As promised, I finally got the Faux Tarnished Brass tutorial together.
Its a great way to take shiny, new brass and make it look old and weathered.
When doing this technique, your object needs to be clean, and as close to that tacky, yellow brass from the 80's as possible. I've done this with wood before with good results. You just need to prep the piece with a glossy, bright gold paint.
These box corners that I put on my hope chest were originally the same gold color. With these, I wanted a really grungy look. I used the same technique, but just went a little more heavy handed with the paint.
The first step is to paint the entire piece with black chalk-based paint. Does it have to be chalk-based?
Why? A couple reasons. First, it sticks to just about anything. The polished brass is very slick. Regular, latex paint will slide right off. Also, you need to be able to wet distress it. Which is the next step.
*I've never tried homemade chalk-based paint with this technique, so I'm not sure if it would work. In my experience, the homemade stuff, while nice, just doesn't distress the same. I would recommend buying a sample pot of the store bought kind.
Once the black paint is dry, use a damp rag to rub the piece, removing a large portion of the paint. Try to keep it in the area that would normally collect junk in "real life".
After that, it's time to start layering colors. Start with the bronze/brass paint on the left, and work your way right.
DON'T WORRY! I know it's a lot of cans but its easy!
Place all your pieces close together on a piece of paper, scrap wood, etc. Hold the can approximately 24" away, and lightly start to spritz the paint. Build color slowly. The idea is to create a blended, translucent finish, not to "spray paint". When in doubt, start further away and spray very lightly.
Its actually very easy. I promise. First, spray the bronze. Let dry 30 mins. Then the flat black. Let dry 30 mins. Then the clear gloss. Let dry 30 mins. Finally, mist the flat clear over everything.
The clear gloss step is the only exception to the "spritzing" rule. Spray that stuff on fairly thick. That is what's going to protect your piece.
Once it's totally dry, you should have something that looks like this.
What do you think? Do you have something you're dying to tarnish? Please let me know if you have any questions.