• What kind of surfaces can I use Sophisticated Finishes on?
    Our products can be used on virtually any paintable surface, including wood, plaster, ceramic, cloth, paper, metal, concrete, plastic, glass, etc. If you can paint it, you can use Sophisticated Finishes.
  • Can your products be used outdoors?
    All Sophisticated Finishes products are designed for both indoor and outdoor applications. You may elect to seal your patina/rust finishes or not. If you don't, the finish will further develop over time with exposure to the elements.
  • Do I have to prime the surface?
    We recommend that you prime your surfaces as it ensures the best possible adhesion for our products. It's especially important to prime porous and highly glossy surfaces. Sophisticated Finishes produces two primers, Primer & Clear Sealer and Rustable Metal Primer. If you are surfacing a rustable metal (unless you are using Rust Antiquing Solution directly on the raw metal), you should prime your surface with Rustable Metal Primer. For most other surfaces, including raw wood, ceramic, glass, concrete, plaster, cloth or paper, we recommend our Primer & Clear Sealer.
  • Do I have to seal the antiqued surface?
    Sealing changes the look of the Patina or Rust finish. It decreases the spectrum of colors, tends to darken the finish and changes the texture. You may want to seal if your object will come in contact with skin or clothing, such as on furniture, to prevent flaking. Also, as with natural rusts and patinas, there may be staining of surfaces that receive water run off from the surfaces. Your decision should depend on how your object will be used and what sort of look you are trying to achieve. If you decide to seal, we recommend using Primo Primer & Clear Sealer.
  • Is Sophisticated Finishes Primer & Clear Sealer waterproof?
    Our Primer & Clear Sealer is water-resistant and suitable for most outdoor applications. But, if you want to use our products on a fountain, birdbath or other submerged surface, you will also need to use Sophisticated Finishes Waterproof Sealer, designed specifically for these types of applications.
  • What makes Sophisticated Finishes Metallic Surfacers different from paint?
    Even though our Metallic Surfacers apply just like any water-based paint, they are very different. Metallic Surfacers are an ingenious blend of finely ground genuine metal particles in an acrylic sealing compound that create the look and durability of a true metal surface. They are durable enough for use outdoors, yet supple enough for use on cloth and canvas.
  • The Metallic Surfacer looks milky-white. Is it going to change color?
    Unlike our Antiquing Solutions, the Metallic Surfacers look the same in the bottle as they will when applied. If they look clear or milky, SHAKE OR STIR WELL, to endure proper distribution of the metallic particles. Since the metallic particles are the heaviest component of the paint, they tend to fall to the bottom of the bottle. If the product is over a year old, the metallic particles may have solidified in the bottom of the bottle. Use a pencil or similarly shaped object to break it up and shake the bottle again.
  • I’ve applied the Patina Antiquing Solution and nothing has happened! Why?
    The most common mistake is to let the last coat of Metallic Surfacer fully dry before applying the Antiquing Solution. The patina finish is achieved by applying Patina Green or Patina Blue over one of our reactive Metallic Surfacers while the metallic is still slightly wet or tacky. Try a test spot in an inconspicuous area to test the drying time (somewhere between 3 to 12 minutes)

    The trick to controlling the shade of patina when using our Antiquing Solutions with reactive Metallic Surfacers is timing. The longer you let the last coat of Metallic Surfacer (except Iron) dry, the less of a patina reaction you will get. Try several test spots in an inconspicuous area with different drying times of the Metallic Surfacer to see how the patina varies.
  • Why won’t the patina to stick on solid copper? It flakes off!
    The most common reason for a patina not to stick to solid copper, brass or bronze is that there is something between the raw metal and the patina, such as tarnish, dirt, grease or lacquer. Use Sophisticated Finishes Metal Cleaning Solution to remove tarnish, old lacquer, dirt and grease. For especially thick lacquers, use a lacquer remover. We also recommend that the surface be scuffed or buffed with steel wool, an emery cloth or sandpaper for optimal adhesion.
  • How do I get the patina just the right shade of green?
    A patina surface contains a wide spectrum of green, but also often has a crystalline, dusty white sheen and hints of browns, reds, blues and yellows. As in nature, no two results are exactly the same and will vary with conditions and technique.
  • The Antiquing Solution doesn't look like I expected. What's it supposed to look like?
    The Antiquing Solutions are a transparent bluish color. They will oxidize certain genuine metals (such as copper, brass, bronze and iron) and the metals in our reactive Metallic Surfacers.
  • How do I get a dark brown rust finish?
    When using Sophisticated Finishes Iron Metallic Surfacer and Rust Antiquing Solution, you can control the look of the rust. The longer you let the final coat of Iron Metallic Surfacer dry, the darker the rust color will be, approximately 30 minutes for a light orange red rust, 12-24 hours for a deep red brown rust.

    If you are using Rust Antiquing Solution directly on a rustable metal, you cannot control the color of the rust. It just reacts naturally to the metal. You can darken (or deepen) the rust somewhat by adding additional coats.
  • I’ve applied the Rust Antiquing Solution to real metal and nothings happened. Why?
    It could be one of two things: There may be something between the raw metal and the solution, such as tarnish, dirt, grease or lacquer. Use Sophisticated Finishes Metal Cleaning Solution to remove tarnish, old lacquer, dirt and grease. For especially thick lacquers, use a lacquer remover. You can scuff the surface with steel wool, an emery cloth or sandpaper for optimal effect. Also, be sure that the metal is iron based and rustable.
  • What are the Tinting Solutions for?
    Burgundy Tint and Black Tint are formulated for achieving highlights and multicolor effects over patina finishes or metallic finishes. You can apply tints to a patina before or after the patina is dry, depending on the effect you wish to achieve. Applying tints to a fully dried surface will result in a more saturated tint. Applying tint to a still developing or wet surface will dilute the tint. Excess tint may be removed by blotting with a dry rag. A more complex look can be achieved by using both Black Tint and Burgundy Tint.
  • How do I create the look of tarnished metal?
    You can create the look of tarnished metal using any of our Metallic Surfacers with Black Tinting Solution. Apply a Metallic Surfacer and while the final coat is still slightly damp, apply a small amount of Black Tint. You can darken the effect with additional light applications. Best results are achieved on a surface with texture. Try dabbing it on to the surface with a paper towel to achieve a tarnished look.
  • How much do I need to cover a certain area?
    Here is the approximate coverage for an application of two coats, but it may vary depending on the surface texture.

16 ounce

32 sq. ft.

8 ounce

15 sq.ft.

4 ounce

8 sq.ft.

2 ounce

3 sq.ft.

1 ounce

2 sq.ft.

  • Can I use a sprayer to apply them?
    All Sophisticated Finishes may be sprayed. You must spray in a well-ventilated area, and must wear a respirator, protective eyewear and gloves.

    Antiquing Solutions can be machine sprayed. Solutions are corrosive so you must thoroughly clean the spray gun equipment with water directly after each use. A plastic pump spray bottle is also very effective for spraying Antiquing Solutions.

    Metallic Surfacers require using widest spray tip available. An airless sprayer is recommended, as it atomizes paint without air. This allows a wetter, more condensed film of Metallic Surfacer to be applied. An air-compressed sprayer can be used, but extra care must be taken. Compressed air sprayer atomizes paint with air and this can cause the Metallic Surfacer to dry more rapidly, which can affect application. The equipment is also more susceptible to blockages, especially when using Iron Metallic Surfacer. Thoroughly clean spray gun equipment with water directly after each use.
  • How do I clean up after using your products?
    All Sophisticated Finishes products are water-based, so they easily clean up with water.
  • Where can I buy Sophisticated Finishes?
    Sophisticated Finishes are available at Michael’s stores across the US, in 4 ounce bottles. They can also be purchased in larger sizes on our online store. Please refer to Locate a Dealer for more information.