Oil Rubbed Bronze Vase Makeover

3 Materials
2 Hours

If you saw this at a flea market or yard sale would you pass on by it because it looks so dated? It didnt have any chips or cracks but yet it wouldn't steal your attention enough to give it a second thought? Well you should have bought it!!

For just a few dollars and a few hours of your time it could be totally transformed, let me show you how. First, you'll need a small crock of chalkboard paint and a bottle of craft paint in a metallic copper finish. You'll also need a paint brush and some old rags.

I made sure the vase was dusted, cleaned and dry before I started to paint it, as you'd do with all used items. To prevent drips and enable me to paint near the bottom easier I used a block of wood to elevate it and a food tray cover to protect my work area.

So basically its set up almost on a turn table because I can turn the vase around as I work since the wood block twists easily on the plastic cover. Here it is with the black chalk paint applied, one coat was almost sufficient except for a few areas where the pattern grooves were deep.

The paint dries very quickly but I allowed for 24 hours before I went on to the next step of applying the metallic paint.

For this step I found I needed to work quickly because I wanted to wipe most of the paint off before it dried on to the surface. I worked in patches, using circular motions to ensure that the paint got into the grooves.

Next, I wiped that patch area with the damp cloths to remove most of the metallic paint, no need to scrub! This allowed me to still have both colors visible, the top one doesn't block out the base coat because you remove a lot of it.

Above photo shows how it looked when the metallic paint was applied over top, while the bottom shows how it looks after it was wiped. The copper-bronze metallic highlights the pattern beautifully.

Once this was dry I gave the entire vase a protective coat of Min-wax furniture paste and buffed it to a silky smooth finish by hand. The lint free rags I had cut up were perfect for this, t-shirts are perfect!

*NOTE: You could also use a spray varnish to seal your finished look, I used this product because I already had used it for other projects. The min wax does have an oil scent to it so in the future I think I will stick with water based varnish.

It went from a tired, dated, green look to a rich, antique, bronze finish, here's how it looks now!

I had some reeds and twigs here already in other vases so I chose a grouping that tied in nicely with the vase finish. Here's how it all came together.

Here's the before and after side by side to show you the dramatic transformation. It now looks like a million bucks, well maybe at least a hundred! I was super pleased with the outcome and for minimal effort and cost.

As a side note I realized the copper metallic I bought seemed too pink for my taste so I added a few drops of bronze metallic paint as seen below. That was my personal preference that I thought I'd share with you. Another note is all of these paints are water clean up, no fumes and fast drying.

Maybe I've inspired you to give those dull, dated items at the thrift store a second look and a much needed makeover. Experiment, try new products because after all thrifted items cost less. Youll get to explore your creative side and possibly transform an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan! Most of all have fun during the process!

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  • Teresa Anderson-Briney Teresa Anderson-Briney on Mar 12, 2018

    I have two "lamps" that I inherited that are made of some type of metal..looks like bronze. They came from India and look like they were vases to begin with, then converted to lamps. Any suggestions ?? What can I do with them??

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