My son Jack recently acquired his FIFTH fish tank, and they all live in his bedroom. The most recent one is the largest, and he asked for a cabinet with rusty looking paint to put it on. I found this beautiful solid old piece on FB Marketplace.
It’s a TV cabinet from when TV’s were actually built into a piece of furniture. The guts are removed, so the inside isn’t much to look at. But the outside is cool, right?
Our concept was to paint the insets as if you’re looking through a window to the sea. And to put some rusty patina goodness around the bottom, like an anchor.
If you want to see a live demonstration of this technique, you can check out the video here.
Here are the supplies I used.
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- Old TV cabinet (thrifted)
- White Lightning
- Midnight Sky
- Stormy Seas
- Patina Paints – Iron, Bronze, Copper
- Patina Spray – Blue, Green
- Clear Coat in Satin
If you want tons of information on Dixie Belle paint and products, you can check out this Comprehensive Guide post, and you can download it free here by clicking the picture:
Midnight Sky & Stormy Seas
First, I cleaned the piece well with White Lightning, rinsed with clear water and let it dry. Using a large round synthetic brush, I painted the raised areas with Midnight Sky. It’s a very dark blue-black color.
Then I painted the insets with Stormy Seas, a blue-gray color. Using a clean neutral brush, I blended the wet paints together to create a cloudy look.
I originally thought I would paint a second coat of both colors, but I decided I liked the wood peeking through so I stopped at one coat.
I did the same blend on the sides and top as well.
Rusty Looking Paint Patina
When the base colors were dry, it was time for the first coat of the patina paints. There are three colors – iron, bronze and copper – and I couldn’t decide between them. So I used them all!
My advice with these paints is to make sure you shake them really well before use. They have very tiny particles of actual metal in them, and you want those evenly incorporated in the paint. Also, don’t use your good brushes.
Let the first coat of patina paints dry, and then paint a second coat over roughly the same areas as the first coat.
There are two activation sprays – blue and green. Iron with green spray creates the orange-y rust. Either spray with Bronze and Copper create the blue-green tones you see.
Sidenote: In the picture above, you might recognize the dresser I painted for Jack’s room as well. You can check out that blog post here. His barn door closet is stained with Voodoo Gel Stains in Black Magic, Tobacco Road and Up in Smoke. Yes, I think his bedroom might be the coolest in the house!
Back to the activation sprays, you spray these on the second coat of patina paint while it’s still wet. They will start reacting right away, but it can take 24 hours or more to get the final look.
I sealed the whole piece with Clear Coat Satin, my favorite sheen by far. If you liked this rusty looking paint post, you may enjoy these as well:
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