How to Antique Metal Paint

Metal paint can be applied to light fixtures, furniture and even wall surfaces for a shimmery, reflective look. However, some metal paint applications can appear too bright and modern. Antique metal paint by adding a variety of decorative paint treatments to surfaces. Use different faux finish techniques including glazing, sanding and sponge painting to vary the metallic surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Damp rag
  • Medium to rough grit sandpaper
  • Wire bristle brush
  • Glaze
  • Dark umber paint
  • Mini roller
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Spray bottle
  • Sea sponge
  • Painter’s rag
  • Glaze
  • Paint
  • Chip brush
  • Hammer
  • Nail

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Clean the surface to be painted to remove all dust and debris. Use a damp rag and wipe the surface clean.

Distress the surface. Sand the edges of the item using medium to rough grit sandpaper. Use a wire bristle brush to add additional scratches and indentations into the paint. Wipe the item with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris.

Glaze the surface. Mix together one part glaze and one part dark brown umber paint and stir well. Apply stain to the surface by rolling on the glaze evenly using a mini paint roller. Add denatured alcohol to a spray bottle and lightly mist the surface to create a rustic appearance. Blot the metallic paint using a sea sponge or painter’s rag to manipulate surface. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

Mix together a second coat of glaze using a different shade of brown. Alternative color combinations include rusty red or yellow ochre. Dip a chip brush into the glaze solution and then gradually wipe on various areas over the metallic paint. Add as much or as little glaze to achieve the appropriate antique look. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

Hammer nails into wooden surfaces to create the appearance of worm holes. Sand the area again to further antique and distress the metallic surface.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear latex or nitrile gloves to protect skin from paint products.
  • Paint in a well ventilated area to avoid paint fumes from accumulating.


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