Why learning to create copper finishes is so important.

Jan 16, 2022 | Artistic Finishes, DIY Furniture, Painting Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

When you start out as a decorative artist, there are a few fundamental finishes you must have in your arsenal.  Learning to create a copper finish is one of them.  I believe it is so important, I made it one of the finishes I teach in my “Certified Home Decor Artist Training Course“.

Copper is such a versatile finish that can be found across many decor styles.  Old world, boho, modern farmhouse, traditional to name a few.  Since copper is a “natural” element, it will stand the test of time.

I’ve been creating copper finishes since I started in the biz over 20 years ago.  I’ve tweaked the colors a bit over the years to fit the latest design trends copper was used in, but it’s still here and thriving. One of the main reasons, faux copper is still a thing is because it’s so expensive to use the real thing!  Yeah…have you priced out real copper range hoods lately?  It’s crazy!

Not to mention, copper can be replicated at that very specific stage where it has just the right amount of original finish and patina.  When purchasing the real thing, you always have a little “you get what you get”.   The idea of being able to create the perfect copper for a specific space is golden!

Copper artistic finishes can be created using an oxidized method where basically you apply a metallic paint that has real copper in the paint.  Let dry and then apply a patina solution in various methods to age the copper.  This way has become very popular in the last couple years.  Mostly due to the products being more available.  The oxidized method is probably my least favorite of all the copper finishes.  Mainly because you don’t have a lot of control over it.  Because your basically speeding up the natural process, you still have some of that “you get what you get” going on.

Oxidized copper finish

Copper can also be created by applying a copper metallic paint and then apply various colors of glazes overtop to create the perfect patina you desire. This is one of the easiest applications you can do.  It works great on ceilings and walls.  Although I’ve did this application hundreds of times, through the years, it’s necessary to do a lot more finessing when adding the glazes to get just the right look.

Copper finish with banding


The last application and my favorite is using copper foil.  Copper foil has such a realistic look.  Foil also comes in various copper color variations and even some that have been already patina.  The application is very easy once learned.   I love using foil and then creating a unique look by glazing overtop to create the most amazing finish imaginable!

natural copper foiled finish and aged copper foiled finish

Each application method has their own unique differences and positives.   When it comes down to it, I always use the best products and the best application to create the best finish for my clients space.  Copper artistic finishes can be applied to surfaces such as range hoods, ceilings, accent walls, backsplashes, counter tops and even floors.  The sky is the limit with this versatile finish!

I hope you enjoyed learning more about copper finishes!  If you are interested in learning how to create a copper artistic finishes for yourself, along with other on trend decorative artistic finishes, my new  “Decor Artist Club”  launches in February!