Achieving A Bronze Finish

While gold and silver are perennially in demand when it comes to creating interiors bronze has been rapidly growing in popularity as a metallic finish. Bronze has it’s own quiet refinement and is tastefully understated, bringing a warm metallic glow to a room without the brashness of other metals. Bronze has been prized since antiquity for it’s colour, for it’s tactile feel, it’s corrosion resistance and it’s hard-wearing nature – unfortunately it’s that same hard-wearing nature that makes it impractical for manufacturers to beat bronze leaves. So while you can’t gild with bronze we have several ways of creating bronze effects on surfaces for those interested in incorporating this trendy finish into their own projects.

One solution is to use variegated metal leaf; this leaf has been chemically- and heat-treated in order to create a patina on the surface.  Colours 260 and 280 may technically be brass but the patina expressed on the surface is highly reminiscent of the reddish-brown of bronze for the No. 260 and No. 280 has the dark, almost black, colour bronze can develop over time. Variegated Leaf is applied in just the same way as regular leaf (demonstrated here in our basic guide to gilding), for size we recommend acrylic size as oil size may react with the leaf and tarnish it. If left unsealed the leaf will naturally tarnish and change colours over time, some customers may prefer this as it can give rise to some interesting effects but if you want to keep your finish just how you like it we recommend sealing it with a good sealer such as Universal Lacquer.

Unsurprisingly given the popular nature of the bronze finish several paint manufacturers have come together to create easy to apply, authentic faux-bronze finishes. Some of these paints are water-based and some are solvent-based, some are suitable only for indoors and some only for outdoors but with our wide variety of stocked paints you’re sure to find something perfect for your individual needs.

The Ardenbrite Metallic Paint system is a comprehensive solvent-based system for applying a metallic effect finish to practically any surface, interior or exterior. It consists of a QD Basecoat, the Ardenbrite Metallic Paint and finally the Ardenbrite Protective Glaze and is ideal for the redecoration of houses, hotels, restaurants and pubs – several bridges in London have also been painted with it!

The Ardenbrite Metallic Paint system currently has two bronze colours – Bronze No. 27 which is a warm reddish-brown bronze, much like a new penny and an aged bronze colour, fittingly enough called Old Penny Bronze No. 35.

Liquid Metal Acrylics is a water-based paint that’s also suitable for a wide range of applications, both interior and exterior. While not a comprehensive system like the Ardenbrite it is compatible with any acrylic-comptaible primer and sealer such as the Polyvine Decorators Varnish and the Zinsser Primer. Being water-based it’s easy to apply, low-odour and can be cleaned up using water. Liquid Metals comes in a comprehensive range of metallic shades that include two bronze colours – Bronze and an aged effect Blackened Bronze. The Regency and Autumn Gold, while not bronze, do have rich bronze effects to them. All the colours in the range are freely intermixable, so you can mix the perfect shade for your project.

Modern Masters Reactive Paint is a comprehensive paint system that’s suitable for interior and exterior use and creates fantastic and authentic finishes on any properly primed surface. This product is perhaps the most interesting of all the bronze paints that we do; the paint itself contains actual metallic particles that in tandem with the special patina Activators can create authentic patinas of wear and corrosion in hours rather than years! It does even have to be used with the Patina either, if left unsealed these paints will tarnish naturally over time giving life to surfaces finished with them.

While the range only has the one Bronze colour the endless range of effects that you can create with it using the patina activator means one is more than enough! The reactive paint range is a complete system consisting of primer, paint, patina activator and sealer that are used together in concert to create the perfect finish to your own specifications.