Look at this sweet little chest! I snagged it from a friend that was wanting to clean out her stash of unfinished projects. The most amazing thing about this piece is that it’s actually a mini bar. Yep, the top opens and out pops up a bar set up. Cool, huh? I’m thinking maybe a little copper leaf? I’ve always wanted to try it on furniture.
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Copper Leaf, Not just for Faux Finishes
Here are the products that I used to create this finish.
- Dixie Belle Paint Products Mermaid Tail & Bunker Hill Blue
- Spray bottle
- Minwax Polycrylic in a satin finish
- Purdy Cub 2 inch brush
- Paint scraper
- Metallic leaf
- Master Clear for Metallic Finishes
I always prep and clean a piece before any makeover. Sanding is a must, just to remove a bit of the surface. I didn’t get really aggressive when I sanded this piece. Just enough to lightly rough up the surface for the paint to adhere. Usually, I would use a primer before painting, but for this project, I want the wood to be exposed on the lower part of the chest.
I painted over everything!
Yes, I know, that’s sacrilegious. Who paints over hardware? Normally I don’t, but with this project, it worked!
The paint I used for this project is from the Dixie Belle Product line. I applied one coat of Mermaid Tail. This paint has great coverage!
Then I overlapped the Mermaid Tail with the Bunker Hill Blue.
Creating an Artistic Finish
With my paint scraper, I drug both colors (spraying with water to keep the paint movable) together to create an artistic look. I worked quickly as I didn’t want the paint to completely dry. I went back with the Mermaid Tail and added some different brush strokes to add character.
Drippy Paint Finish
Now, here is the fun part! While the paint was still wet, I used my paint scraper to add even more texture. I used the beveled edge of the scraper to drag it across the paint and create vertical and horizontal lines. So fun!
I almost forgot to tell you… this is the messy part. You want to make sure that you have something under the furniture to catch all the paint water runoff. I used a trash bag. I took my spray bottle and misted the areas that I wanted to blend and went to town. The results will blow you away!
Sealing Your Artistic Paint Finish
The next step is a bit unusual as I usually don’t use this product over chalky based paints. It tends to cause a discolored yellow aged look. But for this project, that’s just what I wanted. I painted the whole surface to seal the paint. The finish was aged and beautiful. Just the right amount of yellow hues in the corners. You must seal your paint before the next step. Sealing your paint is crucial when you apply metallic copper leaf to any project. It will not adhere to a porous surface. I don’t recommend wax.
Let’s apply the copper leaf!
After applying the topcoat sealer to the whole piece, I allowed it to dry overnight. Then with a small brush, I applied the glue in a thin layer where I wanted to put the copper leaf. I worked in small areas. After applying the glue, I gave it a few minutes to become tacky before applying the copper leaf. The glue was milky consistency and even looked white when I applied it to the furniture. If you apply the copper leaf before the glue gets tacky, it will not adhere properly. Trust me! I learned the hard way.
Don’t Get In A Hurry
If you miss a spot, you can always go back and patch it. I used a super smooth cloth to rub the whole surface down after the application to make sure the copper leaf came in direct contact with the glue. Cheesecloth works well for this, but any soft lint-free cloth will do. If you notice a bit of glue on the cheesecloth, throw it out and get a clean one. The glue will scratch the surface of the copper leaf. Go slow and don’t get in a rush.
After applying the copper leaf in all the right places, I sealed it with MasterClear. This product has been specially formulated for metallic finishes. You can use other products, but this one allows the metallic shine to show through the best. It’s worth the money in my opinion. Be sure you don’t miss this step. You must seal the copper leaf to keep it from oxidizing and discoloring after the application. After all that work, you’ll want to keep that look for a long time.
The results are stunning!
The number 6 is dear to my heart. Well, until the 7th Grandchild comes along.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope this inspires you to try something a little different on your projects. It’s a great way to add expression and character to an old piece. A real conversation starter. I love the metallic finishes and if you liked this makeover, you might like this one too. GOLD LEAF MAKEOVER.
Until the next project… xo, Do