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Picture of Creating a Weathered Bronze Faux Finish

For the last few years, I’ve tried to make the Christmas gifts I give to family and friends. As a self-proclaimed maker, I somehow see it as my duty, as a maker, to “make” stuff. What better venue to ply my trade than Christmas gifts!

This year I wanted a special gift for a family member who collects Santa Clauses. I had recently tried my hand at faux finishing by making a Cthulhu statue (of H. P. Lovecraft fame) for my son. The piece turned out so well I decided to replicate the process for ole’ St. Nick.

Below is a process I’ve created that is inexpensive, easy to do and most importantly very realistic, at least in my humble opinion. Being an engineer and not an artist, I looked at the situation a little more pragmatically. I realized my limitations (remember, not an artist…) and relied on my skills – research and technology, and the engineering motto, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid).

I combined standard off the shelf faux finish products to keep it simple with regular paints to take the finish to the next level and make it more believable.

Step 1: What to faux?

For me this was simple. I had a specific, small object that realistically could be created as a bronze or metal statue. Picking what to faux is just as important as how you faux. To create a realistic faux finish, the object created should conceivably have been made with the chosen material you’re trying to replicate with the faux finish. For example, while a coffee cup could be cast in bronze, you’re much more likely to make it from ceramics, so a weathered bronze coffee cup isn’t quite a believable as a weathered bronze figurine.

Cross_6 months ago
Perfect finish - I never would have guessed those statues were printed.
As much as I like rub'n'buff I am always frustrated by how much it smells and that it never really "dries". Typically I apply a clear coat to deal with that but that impacts the look.
captchemo (author)  Cross_6 months ago
I've never noticed the smell!....I was wondering if I should clear coat the pieces. I haven't noticed them changing and I don't handle them that much for the finish to be removed. May have to try it just to see what it does, thanks!
stevefah6 months ago
Very realistic! Excellent how-to; I may try this one myself!
JoeB1007 months ago
A well-done tutorial will definitely be trying it on some of my wood carvings
tercero7 months ago
Weird. I was going to give this a try today, and decided to print it out to follow the steps. But. I got this from instructables

{"error": "Sorry, we couldn't find that one!"}

Um, broken link?
DorothyG157 months ago
Nice try. My only criticism is the faux finish of bluish green is found more on copper than bronze. Otherwise, the piece is beautiful.
tercero7 months ago
Very neat
seamster7 months ago
Excellent results! I really like this, thank you for sharing the process : )