Prepare the Surface for Metallic Surfacers

All surfaces need to be clean and free of loose material, dirt, oil and grease. You may need to prime the surface (see below). Be sure to SHAKE or STIR WELL before applying.

If surface is

Such as

Use Sophisticated Finishes


cement, plaster, unpainted wood

Primer and Clear Sealer


plastic, baked enamel, glass, PVC

Primer and Clear Sealer

Non-rustable metal

copper, brass, bronze, aluminum

Primer and Clear Sealer

Rustable metal

iron, steel

Rustable Metal Primer

Brush on a coat of Primer. Allow first coat to air dry, apply second coat and let dry overnight. (Do not use outdoors if freezing or wet weather is expected within 48 hours.) Clean brush with water.

Apply Metallic Surfacer

Sophisticated Finishes Metallic Surfacers are an ingenious blend of finely ground metal particles, in an acrylic sealing compound. For best results, most applications will require at least two coats. SHAKE OR STIR WELL before applying to ensure that all metal particles are well distributed. Apply first coat and let air dry before applying second coat. Apply additional coats as desired. Clean up with water.

You now have an object with the beautiful look and durability of real metal! You may want to leave the surface as is, try layering other Metallic Surfacers, or move on to creating an authentic antique finish with one of our Antiquing or Tinting Solutions.

Certain Metallic Surfacers work best with particular Antiquing or Tinting Solutions. Check our Reactivity Chart for suggestions.

The Art of Patination

Sophisticated Finishes Antiquing Solutions are a unique blend of mild salts and oxidizing agents in a water based mix that instantly begin the oxidation process that can take years to develop in nature. They contain no hazardous chemicals.

Create an Antique Verdigris Patina on Metallic Surfacers

If you have used Copper, Gold or Bronze Metallic Surfacers, apply either Patina Green or Patina Blue Antiquing Solution to the final coat while it is still slightly tacky, generally within 3 to 10 minutes. Time can vary greatly depending on the surface temperature, air temperature, humidity and air circulation.

The patina will begin to develop in minutes. One can apply a heavier first coat, or apply a lighter first coat and allow to oxidize for a few hours, then add a second. If overnight there is little patina, the Metallic Surfacer may not have been tacky enough for the patina application. Clean the surface of the oxidation, by sanding or repriming, then begin again, applying the patina solution at an earlier time. Remember the earlier one applies the patina, the more dramatic and bright it will be. These finishes are rather forgiving too, if you decide the piece has too much patina, simply reapply 1-2 thin coats of the metallic coating and it will absorb and tone down the patina colors.

Blackened Bronze reacts only with Patina Blue. For best results of strikingly beautiful aqua blue colors, apply the Patina Blue immediately after your final wet coat of Blackened Bronze. If you try to use Patina Green on Blackened Bronze you will not get a green patina color, but instead will have a grey washed color effect.
For further information, please see OEM's Advanced Patina and Rust tips.

Produce a Patina on Genuine Copper, Brass or Bronze

Be certain that the metal surface is clean, including being free of paint, lacquer or varnish. Then scruff up the metal's surface with sandpaper. If using Patina Blue directly on copper, brass or bronze, you must water down PBL by 40%. Patina Green does not need to be watered down for direct use on copper, brass or bronze. Apply several light coats, or one heavier coat. Allow the oxidation to work its magic, oxidation can take up to 3 days. If the color you wanted develops earlier, clear coat when and as desired.

Create an Authentic Rust on Iron Metallic Surfacer

For more orange colored rust appearance allow the final coat of Iron Metallic Surfacer to dry for at least 2 hours. For more traditional red rusty colors, allow your final coat of Iron to dry for 24 hours, never longer than 36 hours. Rust results are best, when 2-3 coats of Rust Antiquing Solution are applied. Allowing at least 40 minutes in between coats. The oxidation of rust will continue to react over the next 24 hours. Rust finish does not develop well in temperatures below 55 degrees.

Rust Genuine Iron or Steel

Be certain that the metal surface is clean, including being free of paint, lacquer or varnish. Apply a light coat of Rust Antiquing Solution. Apply additional coats until the desired look is achieved. Sanding the surface first will produce more rust.

Using Tinting Solutions

Another way to add an antique look to any of our Metallic Surfacers is with our Black and Burgundy Tinting Solutions. These dye based solutions add age and depth especially well to surfaces with dimension. Apply a small amount to a slightly wet final coat of a Metallic Surfacer. They may also be used after an application of Antiquing Solution.

Sealing the Surface.

Using a sealer on a Patina or Rust finish will affect its texture and color. Still, under certain circumstances you may want to consider sealing. The Patina or Rust finish you achieve using Sophisticated Finishes is the same as that produced in nature, and as such, they may stain surfaces that receive water run off from the first rains can lead to bleeding of the patina or rusted finish. Sealing will prevent the staining. If the Patina or Rust finish will come into contact with skin or clothing, such as on furniture, you may want to seal the surface to prevent flaking.

If you decide to seal, allow the Patina or Rust finish to fully mature over 3 days before applying a coat of Sophisticated Finishes Primer and Clear Sealer. It will be milky white but will dry clear. Allow it to dry for at least 4 hours and then apply a second coat.

If the surface is to be submerged under water, such as a fountain or birdbath, follow the sealing directions above and allow 24 hours to fully dry. Then apply a first coat of Sophisticated Finishes Waterproof Sealer and let air dry for at least 4 hours. Apply a second coat of Waterproof Sealer at a 90° angle to first coat and let dry for 7 days before immersion under water.

Some Helpful Hints

We strongly recommend testing before applying our finishes to any valuable object or when applying over a large surface for the first time.
  • Never dip brush directly into product bottle to avoid contamination, always pour into another container.
  • Try a variety of applicators such as, brushes, rags, sponges, and sprayers.
  • Apply multiple Metallic Surfacers on one object for a beautiful tonal variation.
  • Experiment with a variety of materials—plaster, cloth, paper, concrete, wood, wicker, glass—any paintable surface!