Thursday, January 21, 2010

anTiQuE HarDWarE

Salvage Style is here to stay, and if you’re into that look, you’ll appreciate this technique that will enable you to add that beautiful aged look in an instant to any of your shiny, newer looking metal hardware or accessories. Our brother-in-law who builds homes in Colorado shared this trick with us several years ago when someone there was trying to get just the right look for some rod iron accents for one of the homes he was building. We have since played around with it on several occasions and find that it works beautifully to give that darkened, distressed, aged look to metals.
It starts with these gun maintenance products from a sporting goods store. The three I find myself using the most are the Super Blue, the Aluminum Black and the Plum Brown Finish.

They're of course, not the ‘friendliest’ products in the world in the eco/non-toxic sense, but they are a useful product when used carefully and mindfully to repurpose what you have and keep you from consuming even more, while at the same time giving you the look you desire. (There are some more 'natural' means of patinas we're exploring and we will certainly share anything that appears comparable as another alternative)
The different products give slightly different patinas and you’ll want to use each one as directed on the package. The processes are quick and simple, and the results, instantaneous. (The plum brown finish does require some heating of the metal in the process)
Scuff up your metal hardware piece with some steel wool or fine grit sandpaper.
Clean off with denatured alcohol.
Apply your super blue or aluminum black using a flux brush or sponge dauber.
Let sit for a minute.
Rinse with cool water and dry.
Finish it off with a sealer.
I like using a clear wax....and shellac works great as well.
The different metals you’re working with will also yield different results.

Experiment and you too can easily make the new look old in minutes.


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