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How to Make Shiny Buttons Dull

Updated April 17, 2017

Shiny new buttons can give your costume, jewellery or craft project the wrong look. For example, if you are creating a vintage-looking piece of jewellery, too much sheen on the buttons gives away the real age of the piece. On a costume, distressed buttons on distressed clothing lend an air of authenticity. To create a scrapbook page with an antique feel, limit the shininess of the buttons to improve the overall look of the craft. Buttons will be distressed differently depending on the material they are made from. Many of the distressing techniques require items you may already have in your house.

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  1. Sand down the surface of the button to remove the glossy finish.

  2. Coat the button with a black marker.

  3. Allow the marker to dry slightly, then wipe away the excess with a paper towel. The black colour should remain in the crevices, decreasing the button's sheen.

  4. Scratch the button with a pin to make the button appear aged and dull.

  5. Prepare a chemical antiquing solution according to the package directions. Antiquing solution for brass or copper can be found at a hardware or jewellery supply store. Apply the solution to the button.

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Things You'll Need

  • Buttons
  • Sandpaper
  • Black marker
  • Paper towel
  • Pin
  • Chemical antiquing solution

About the Author

Michelle Barry graduated from Salve Regina University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Since then, she has worked as a reporter for the Wilbraham-Hampden Times, an editor for Month9Books and Evolved Publishing, editor and has spent the past seven years in marketing and graphic design. She also has an extensive background in dance.

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