Making a Faux Copper Feature Wall

7 Materials
2 Days

My bedroom badly needed a makeover and I wanted a feature wall for my bedroom that "popped" but also imparted a feeling of warmth. I chose a warm copper feel using a Dulux Copper paint finish.

This is what I started with - a horrible, maroon coloured feature wall that isn't my colour at all. (Excuse the ladder, I forgot to start taking photos from the beginning)

After preparing the wall by washing it and filling any dings and holes in the plaster, I put two coats of Dulux "Sea Creature" satin finish over the wall.

Next, I rolled a glaze over it in a lighter green/blue "Spartacus". I then whacked it with the suede side of an old sheep skin car seat I had lying around ready to toss out. I liked this look, and my husband thought I was done, but I was only half way there.

I made a 1:2 glaze of Dulux Copper Effect paint and painted the wall with a narrow roller in random strokes. The light really picked up the copper tones, but it looked raw.

Next, I lightly sprayed the Copper patina from a spray bottle in random sprays and thought I was done. The next day, the patina was working, turning the copper into a chalky blue but it looked horrible: there were runs down the wall every where.

So I got a wet cloth and rubbed off all the patina, which lifted some copper off and softened the effect. It also had the added bonus of leaving the copper with some depth, as it took quite a bit off, leaving random amounts of copper finish behind.

Now what. After several false starts and much wiping off, I made a 1:2 glaze again with the copper, and coated the entire wall evenly. Much better! But the edges looked motheaten and unfinished, and it was difficult to get a hard edge.

So my last step was to paint a teal border around the entire wall to "frame" the copper effect. I used a paint edger to get the straight lines and it took me about 15 minutes. Much better! This is what it looks like in the day time.

This is the wall at night time. The copper has a depth that warms the room. I love my new feature wall! (That diagonal line is a lighting effect from the uncovered light bulb)

This is the opposite wall: we are building cupboards against this wall so it is framed by the cupboards. For this wall, I followed the same process, but left the patina because it didn't run so badly, and didn't put the last coat of copper glaze over it. I like the different looks and can't be happier.

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Sue Findlay

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Gail Teel
    Gail Teel
    on Nov 18, 2018

    It turned out gorgeous but wouldn't wall paper have been quicker or easier? I've seen this in books. Again, great job and it's really well done.

    • Sandra Hankins Cormier
      Sandra Hankins Cormier
      on Nov 21, 2018

      Wallpaper would not look the same or hold up as well. This has character. Wallpaper is just wallpaper.

      Depends if you want a dramatic effect or just a different wall.

  • Judy Lynette Mayes
    Judy Lynette Mayes
    on Nov 19, 2018

    That was certainly a LOT of work but you stuck with it. I am curious; what do the other two walls look like?

    • Sue Findlay
      Sue Findlay
      on Nov 22, 2018

      I used a flat chalky paint in a porridge colour as contrast. I’ll post a picture when I’m finished but it lightens the room and looks fabulous.

  • Denise Shardlow
    Denise Shardlow
    on Nov 21, 2018

    I love this. I think I may have found what I what to do in my master bedroom on our built in cabinet drawers and on the opposite wall where our bed is, and the extended side wall in the Master bedroom entrance. I like the dark border so I'll probably cover the edges with painters tape after the initial two coats of the darker teal dry.

    My questions:

    1) You "rolled a glaze over it in a lighter green/blue"

    Did you dilute the paint and if so what with?

    2) You "made a 1:2 glaze of Dulux Copper Effect paint"

    Was the ratio 1 parts glaze and 2 parts paint or reverse?

    3) Also what kind of glaze did you use since you did not list a glaze in the resources

    4) To repeat what someone else asked earlier: what color(s) did you paint the other walls.

    My plan is to test it out on a smaller surface before I start an entire wall, but I truly love this look.

    I was planing to re-do our Master when things slow down for me in January and had had several ideas, but none spoke to me like this.

    I can't wait to do this!!!

    thank you!

    • Sue Findlay
      Sue Findlay
      on Nov 22, 2018

      Thank you for your kind comments!

      I used a paint edger - the pad with rollers - to do the border, and so I managed to get a straight edge. I've never had success with painters tape: I always seem to get some paint bleeding under the tape.

      I diluted the paint with plain water-it worked a treat. The point of the glaze is it imparts colour but you can see through it so the ratio was 1 part paint and 2 parts water. I mixed it up in an old soft drink bottle.

      With the copper, the metal sunk to the bottom of the roller tray so I made sure I picked it up with the roller each time. This helped me get different thicknesses to give the illusion of depth.

      The other two walls are contrast walls-a light warm porridge colour in a very flat paint-no sheen to take away from the copper sheen.

      Good luck with your project: please let us know how you go!

Join the conversation

2 of 85 comments
  • Rocker chick
    Rocker chick
    on Dec 8, 2018

    That wall is gorgeous! I’ve experimented with various paints but haven’t graduated to such a large scale or interior paints. I’m also a lover of rubbed oil bronze with copper. I also love the deep teal color you used. It makes the copper pop! I’m not sure I could do the same on my textured walls but yours looks great!

  • Carolina
    on Nov 17, 2020

    I loved how it turned out. It's warm and cozy but elegant at the same time. Lot of work but nice work.

    I also made a copper/patina look for our cabin's backsplash. The copper paint is oil-based over hardi board so that is water proof.

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