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How to antique with bronze finish paint

Updated February 21, 2017

Antique bronze is a popular metallic paint finish found on kitchen hardware, door knobs and light fixtures. The finish has a classical look with a slight feel of antiquity, yet can be used in both modern and traditional settings. Mica flakes are added to paint to create a metallic shimmer; the bronze reflects when light is directed on to an item. Adding antique bronze to decorative items and accessories in the home can be accomplished using various paint products.

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  1. Choose an area that is well ventilated. Cover the floor or paint area with plastic or dust sheets for added protection. Use spray paint outdoors to avoid overspray; the remainder of the project can be completed indoors.

  2. Paint the accessory a solid black or dark brown. Use spray paint to get quick even covering, and to reach tiny crevices. Ensure the base coat is solid with no prior colouration peeking through. Decide if a second or even third coat is necessary. Do not spray the paint heavily; drips can occur. Remember, light, even coats are best.

  3. Buy bronze paint from a local DIY or arts and crafts shop. Look at the different types of metallic bronzes available and compare colours. Some will have a more yellow colour, while others will lean to the red tones. Use between one and three different colours of bronze.

  4. Pour small amounts of the bronze paint on to paper plates -- each colour will have its own plate. Put on latex gloves to protect your hands. Use a slightly damp sea sponge and lightly dip it into the bronze paint or paints. Blot excessive paint on to a paper towel. Lightly dab the paint on to the base coat. Remember to use light coats of paint. Leave as much or as little base coat exposed as you want. Keep in mind, the base coat is required even if it is 100 per cent covered with the bronze paint due to the translucency of metallic paints. Allow the paint to dry.

  5. Mix together a small amount of dark brown or black latex paint with glaze; the ratio commonly used is a one to four part mixture. Use a sea sponge, old paintbrush or even a paper towel and wipe the glaze mixture on to the accessory you are painting to give an antique and dated look. Brush, blot, stipple or dab the glaze; different application methods will give a different look. Allow the glaze 24 hours to dry. Wash all material using warm soap and water.

  6. Warning

    Add a clear coat of polyurethane to the finished item for extra protection. The clear coat can be brushed or sprayed on.

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Things You'll Need

  • Black or brown spray paint
  • Dust sheets
  • Plastic
  • Bronze paint
  • Paper plates
  • Latex gloves
  • Sea sponge
  • Dark brown or black latex paint
  • Glaze
  • Paper towel
  • Old paintbrush

About the Author

Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.

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