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Sophisticated Finishes


Sophisticated Finishes are easy to apply on any paintable surface- indoors or out. They clean up quickly and easily with water.

Click Below For Step-By-Step Directions on :

•   What you need to get started
•   Helpful Hints
•   How to prepare your surface for painting
•   Applying Metallic Surfacers
•   Creating a Beautiful Patina
•   Sealing with a Primer & Clear Sealer

Please click below for a sample of the Metallics & Patinas on:

  • Canvas - Unfinished, Gold w/ Patina Green & Blue, Gold
  • Foam - Unfinished, Rich Gold w/ Patina Green, Rich Gold
  • Glass - Unfinished, Blonde Bronze w/ Patina Green, Blonde Bronze
  • Metal - Unfinished, Blackened Bronze w/ Patina Blue, Blackened Bronze
  • Paper - Unfinished, Platinum w/ Patina Green, Platinum
  • Plaster - Unfinished, Copper w/ Patina Green, Copper
  • Plastic - Unfinished, Stat. Green Bronze w/ Patina Blue, Stat. Green Bronze
  • Terracotta - Unfinished, Iron w/Rust, Iron
  • Wood - Unfinished, Copper, Copper w/ Patina Green & Blue
  •   What you need to get started:
    • For most projects, we recommend a foam or otherwise inexpensive brush. The paints are naturally high leveling so they normally flatten out quite well for a smooth finish. If using a roller we suggest a very tight nap roller as thick rollers tend to grab and hold the metal flakes.

      Patina Antiquing Solutions are highly corrosive. We do not recommend using expensive brushes or equipment to apply them as they will quickly eat away most metal.

    • For larger projects, you may use a sprayer. The products are non-toxic, but we recommend you spray in a well-ventilated area wearing a respirator, protective eyewear and gloves.

      • Metallic Surfacers require the widest tip available. You may find the Iron Metallic Surfacer too chunky to successfully spray. For best results use an airless sprayer.

      • Patina Antiquing Solutions can also be machine sprayed but because of their natural corrosive properties they can quickly ruin expensive equipment and we do not recommend you use them in your sprayer. Plastic pump spray bottles are an effective way to apply the solution or small trigger spray bottles.

    • A disposable container to hold the Metallic Surfacer or the Patina Antiquing Solution during application.
      Helpful Hints
    • We strongly recommend testing before applying our finishes to any valuable object or when applying over a large surface for the first time.

    • Always pour a small amount of the Metallic Surfacer or Antiquing Solutions into a separate container and dip your brush into this container to prevent contamination. Never dip your brush directly into the product bottle. Never pour unused material back into the bottle. If the Metallic Surfacer becomes contaminated it can quickly oxidize in the bottle or can.

    • Try a variety of applicators such as brushes, rags, sponges, and sprayers to achieve desired look.

    • Apply multiple Metallic Surfacers on one object for a beautiful tonal variation.

    • Experiment with a variety of materials—plaster, cloth, paper, concrete, wood, wicker, glass—any paintable surface!

      How to Prepare your Surface for Painting
    1. 1. Determine the type of primer required to prepare the surface you’re working with for the Metallic Surfacer. Our Primer and Clear Sealer is a 100% acrylic sealer and works well on most surfaces from porous to slick. It is not, however, a rust inhibitive primer and will not prevent the appearance of rust on iron or steel surfaces. If you choose to use a solvent based primer be sure to let the primer fully cure for 24 to 48 hours as the vapors a curing solvent based primer give off will eat through the acrylic binder in our Metallic Surfacers.

      If the surface is: Such as  
      Porous Cement, Plaster, Unpainted Wood Priming suggested: Priming will reduce the consumption of the Metallic Surfacer but the paint will adhere quite well to these materials without priming.
      Glossy / Slick Plastic, Baked Enamel, Glass, PVC Priming necessary: for some high gloss surfaces special primers or roughing of the surface with sandpaper may be required.
      Non-Rustable Metal Copper, Brass, Bronze, Aluminum Priming highly suggested: and for aluminum and galvanized metal special primers may be necessary. Typically aluminum and galvanized metal require a self-etching primer to cut through the slick surface for satisfactory adhesion.
      Rustable Metal Iron, Steel If you intend to treat the Metallic Surfacer you apply to Iron or Steel with one of the Antiquing Solutions you must prime the Iron and Steel surfaces with a high quality rust inhibiting primer to prevent rust from erupting up through the paint. Pay close attention to weld joints. When using a solvent or spray can rust primer allow the primer to cure for a full 24 to 48 hours before applying the Metallic Surfacer.

    2. Thoroughly clean surface. Surfaces must be free of loose material, dirt, oil and grease.

    3. Apply appropriate primer. Allow primer coat to allow to fully dry overnight. Do not use outdoors if freezing or wet weather is expected within 48 hours.
      Applying Metallic Surfacers:
    1. Prepare surfaces following the directions above.
    2. Shake or stir product before applying to ensure metal particles are well distributed.
    3. Apply first coat. Allow to air dry. 30 to 60 minutes under typical situations.
    4. Apply additional coats as necessary to achieve desired results. (Most surfaces will require two coats for optimal results.)
    5. If you are planning to use with the Patina Antiquing Solution, read application directions below. It is important to apply the antiquing solution to the Metallic Surfacer before the final coat fully dries. (except for the Iron Metallic Surfacer)
    6. If applying outdoors, do not use if freezing or wet weather is expected within 48 hours.
    7. Clean up with water.

    Note: Certain Metallic Surfacers work best with particular Patina Antiquing Solutions. Check our Reactivity Chart for suggestions.

      Create a Beautiful Patina:

    Create a Beautiful Patina on Copper, Gold or Bronze Metallic Surfacers

    1. Check our Reactivity Chart to ensure the Metallic Surfacer will react with Patina Antiquing Solution.
    2. Apply over Metallic Surfacers when the second (or final) coat of Surfacer is still tacky, generally within 3-15 minutes of application.
    3. For a deep, colorful patina, apply a heavy first coat.
    4. For a lighter finish or if you are uncertain how much patina you want, apply a light first coat, allow to oxidize for a few hours, then apply a second coat.
    5. If overnight little or no patina has developed, then the Metallic Surfacer was too dry when the Patina Antiquing Solution was applied. To reapply, clean the surface by lightly buffing or sanding the surface clean and begin the process again by applying a new coat of metallic surfacer applying the patina solution earlier.


    • Generally apply the patina solution within 3-15 minutes of the last application of Metallic Surfacer.
    • Consider environmental factors such as surface temperature, air temperature, humidity and air circulation when deciding how much time to allow between the Metallic Surfacer and the Patina Antiquing Solution.
    • For a more dramatic and brighter patina, apply the Patina Antiquing Solution while the Metallic Surfacer is still very tacky (3-5 minutes).
    • The Patina Antiquing solutions are very forgiving. If you have more patina than desired, simply reapply 1-2 thin coats of the Metallic Surfacer to absorb and mute the patina colors. Do not put your paint brush into your main source of paint while doing this as you risk triggering the oxidation of all your paint.
    • We recommend using a clear sealer when the piece is exposed to water or comes in contact with people or clothing as the patina can flake or run off staining surrounding surfaces.
    • Blackened Bronze reacts best with Patina Blue. Create beautiful aqua blue colors by applying the Patina Blue immediately after your final wet coat of Blackened Bronze. If you try to use Patina Green on Blackened Bronze you will not get a green patina color, but instead will have a grey washed color effect.

    Create a Beautiful Patina on Genuine Copper, Gold or Bronze Metal

    1. Clean metal surface of loose debris, dirt, grease, oil, paint, lacquer or varnish. Many copper objects in particular are coated with lacquer to prevent any patina development, this can usually be removed with paint remover and/or steel wool. Some objects have a baked on clear finish that is virtually impossible to remove. If your “old” copper, brass or bronze metal is nice and shiny that is usually an indication that some sort of protective coating is on the surface.
    2. Lightly buff the metal to scuff the surface. 0000 Steel Wool dipped in a mild TSP Solution and then rinsing the surface with clean water works well for removing most dirt and grease.
    3. Test a small, discreet area before applying to entire piece.
    4. If using Patina Blue directly on copper, brass or bronze, water down the solution by 40%.
    5. Patina Green should not need to be watered down for direct use on copper, brass or bronze but if you get a brown or black patina or if the green patina that develops flakes off in large chunks try adding water to reduce the strength. You may dilute to 50% of full strength.
    6. Apply several light coats or one heavier coat.
    7. Allow the oxidation to work its magic. It can take up to 3 days for the full patina color to develop.

    Create Rust on Genuine Iron or Steel

    1. Clean surface of loose debris, dirt, grease, oil, paint, lacquer or varnish. Mill scale on iron is always a concern and must be removed.
    2. To produce deeper rust, lightly sand the metal to scuff the surface.
    3. Apply a light coat of Rust Antiquing Solution.
    4. Apply additional coats until you achieve the desired look.
      Sealing the Surface with our Primer and Clear Sealer:

    Technically there is no reason to seal a patina or rust finish. Even in outdoor use the final finish seldom washes completely off and is generally considered ‘weatherproof”. Using a sealer on a Patina or Rust finish will affect its texture and color. Still, under certain circumstances, sealing is the best way to protect your work. The Patina or Rust finish you achieve using the Antiquing Solutions is the same as that produced in nature. They may stain surfaces that receive water run off from the rain. Sealing will help prevent the finish from bleeding or flaking when it comes into contact with water, skin or clothing.

    If you decide to seal, allow the Patina or Rust finish to fully mature over 3 days before applying a coat of Sophisticated Finishes Primer and Clear Sealer or any other primer. Any high quality acrylic primer will work fine or you may use a high quality solvent-based sealer. Do not use a urethane-based sealer as the salts and acids in the patina and rust surface will cloud and eat through urethanes.

    All sealers will alter the appearance to some extent and you should always test before sealing a project. All sealers will instruct you to make sure the surface is free of all dust, dirt and loose material before sealing. A patina or rust finish by definition is a loose and unstable surface. Sealing such a surface is thus never going to be totally effective. For a more lasting and total solution you may wish to test a high quality two-part epoxy sealer. These sealers are not as dependent on having a stable surface as other sealers and have proved the most successful at totally protecting nearby surfaces from drip staining. A two-part epoxy sealer is also the longest lasting and most durable sealer for high contact applications such as door handles or kick plates.

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