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DIY Tips for Faux Painting for a Copper Plating Effect

DIY Tips for Faux Painting for a Copper Plating Effect

Copper plating was once used in European countries as wall coverings, especially in kitchens. The look of the copper plating creates a home décor reminiscent of Italy, of old world Germany. Most people cannot afford to have copper plating put on their walls as a decoration, but faux painting to create the look is something that almost everyone can afford to do.

You will need to assemble the following items: any color old latex paint that you have but the darker the color the better the final result will be, gypsum plaster, black paint, copper wall paint, some cardboard, and solvent for the black paint. You will also need to have paint brushes, sand paper, a level, a carpenter’s pencil, a perforator, a spatula, a ruler, and some clean dry cloths on hand before you start your painting project.

You will start off by painting the wall you are creating the copper effect on with latex paint. You want to use a dark color so that the final effect is better. If you happen to have some light colored paint, you can always buy some black pigment to mix into it and create a darker color. You want to wait for your paint to be completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Once the paint is completely dry you will use the level, the ruler, and the pencil to mark off sections of the wall in the sizes you want the copper “plates” to be. One foot by two foot is about the normal size that you would see the copper plating in on walls.

Once you have your plate sections clearly marked on the wall you will make a mixture of latex paint and gypsum plaster. You will have to add a little plaster to your paint at a time and stir it very well until you create a gloppy paste out of the two items. You want it to be thick enough to adhere well to the wall without making defined points. 

You use the paint brushes to apply the mixture to the wall in short random strokes so that you do not create a continuous pattern. Apply your mixture from different angles for the best effect. You will use the ruler and the spatula to scratch the ridges, or high points off of the mixture after it is applied.

When this dries use some 60 grit wall paper to help you remove the big grain impressions left during application. You only want to knock the high points off because the texture is what helps to create the look.

Perforate the edges of your sheet of cardboard in a pattern so that you can use this to create the look of rivets on the copper plate sections you drew on the wall. You hold the perforated cardboard against the wall and use a spatula to fill the holes in with the gypsum mixture. When these dry you can smooth them down to the height, you want them. Tip: do not try to make them completely uniform as this will result in a less believable finish.

When the rivets are dry paint the entire wall using the copper paint. Let the copper color dry and then apply a thin amount of black paint strategically between the rivets and randomly on the sections. Use a soft cloth and smear the black for an antiquing effect.

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