed the plugs and put rocks in the bottom but before I did, I placed a coffee filter over the hole and the rocks to hold the filter and the urn itself.

    August 24, 2015 at 11:49 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay for you! (except the hard winter part, no fun) I’d love to see what you do with them!

      August 26, 2015 at 10:03 am Reply
  • holly

    Great job, another trip to Walmart tomorrow for Rust-oleum. Thanks!

    August 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      It’s inevitable! 😀 Have fun with it!

      August 26, 2015 at 9:24 am Reply

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