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Firstly what is a patina. It is the colour of the surface of metal when it has been exposed to the weather for a considerable period or has had an application of chemicals to simulate this effect.

In this technique tip we will be adding a patina to faux metals of two types. The first you have already read about in the tip on how to do cold metal casting. Briefly this involves loading polyester or epoxy resin up with equal volumes of metal powder and then pouring into moulds to give a metal appearance after burnishing with steel wool.

The second method of giving virtually any object a metallic appearance is to use one of our CraftMetal metallised acrylic coatings. They come in brass, copper, iron and aluminium finishes. They can be painted over wood, plaster, ceramic and metals to give the appearance of the metal finish you have chosen.

One use is to use change the finish of one metal to another. For instance coating CraftMetal Copper over a steel object. Another is to coat CraftMetal Iron over iron or steel. This allows you to completely rust the surface metal coating without compromising the base metal. The method of achieving these effects will be dealt with in a separate Tech Tip article.

Patina Techniques for Resin/Cold Casting

The most important thing to do before commencing applying a patina is to make sure the metal powder is exposed by rubbing back with 000 and 0000 steel wool. When casting the polyester or epoxy resins they typically coat the metal powder spheres.

Another method of preparing the resin for the patina process is to sandblast with a fine material. Heating the casting with a hair dryer or placing in sunlight will further help the patina process.

Dark Brown to Black Patinas:

The following products are recommended.

Sculpt Nouveau- Darkening Patina
Sculpt Nouveau- Antiquing Patina
Sculpt Nouveau- Deep Brown Patina
Liver of Sulphur
Ferric Nitrate (Rust Brown Colour)

You first prepare the surface exposing the metal. Heat the casting with a hair dryer. Spray or apply the patina with a sponge or brush. The colour will form and be complete in minutes.

Green Patinas:Sculpt Nouveau- Light Green
Sculpt Nouveau- Tiffany Green
Sculpt Nouveau- Mint Green
Sculpt- Nouveau- Vista Green

Green patinas are usually done over brown patinas. After the brown patina is complete, spray on the green patina. Let the patina react for between two to six hours. Then burnish back the excess patina with a fine scotch bright pad or reapply more green patina if required.

If a brown base patina is not required simply prepare the surface, spray on the patina and let it develop over two to six hours.

Other Patina Colour Finishes:

Any of the Sculpt Nouveau Universal Patinas and Water Based Dye Oxide Patinas may be applied directly to the prepared, heated casting. They may also be applied over a base brown patina.

Interesting effects may be obtained by using ordinary shoe polish in conjunction with other patina finishes.


Sculpt Nouveau's clear or coloured waxes may be applied over any patina. The coloured waxes could also be used instead of a patina to obtain a colour and sealer in one step.

In all other applications Aldax matt or gloss acrylic sealer should be used.


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