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…
…to achieve a timeless time-worn beauty like this.
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:
- a planter (or any object you wish to zincify)
- Rust-Oleum Professional Cold Galvanizing Spray Paint
- flat white paint
- paint brush
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
Let’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.
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.
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.
Now, same as before, grab your rag and wipe vertically, and even pounce to create that patina we’re after.
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.)
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.
After adding some potting soil and the plants, my zinc beauty is ready for display.
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.
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.
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?
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.