Faux Finishing - Verdigris Faux Finishing - Verdigris

What You'll Need
Metallic copper or gold paint
Dark green latex paint
Light green latex paint
Blue/gray latex paint
Clear acrylic spray paint
Paint brushes and sponges for applying paint
Paper towels
Sandpaper

A verdigris faux finish can make your ordinary outdoor furniture, flower pots or virtually any wood, metal or ceramic object look like a valuable heirloom. The faux verdigris finish replications the green coating that forms on copper after it has been exposed to the elements for some time. You can readily achieve that same appearance and give your yard a "touch of class" at the same time, (and no one needs to know that the old planter isn’t really a valuable piece of antiquity). Here's how to achieve a faux verdigris finish.

Creating Your Verdigris Finish

Start by thoroughly cleaning the surface of the object, and if it's metal, give it a light sanding with 100 grit sandpaper to help ensure the paint will adhere.
Apply your first coat of paint (metallic copper or gold). If the object is tall, start at the top and work your way down, don't worry about brush strokes or paint runs.
After the copper paint has dried, apply a coat of dark green paint using a sponge. Blob the paint on leaving, room for the base copper colored coat to show through in spots. Remember, you want the object to end up with a mottled appearance so don't be concerned with how uneven the green paint looks.
Once the first coat of dark green paint has dried, apply a coat of light green paint. Once again, use a sponge to daub the paint on in an irregular pattern, overlapping some of the dark green paint, but ensuring you leave little bits of the copper base color showing through. (You can get your light green paint color by adding some white paint to the original dark green paint or be simply buying light green paint).
Allow your second color to dry thoroughly then check out the finished appearance. If you aren't happy with it, you can adjust the appearance by daubing on some more color (or even some streaks of copper) until you've achieved the mottled look you want.
Once you're happy with the mottled appearance of your project, give it a final touch of realism, by applying a light coat of watered down blue gray latex paint then blotting it with a paper towel. This will add the appearance of the patina that forms on really old copper.
Finally, once the paint on your verdigris project has had a chance to dry thoroughly, apply at least two coats of a clear acrylic or urethane finish to the entire surface. 

That's it, it may sound like a lot of work, but in reality each coat probably only takes a few minutes to apply. In many cases the longest part is waiting for the individual applications of paint to dry and if you're in a rush you can always use a hair dryer to speed up the process.

In addition to its classy traditional appearance one of the great things about a faux verdigris finish is it's so easy to maintain. If the surface gets a scratch or a nick, simply daub on some new paint - no worries about matching colors. What could be simpler?

Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer. His work has covered a wide range of topics, but he specializes in home maintenance and how to's. He has more than 500 articles published on the web, as well as print magazines and newspapers in both the United States and Canada.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!