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Aged bronze patina paint for antique brass chandeliers

27 de October de 2021
pintura bronce envejecido - bronze patina paint

Towards a vintage decor. Step by step

From an aged bronze patina paint that we will do with acrylics, today we will see the process of modernization of this brass chandelier rococo style. The idea is to kill the gold giving it an aged bronze finish.
For this I had the help of my mother, a professional restorer.

Materials to decorate the brass ceiling chandelier

  • Tubes of acrylic paints. In this particular case we did not even use brand name paints like Vallejo. We used some acrylic paints of the brand Crelando of Lidl that some relative gave me sometime and that I had around dead of laugh.
  • Brush or Paletilla
  • Medium or small bristle paint brush
  • Shellac varnish or matte varnish for acrylics.

Step 1: Cleaning the brass lamp

The first thing we did was to clean the aged brass ceiling lamp with a damp cotton cloth. It is important that there are no chinks of dust in any corner of the lamp. They are also usually cleaned with Coca-Cola, but since we were going to paint it anyway, we didn’t think it was necessary.

Second step: Aged bronze patina paint turquoise

To get the aged bronze patina paint tone, we used blue, white and a little yellow. The color is up to each one’s taste, but for me it was important that it is neither too blue nor too dark. For this it is enough to look for photos of aged bronze sculptures and copy the color exactly.

Once we have the color, we mix it with a little water so that the bronze patina paint circulates better and enters the corners. In this case, it may seem that it will be done quickly but the brass hanging lamp had many corners; that is why we use the smaller brush for the corners and the Paletilla brush for the general areas.

Painting aged bronze is fantastic if your intention is to get rid of these old golds and give the lamp a more modern look, reminiscent of retro but timeless decor.

I must also tell you that this patina of aged bronze paint will also serve you well if you apply it on other surfaces that are not metal. For example on wood, although in that case you may have to first apply a sealer to cover the pores and you will have to add in the color scheme some metal tones like silver or bronze to really look like bronze.

In this case, as the lamp was already metallic and I wanted to make it less metallic, I have not added any silver.

Third step: Shine

pintura bronce envejecido para restaurar lámpara de latón

Once we gave the patina, with a dry cotton cloth we rub the different projections of the lamp to finish giving the aged bronze effect. As here the original gilded colors come out again, it is absurd in this case to use metallic colors for the patina of aged bronze paint. As I say, if you decorate a wood or resin sculpture, these tones would be suitable.

Fourth step: Rust effect for the aged bronze painting

pintura bronce envejecido

Once the patina has been given, we can decide what style the bronze is. We can add a few spots of orange paint as an imitation of rust, or for example we can make our turquoise paint whiter and drip a few drops of these whiter tones. All of these can be options for aged bronze effects. Sample photos

Fifth step: Varnishing

In this case, what we did was first varnish it with shellac. And it is true that with this decision, being the shellac yellowish, it highlighted the gold a little bit. In the end I gave it again with the turquoise patina to lower the gold and varnished it with a matte water-based varnish for acrylics. In the following photos you can see for yourself the difference in the final effect of the aged bronze paint to see which one you like best.

If you want to try how to make shellac varnish yourself, this article will show you how to prepare it.

Final result after restoration of the chandelier

However, as I liked the lamp better in its bluer version and with the gold more hidden, I redid the patina and recovered practically one of the first steps of this process, with the gold more hidden and without even rubbing to bring out the glitter. I also definitely removed the lampshades because I thought it was lighter and more modern this way. The result of the lamp as it is now is this:

pintura bronce envejecido

Maybe now I went too far with the total absence of gold, but I like how it looks. Now seeing it in the photo it occurs to me that I will look for some candle bulbs made entirely of glass, and I will paint the support with a tone more similar to the wax of the candles.

If you liked this article, you might be interested to see how I made a vintage Edison led bulb rope globe chandelier.
Although I have another chandelier pendant lamp I got that I might like better than this one still, the following are some of the metal chandeliers that have caught my eye lately:

If you liked this article about the fantastic effects of bronze patina paint, I’m sure you’ll like to see how I made this rope lamp.