Thursday, 5 March 2015

Fauxing a Verdigris Patina

Hi everyone, sorry for the hiatus, but alas, I was busy holidaying in Cuba with jam-packed days of cocktails, buffets and hours of quality tennis time - and I do mean quality - our resort had fabulous tennis courts that kept me entertained (and frustrated) for hours everyday.  It defies logic, but I actually ended the two week holiday playing worse  tennis than I started.  How does that work exactly?  Mr. Chuckles improved immensely; and was destroying me by the end of the holiday, where at the beginning we were pretty evenly matched.  Who knows, I blame my sore ankles. Restricted my movement you see.

Im not sure how things are faring in other areas of the globe, but here in my parts the availability of quality used furniture seems to have dried up.  There is a serious drought.  I remember years ago I could walk into any second hand store and spot at least one piece I would work on, these days, I frequently do the rounds to 8 different stores and still come up empty handed.  Craigslist and Kijiji have also gone cold.  Its pretty frustrating.  Im hoping when our deep freeze comes to an end that things pick up a bit.

But I have had a few things to keep me busy in the two weeks since I have been back home.  This mirror came with a dresser I picked up a while back.  It is certainly  nothing special, just a large and average wood mirror.  I thought about tossing it, but when I happened across some inspiration while trolling though the internet I realized it was the perfect piece to try a new technique out.

What happens when you mix copper, bronze or brass with the natural elements? The result is called a verdigris patina (vert-de-gris in French), a layer of oxidation that forms over the metal to form a protective barrier. This patina varies in color from a green to a blue green / turquoise color. Left to age naturally, it will often take many years, but this natural patina results in a richer, deeper and more durable color.

Well, I certainly didn't have years to wait for a patina to form, and I also didn't feel like doling out $50+ for the science kit my local paint store was trying to flog to 'achieve the look', so instead I put on my white lab coat and got to mixing up some of my own potions.

The result?  pretty interesting and not too unlike an actual verdigris patina.  I haven't got any rustic or agey looking walls in my house, but I could completely envision this piece perched on exactly that kind of wall - old, peeling, weathered, rusty.  The mirror would look very at home there.


  1. Things have dried up because everyone and their brother have jumped on the, " Oh lets grab a paint brush and paint furniture to sell" bandwagon! At least around these parts! I love how you did the mirror. It really looks like metal. how did you accomplish that??

  2. Just a suggestion on where to find furniture as we have the same problem here. Talk to your local real estate agent and ask them to keep an eye open for you for older people who are downsizing or moving to seniors homes or who are deceased. The family is usually happy to sell some of the furniture. I'm a realtor and just got two great MCM chest of drawers the other day for a super price (stuff in our second hand shops is crazy expensive when you can find it). Good luck!