Easy Steps To Create A Patina Finish on Metal

Today I’m sharing some tips on how to do a faux finish that creates patina on metal. While there are several ways to recreate a patina finish this is a fun, creative and simple method. And this method is created using a line of patina paints and sprays.

And if you would like to learn more about all that Dixie Belle Paint Products have to offer read more in this post – How To Use Dixie Belle Paint.

create fun patina finish on metal frame

What is Patina?

Have you ever seen an old metal object with a green, brown or blue film on it? That film or crust is patina, and it occurs when metal ages over time.

When I think of Patina I picture an old farm tractor abandoned in a field or a boat anchor left lying on a shoreline for years. I

t takes many years in nature for patina to occur, but I am going to show you how you can achieve this patina on metal finish in just a few hours. And a bonus, is that it is so easy!

My Other Patina Blog Posts

Patina On Metal Using the Dixie Belle Patina Paint Collection

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The Patina Paint Collection by Dixie Belle Paint Company makes getting this unique finish on metal pieces so super easy! And did I mention fun to create? With these products you can patina almost anything – plastic, laminate, glass, wood, metal and more! Truly Amazing!

It took me some time to decide if I liked the patina look, but now I think it is a really cool, industrial, aged look that coordinates so well with all types of home décor styles.

A patina finish goes great with rustic farmhouse, coastal, and modern décor, all of which are popular right now. But then, who cares what is popular? It’s the style of décor you love that matters!

And for an easy to use reference on Quick Steps To A Patina Finish get my printable reference:

It is so fun to Add Patina Finish On Metal

In this post, I am going to focus on using the patina paint on metal. Only one extra step is needed to use this paint on your metal pieces (when compared to non-metal)!

So cool to turn outdoor metal planters, lamps, old metal milk cans and more into cool patina décor. The possibilities are really endless and again it really is so stinking easy! Why not give it a try?

To try out the Dixie Belle Patina Paint on metal I purchased a few super cheap items from Goodwill and used a few things I had around the house.

These included a metal sun-ray shape framed mirror, an old brass lamp base, a copper bowl, a copper and glass bowl, and a large photo frame with a patterned metal inlay in the center.

how to create patina on metal lamp using patina paint
how to use patina paint on metal bowl
how to use patina paint on metal copper bowl
how to use patina paint on metal picture frame

There are 5 Steps in the Patina Paint On Metal Process using Dixie Belle Patina Products.

The Patina process is a bit messy so I recommend laying down and old sheet, cardboard box, plastic, or some papers to protect your surface. The product instructions recommend adequate ventilation when using Prime Start and the Patina Spray. Always follow safety precautions and use personal protection like goggles and a respiratory when recommended.

Step 1: Clean your piece

I use Dixie Belle White Lightening to clean my pieces but if you don’t have that on hand you can use a Dawn dish soap and water or use water mixed with a little dish liquid. Follow with a quick rinse of plain water to get rid of any cleaner residue.

Step 2: Apply the Prime Start to the metal areas

I recommend using an old chip brush that you won’t worry about ruining. Two coats of Prime Start are recommended. Apply the first coat and wait 24 hours before you apply the second coat.

Then after the second coat is dry you can move on. I was tempted not to wait 24 hours after applying the first coat but I managed to hold out!

How to get patina on metal
I decided to only do the Patina on select areas of the lamp
How To Get Patina On Metal
Patina Finish on Metal: Copper Bowel

Step 3: Apply two coats of your Dixie Belle Patina Paint

This paint comes in copper, bronze, and iron. I used copper paint on all these pieces.

Shake the paint container really well because the paint contains metal flakes which tend to sink to bottom. Apply the first coat and let it dry completely. Then you apply the second coat.

Next comes the fun part! Well, it’s all fun, but I mean the most fun part is coming up! Get ready for the next step because you do it while the second coat of Patina Paint is wet.

How to use Patina on Metal

Step 4: While the second coat is wet, apply the Dixie Belle Patina Spray

This spray comes in either green or blue. I only had green on hand. You can apply the spray using the spray nozzle attachment or apply it with a sponge or brush for a more controlled application.

The patina won’t form if the spray is applied after the second coat dries. So if it is drying in spots, just apply a bit more Patina Paint right before you spray.

When you first apply the spray it looks really strange, kind of scary! But give it time and it will look much different.
How to get patina on metal
how to use patina paint on metal mirror frame

Step 5: Wait a few hours and watch the “patina on metal” magic happen!

The Patina”ing” (I’m not sure that’s an actual word) will start immediately. But it will take about 2 to 6 hours for the patina to develop fully.

After your piece dries you will want to wipe it with a damp towel to remove the fine layer of “patina dust” that forms.

how to use patina on metal lamp base
See the patina dust on this frame. When you run your hand across it you’ll see a fine powdery dust. It cleans off easily with a damp towel

Do You Like This Patina Look?

Lastly, you can seal your project if you choose.

You can use any top coat, such as Dixie Belle’s Gatorhide or any of the Dixie Belle Clear Coats. They do make a Patina Guard top coat especially for patina projects but I didn’t purchase it since I had other sealers on hand.

Now admire your work and the beautiful finish on your pieces! The finished patina pieces are so unique and fun, and do you agree that this process is super easy? I encourage you to give it a try!

Use The Patina Paint with Other Products to Create Unique Finishes

There are so many ways you can incorporate the patina finish into all kinds of painting projects! You can also add other finishes to really mix it up. Try combining gilding and decor waxes and dry brushing to your patina finish! I’m looking forward to trying this on furniture!

I added copper gilding wax in a few areas to give some dimension

With copper gilding wax added for depth

Have you done any patina projects? If so, I’d love to see your projects!

And If you found this article helpful, I’d love to know about it! Leave me a comment and add your patina project pictures as I’d love to see them!

P. S. Subscribe to my list to get updates on tips and tricks for getting fun finishes with chalk paint!

If you are looking for any help with the chalk painting in general, check out my post here on Five Chalk Paint Tips for Beginner’s Success

Another post you might find helpful, is this one on how to choose the best chalk paint topcoat for your painted projects.

Get My Quick Steps To A Patina Finish

This printable one-sheet reference is available in my resource library along with other fun and helpful chalk painting and DIY tips and updates. Get access to this printable and my free resource library here by filling out the form below.


  1. Thank you for your reply and your encouragement! I certainly appreciate it! At first, I wasn’t too sure I wanted to try patina either, but once I gave it a try I really enjoyed the outcome, even though it is a bit more unpredictable than my prior projects!

  2. Can’t wait to try the DB Patina. Your instructions are perfect, easy to understand steps. Eager to read and try your other painting/finishing ideas

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