Create a patin with our own hands on metal and wood

Adding a patina to metal and wood can turn commonplace items into gorgeous, antique pieces. Patina gives a sense of history and individuality while adding depth and character. When working with garden features, furniture, or decorative items, a well-applied patina can increase their value and appeal.

Beautiful patinas can be achieved without costly materials or specialized knowledge. A few simple tools and a little perseverance will allow you to produce eye-catching effects at home. Applying natural or chemical solutions to the surface causes the material to react, forming a colored layer. This layer, also known as patina, can make bold, artistic statements or subdued, aged appearances.

When working with metal, like iron or copper, different solutions can result in different textures and colors. For example, copper can acquire a greenish-blue patina from a vinegar and salt mixture that looks like old statues and roofs. Salt and hydrogen peroxide can be used to give iron a rust-like finish that gives it a tough, industrial vibe.

The method is a little different, but no less inventive, for wood. Steel wool combined with vinegar can create a grey, weathered look that is ideal for rustic interiors. As an alternative, the natural grain can be enhanced with tea and vinegar to give it a richer, more pronounced texture. Every technique produces a different outcome, enabling you to tailor your projects to your own aesthetic.

One satisfying way to add personality to your decor is to experiment with patinas. The materials are typically easily found in your local hardware store or kitchen, and the techniques are simple. Your next masterpiece is waiting for you, so grab a rag and dive into the world of patina creation!

Features of the patination technique

At first, the term "patina" was limited to a darkened patina on copper products; as time went on, the oxide film on the metal gave it an "aged" appearance. Later, the term started to be used to describe the antique appearance of various materials, including gypsum, wood, iron, and bronze. Houses, cottages, and even city apartments have recently been awarded to those who are "under the old man." Particularly fashionable is furniture made of artificially aged wood with "antique" fittings.

Contemporary technologies facilitate the obedience of any materials. Although home use of industrial techniques is challenging, there are a variety of patinizing compounds available that enable you to age materials more easily. By using specific coatings, they assist in simulating a natural change in the color of products. When wood or other material is patinated, the typical colors are substituted with specific compounds that don’t alter the internal structure.

Waxing the product’s edges, corners, and embossed protrusions is the most basic way to age it. As a result, the surface exhibits a "age" effect that makes it perfect for retrostyle room décor. Such a coating serves a practical purpose as well; it provides water-repellent qualities and shields the foundation from outside influences. If the outcome is not to your liking, home patina can always be removed without doing much damage to the product.

Tools and materials

If repainting the product is in the cards, get ready with all the supplies needed beforehand, including paint with an aged effect (incorporating elements of bronze, silver, and gilding) and regular LKM. Depending on the patination option you have selected, you can use mastic, shellac, wax, or stain in place of paint.

Additional steps in the process that could be necessary are:

  • brushes of different sizes;
  • roller (for large surfaces);
  • sandpaper;
  • primer;
  • Furniture varnish or metal;
  • a rag to remove excess paint;
  • cotton and foam tampons.

When the paint’s effect seems insufficient, some masters also purchase metal powder, which is typically used to artificially age metal fittings. Additionally, pre-made sets such as "Patina Verde Green," "Patina Gold," and "Idea Patina" are available for patining and antique restoration. The majority of the products in the sets work with gypsum, metal, and wood among other materials.

One satisfying way to give your projects personality and an old-world charm is to manually apply a patina to wood and metal. This tutorial will teach you how to use easy-to-find materials and methods to create gorgeous, aged finishes. Whether you want to add a worn-in appearance to wooden surfaces or give metal a rustic, weathered appearance, our detailed instructions will show you how to turn commonplace items into distinctive, classic pieces. You can learn the art of patina and add a little bit of history to your home decor with a little perseverance and imagination.

Varieties of patina, compositions and consistency

Patinaing can be used to give the surfaces a variety of effects depending on the idea:

  • fragmented aging;
  • full coating;
  • craquelure.

The following are the workers for patina, based on consistency:

  • Thick – resemble a paste that is used when processing a tree for staining in yellowish or reddish shades close to gold;
  • liquid – made on water or polymer -based water, give the product a radiance, ennoble its appearance;
  • Facela varnishes – allow you to create an aged surface due to the formation of a network of cracks.

Compounds are used on different foundations for different purposes, such as the degree of adhesion with the base and the resistance of the finished coating, when processing wood, metal, or other materials. The most widely used ones are shellac, bitumen, acrylic paint, wax, and stains.


The most popular method of artificially aging a wooden surface is to use mori compositions. This is because it is the simplest method. The stain enhances wood goods, giving them a refined appearance and helping to "make" more expensive materials out of less expensive ones. The methods employed by this group help to improve the moisture-repellent qualities of wood and shield it from rotting and fungal and mold growth.

Preliminary breaking, or removing soft wood fibers with a firm brush while leaving hard longitudinal fibers in place, is usually required for products to wrinkle. In order to guarantee a more noticeable patina effect, bracing is necessary. The products are frequently coated with wax or shelf primer after they have wrinkled. Dark woody hues restrict the range of flowers that can be stained with this stain; gilding, silvering, or other metal tones cannot be applied.


Wax protectors with a water base are frequently applied as a last coat. They are made ready by joining metal dust and natural wax. There are trains without color for sale, and then there’s a stunning mother-of-pearl shine.

The following are the characteristics of the wax patina:

  • helps simultaneously emphasize the structure of the tree and tint it;
  • It is easy to apply, slowly dries, conveniently rubbed, so you can work with it in a mode comfortable for the master;
  • It is most often used for small areas, ideal for oak, ash;
  • It has different shades – silver, brass, bronze, gold, iridescent tones;
  • Beautifully selects threads, patterns, drawings, is suitable for embossed and textured plates, cracks in the Krakelyur technique;
  • It has high adhesion to the tree, plastic, which is covered with MDF;
  • applied with a rag or sponge, polished and dries during the day.


Acrylic patina is a composition that works well with metal, gypsum, and wood. Despite having a water base, this material can be used to create coatings that are extremely persistent and have excellent surface adhesion. Following application, the resulting film shields the material from deterioration and microbial and fungal growth.

The technology of acrylic patination is so basic that even a novice can handle it. Acrylic patina can be applied to individual protruding elements or to the entire surface. You can mix and match compositions of various shades to give the base its original appearance. To create a special effect and intricate color ornamentation, it is also possible to apply different patina tones in multiple layers. There is a wide variety of acrylic shades available, including both metal and classical tones. This kind of patination works well with varnishing, decoupage, and traditional staining when needed.


The structure of this building material contributes to the tree’s unique type by creating facets, relief protrusions, and recesses. Bitumen is applied to wood, excess is removed with a solvent, and the product’s dark color results from the composition that is absorbed, giving the impression of antiquity.

Bitumen patina, which is not regarded as a finish material, is created using white spirit, turpentine, and concrete polymer. The patinated surfaces need to be covered with shellac to solidify the effect after drying; otherwise, the result won’t last very long.


Both metal and wood can benefit from oil patina. It highlights the pattern on wooden surfaces and does not cover up the material’s natural shade. The oil’s characteristics are similar to those of a wax patina in that it dries slowly and is easily applied. These substances dissolve the paper, so they are not suitable for use in the decoupage process.


The tone of this material is naturally yellowish or brown red, but it will get darker the more layers it has. It functions as an intermediate or finish coating and can be used alone or in conjunction with decoupage. You use a brush or sponge to work with shellac.

DIY woody patina

Patination is an easy process that can be done at home. For work, it is preferable to use MDF or chipboard or rocks from a high density tree that are resistant to changes in humidity.

Preparatory stage

The solid wood fibers must first be boldly exposed to patina, tinting, and varnishing. Accelerated natural aging of the tree is replicated by the method. The hard fibers are eliminated from the surface by processing it with a metal brush or coarse-grained sandpaper. After that, the base is cleaned using a degreasing solution. The tree isn’t brave under acrylic paints or for a demonstration; it’s just been cleared of all pollutants. Sandpaper needs to be used to remove any varnish or other coating that may already be present on the surface.

Unlike wood, the homogeneous structure of MDF and DSP plates gives them features in their preparation. Although the surface can be carefully treated with fine sandpaper to give scuffle, the best technology is the best technology:

  • applying a barrier-thorough to enhance adhesion of the upper layer of the plate to the patin;
  • after drying – the imposition of a polyurethane primer, which will become the basis for the patina;
  • grinding the created coating with sandpaper for the reproduction of the wood structure;
  • actually patining.

Patina application with a stain

Morking is perfect for classic-style furniture. The products’ original color will turn into a darker shade. The following is the work order:

  1. Apply a water -based stain to the facades, covering the details entirely. You can choose any color – nut, red tree, oak, beech or other.
  2. Get part of the composition with a soft sponge in such a way as to give the effect of aging (mainly from medium zones). Kaimu, thread, milling elements, cracks must be left more dark.
  3. Let the composition dry, then apply the second layer of a stain of a similar shade, but not on water, but on an alcohol basis.
  4. As the product dries, perform a shellac layer. If you need to strengthen the vintage look, you can additionally erase the antique wax.

Classical way

The foundation of traditional patination is bitumen, oil, acrylic, and wax. Selecting a suitable tone for the material is essential; options include wood, metal, or ordinary. The technology is similar to elementary painting. The base is first covered with a layer of patina material, and any excess is then carefully shared or removed. Shellac is used in this instance to apply the second layer.

Additionally, conventional technology may suggest the following actions:

  • apply a dark shade patina;
  • Give the product a little dry, make another layer of material in a lighter tone to emphasize dark pores;
  • Instead of a light tone, you can take a gold or silver, if we are talking about furniture in a classic style;
  • As it dries, polish the base with a small sandpaper to create the effect of scuffing;
  • consolidate the result by shellac or acrylic varnish, choosing a matte composition.

Technique Krakelyur

Using this method, you can "draw" a network of cracks on the product’s surface, enhancing the decorative effect. A unique varnish that can crack after drying is used for Krakelura, and the package bears the same mark. This is how the process will work:

  • the surface is treated with a primer, the brush and sandpaper are not used;
  • apply a varnish for craquelure, selecting the composition desired in color (if it is transparent, you can apply acrylic paint with the first layer, and then varnish);
  • perform a very thin layer of water -based matte paint, acting carefully so as not to spoil the texture.

If needed, bitumen mastic can be used to darken the cracks; however, this should only be done once the coating has dried completely, which should take one to two days. The product will appear aged upon breaking the film. Applying a shellac layer is acceptable to correct the outcome.

Artificial scuffs

This technique works well with MDF and wood, and it complements the decoupage method nicely:

  • paint for patining a dark tone stain the surface of the product;
  • After drying the edge, carved elements are covered with a layer of paraffin;
  • Apply on the subject the second layer of the patina of a lighter shade or tone "metallic";
  • Grinding the surface with sandpaper;
  • Cover the product with a stain or wax, or transparent matte varnish.

Material Steps to Create Patina
Metal 1. Clean the surface with a metal cleaner. 2. Mix vinegar, salt, and water in a spray bottle. 3. Spray the mixture evenly on the metal. 4. Let it sit for 24 hours to develop a patina. 5. Rinse with water and let it dry.
Wood 1. Sand the wood to remove any old finish. 2. Apply a mixture of vinegar and steel wool. 3. Let it sit for a few hours to react. 4. Rinse with water and let it dry completely. 5. Apply a coat of clear wax or oil to seal the patina.

Applying a patina to wood and metal is a satisfying process that gives your projects a distinctive personality and classic appeal. With this hands-on approach, you can create unique finishes that evoke a sense of history and craftsmanship and can turn ordinary surfaces into works of art. Through the use of easily accessible materials and basic techniques, you can create a multitude of effects that showcase your individual flair and inventiveness.

The secret to a good patina, whether you’re working with wood or metal, is to learn about the material and try out various methods. Applying ammonia, vinegar, and salt to metal can produce stunning oxidized finishes with hues ranging from deep green to subtle blue. Conversely, wood can age gracefully by highlighting its inherent grain and texture through techniques like painting, distressing, and staining.

The element of surprise is one of the most rewarding aspects of developing a patina. As the patina interacts with the surface, each project takes on a personality of its own that produces distinctive and occasionally surprising outcomes. A more controlled approach might not have allowed you to discover new textures and finishes, but embracing this unpredictability is part of the creative process.

As you delve deeper into the world of patinas, keep in mind that patience and practice are key. With every try, you’ll learn more about the tools and methods, honing your abilities and cultivating a greater understanding of the patination art. Whether you are an experienced artist or just starting out, adding depth and beauty to your metal and wood projects with patinas is a rewarding and pleasurable experience.

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Alice Chernyshev

Artist with 15 years of experience, color solutions specialist in interior design. I am in love with the world of colors from childhood, I am happy to share my knowledge and experience.

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