Paint Technique: Aged Copper Instructions

Paint wood or even laminate cabinets in an aged copper finish for a rich look. Follow these step-by-step instructions.

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220-grit sandpaper
tack cloth or rag
latex primer
latex paint (semi-gloss) (deep brown)
paintbrushes and rollers
glaze (dark brown)
acrylic craft paint (antique copper)
fine steel wool
paper plate
satin water-based polyurethane


1. Remove all the drawers and doors from the cabinets. Etch the surfaces lightly with sandpaper and remove the dust with a tack cloth or damp rag.
2. Prime all the surfaces. Use a roller to get the product on quickly, and then use a paintbrush to immediately lay the film off smoothly. Let dry. Sand all the surfaces again and remove the dust as above.
3. The aged copper look is a three-step process. The first step is to paint the surfaces as above with two coats of semi-gloss, allowing it to dry between layers. Let dry completely.
4. For more depth, lightly brush glaze over the paint so some of the color still shows through. Let the glaze dry overnight.
5. Put some copper paint on a paper plate. Dip the steel wool into it and dab off the excess. Lightly apply the copper with the grain of the wood. Create tiny lines and highlights in corners and along the edges. Let dry.
6. Whether the cabinets are wood or laminate, apply a couple coats of polyurethane for protection, allowing it to dry completely between layers. Once completely dry, return the drawers and doors to their original positions.

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