Inexpensive Faux Copper and Patina Metal | Pretty Handy Girl

inexpensive faux copper metal patina

Do you love the look of copper, but the price makes your head whip the other way? Have no fear my dear! You can create inexpensive faux copper and patina for a fraction of the cost.

I was introduced to Modern Masters Metal Effects at Haven last year and the finish definitely fooled me. I honestly thought it was real copper. When I read up on the product, I realized that there are real copper particles in the paint which allows it to react and patina with the Metal Effects Green Patina Solution. (affiliate link)

Inexpensive Faux Copper and Patina Metal | Pretty Handy Girl

The uses for this paint are limitless! Discount light fixtures can be transformed into luxury copper versions with a little paint and patina spray. Paint inexpensive statues to look like real metal. Even Virgin Records and Ceasar’s Palace have used the paint and patina on exterior roof surfaces to fake the look. You may have seen the copper panel on our family organization center door. Today I want to show you how to create Inexpensive Copper Metal and Patina using Metal Effects!

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Inexpensive Faux Copper and Patina Metal | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional: Sea sponge


Cut your piece of sheet metal to size using tin snips.  Be sure to wear work gloves to avoid cutting yourself on the metal. Wipe off any dirt or grease.

Inexpensive Faux Copper and Patina Metal | Pretty Handy Girl

Coat the metal with one coat of primer. Let it dry and apply a second coat of primer.

Inexpensive Faux Copper and Patina Metal | Pretty Handy Girl

After the primer has dried, add one coat of the Metal Effects copper paint. After that dries, add a second coat.

paint metal effects copper paint

Once the copper paint is dry, you can leave it as is, or add a beautiful patina.

Adding Patina to Faux Copper:

Pour a small amount of the Green Patina aging solution in a spray bottle. (Alternatively you could use a sea sponge to dab the solution onto the copper painted item.)

Inexpensive Faux Copper and Patina Metal | Pretty Handy Girl

Put on rubber gloves and spray the patina solution onto the copper painted metal sheet.

Inexpensive Faux Copper and Patina Metal | Pretty Handy Girl

Within seconds the metal will begin to turn dark and then the green patina will form.

Inexpensive Faux Copper and Patina Metal | Pretty Handy Girl

I found it helpful to use a sea sponge to dab at some of the drips and distribute the patina solution around the metal. For a natural and random look, don’t coat the whole sheet with the patina solution.

sponge copper sheet green patina

You can paint the Metal Effects on almost anything, even other metals.

door knob holes in door metal patina

To cover the holes on the family organization door, I cut another piece of sheet metal large enough to cover both holes. I found a brass faceplate at our local Habitat ReStore.

Inexpensive Faux Copper and Patina Metal hardware hinges

I repeated the steps above until I had this beauty:

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Attaching the sheet metal to the door is simple and can be accomplished with brad nails or upholstery tacks. Hold the tacks with needle-nosed pliers and hammer them through the sheet metal.

attaching sheet metal to door

Add some magnets to create a place to display pictures or important reminders.

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

What could you transform with Modern Metals? They have other metal reactive paints as well.

Inexpensive Faux Copper and Patina Metal | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to see some more magical transformations using Metal Effects? Check out this video:

metal effects diy paint

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post or a product review. I bought the primer, paint and patina solution to try. I was not paid or compensated by Modern Masters.


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83 replies
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  1. kevin
    kevin says:

    I wanted to try this on my kitchen countertops. Not sure what material they are but it seems similiar to Formica. Would this work on that…?

  2. Saundra
    Saundra says:

    Hi!! Thanks so much for your tutorial! It was super helpful. I completed my project last night but my patina looks chalky now that it has dried. What did you do to make yours look like it does before it dries? I like the darker wet look.. thanks in advance!

    • Vava
      Vava says:

      I bought the kit after seeing your post. Used it on several metals and wood, patina shows better on non-smooth surfaces (naturally) and on wood more than on metal but even on smooth (shiny laquered) chrome type finished metal, as shiny as sink faucets, after applying the primer and several layers of copper paint it’s possible to achieve the aged copper look without scratching the original shiny coat.. I needed to paint several hooks and other accessories, particularly cheap looking shiny studs on my outdoor planters to match them to real copper gutters, and they all look authentic and chic. Thanks for this tutorial, it really helped me discover this new interesting product. They even send a spray nozzle to put onto the patina liquid. The whole process was fun and easy. Next is to try metal cutting / tin snips, I’ve always been intimidated by cutting metal but seems it could also be fun!
      Oh one more thing: I sealed the final product with a spray sealant since I’m using the painted items outdoors.

  3. Erica Jo
    Erica Jo says:

    I saw one of your items on Pinterest and went to the link and read and saw your video
    and can’t wait to go to the store and buy the products. I already know my 1st test product and then a wall. I am so excited!! Thank you!

  4. Thomas Johnsey
    Thomas Johnsey says:

    Where can I obtain the copper patina materials? Is it available in Northern Texas at a store outlet or Home Depot, etc.?

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Thomas, I haven’t seen it at Home Depot. The best way to get it is to order online. There are links to the products in the materials list above. You could also call the company and ask for local retailers.

  5. Monica Hanson
    Monica Hanson says:

    I have a black metal art piece that looks like a arched church window. Can I use these two products without using the sheet metal. Can I apply the products directly to the black metal?

  6. Victoria Johnson
    Victoria Johnson says:

    I would love to try this on a metal gazebo by the pond. Right now it is painted a blah tan. Wish me luck!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] to play with. I love the idea of adding this in small touches. I’ll definitely be trying it using Pretty Handy Girl’s easy DIY tutorial for recreating this finish using paint, or The Gathered Home’s tutorial for an […]

  2. […] Pretty Handy Girl shares a faux paint technique for an oxidizing copper look on metal items of all kinds. […]

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