FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT SOPHISTICATED FINISHES
makes Sophisticated Finishes Metallic Surfacers different from
Even though our Metallic Surfacers look and apply
just like any water-based acrylic paint, they are very different in that they
contain real metal not pigment or the mica flakes commonly used in other
"metallic paints". Rather, they are an ingenious blend of finely ground
metal flakes (copper, bronze, iron, steel, aluminum) in an acrylic binder that
creates the look and durability of a true metal surface. Once coated with our Iron
Metallic Surfacer for example a magnet will stick to the "painted"
surface. They are all suitable for both interior and exterior use. The Iron,
Copper, Bronze and Gold Metallic Surfacers are reactive. That is they can be
oxidized with one of Antiquing Solutions to develop a rust or patina finish.
What kind of surfaces can I use Sophisticated
Finishes Metallic Surfacers on?
Metallic Surfacers can be
applied to virtually any paintable surface, including wood, masonry, plaster, metal,
cloth, canvas, paper, plastic, glass, etc. If you can paint it, you can
successfully apply a Metallic Surfacer to it. As with any "painting"
project proper surface preparation is 80% of having a successful outcome so make
sure the surface is clean, dry and free of grease, oil or loose material from
previous paint applications. Some surfaces such as aluminum or galvanized metal may
require special surface preparation or primers specifically formulated for these
Do I have to prime the
Metallic Surfaces have excellent adhesion and
priming is not necessary in many cases if the surface is in good condition and
presents no unusual adhesion challenges. Highly absorbent surfaces such as concrete
or plaster, if primed will absorb less of the Metallic Surfacer, but technically do
not need to be primed. Surfaces such as glass or plastic that are very slippery
should always be primed. Some surfaces such as aluminum or galvanized metal may
require special surface preparation or primers specifically formulated for these
materials. If you are planning to use one of our Antiquing Solutions on a Metallic
Surfacer that is being applied to Iron or Steel the surface must be primed with a
high quality rust inhibiting primer first. The Antiquing Solutions can work their
way down through the Metallic Surfacer and reach the iron or steel and produce rust
that will erupt through the surface. If using a solvent base primer allow 24 to 48
hours of cure time before coating with the Metallic
I applied the Patina Antiquing Solution to
real copper, brass or bronze and the surface turned black or brown not green. Or it
turns green but flakes off in large pieces. What is wrong?
The Antiquing Solutions work by oxidizing the zinc that is found in these
metals and is formulated for the percentage of zinc content in our Metallic
Surfacers. In solid copper, brass or bronze surfaces the zinc content varies
greatly and in some cases the Antiquing Solution "burns" the surface brown
rather then slowly oxidizing into the desired green or blue patina. The solution to
this problem is to re-clean the surface and apply a diluted version of the Antiquing
Solution. You may have to dilute the solution by as much as 50% to 75% to find the
correct strength. In some cases substituting our Rust Antiquing Solution proves to
be a more reliable approach.
I applied the Patina
Antiquing Solution to real copper, brass or bronze and no color change at all took
The Patina Antiquing Solution is a mild acid that
triggers and speeds up the natural oxidation of the metal. This process requires
the metal to be clean and free of all protective coatings, grease, grime,
fingerprints or any other substance that will prevent the acid from entering the
pours of the metal and triggering the oxidation. When no color change after the
Antiquing Solution has been applied takes place the surface needs to be cleaned or a
protective coating removed. For general grease and grime you may use any commercial
metal cleaner or a mild solution of TSP gently applied with 0000 steel wool or a
Scotch Brite Pad. If some type of lacquer finish has been applied you may have to
use a paint remover or solvent to remove the finish. Some copper and brass objects
have a baked on permanent type finish that cannot be removed. If the Patina
Antiquing Solution is coming in contact with the metal it is virtually impossible
for no chemical reaction to occur so when no change at all takes place cleaning or
removing what ever is preventing the interaction between the solution and the metal
surface should solve the problem.
I applied the
Patina Antiquing Solution to one of the copper, gold or bronze Metallic Surfacers
and no change in color took place.
In order for the Patina
Antiquing Solutions to oxidize the metal in Metallic Surfacers the final coat of
Metallic Surfacer must still be slightly wet to the touch. Once fully dry the
acrylic binder seals off the metal flakes and the Patina Antiquing Solution will
have little to no effect. Typically you have from 10 to 20 minutes of open time to
apply the Patina Antiquing Solution but this will vary with temperature and how
absorbent the surface is. On large project you should work in small segments or
apply the Patina Antiquing Solution as you paint. A simple way to paint and antique
large surfaces is to apply the Metallic Surfacer with one hand and the Patina
Antiquing Solution with the other as you move along the project.
I applied the Rust Antiquing Solution
to the Iron Metallic Surfacers and no change in color took
Unlike the Patina Solutions the Rust Antiquing
Solution is applied to the Iron Metallic Surfacer after the surface has dried,
typically 8 to 10 hours. Apply the Rust Antiquing Solution to the still wet Iron
Metallic Surfacers usually results in no color change and letting the Iron Metallic
Surfacer "cure" beyond the recommended 8 to 10 hours also usually results
in no color change. The other most frequent reason for no color change is that not
enough of the Iron Metallic Surfacer was applied. We suggest at least two thick
coats and that the liquid be fully stirred to ensure that the chunks of iron a fully
integrated into the paint.
I applied the Rust
Antiquing Solution to a real iron or steel surface and no change in color took
The metal surface must be clean and free of
all dirt, grime, protective coatings and in the case of iron any mill scale. Wrought
iron in particular usually has been painted and the Rust Antiquing Solution will not
work on a surface with any sort of paint or sealer on it. The Rust Antiquing
Solution is a mild acid that triggers the oxidation of the iron into rust and
provided that it properly comes in contact with iron or steel will always trigger
some type of color change.
How do I
get the patina just the right shade of green?
that develops is the result of a very organic process. The color is influenced by a
wide range of environmental conditions including; temperature, humidity and air
quality. The color is also influenced by the amount of solution being applied and
the method of application. Spraying or misting the solution on for example seems to
slightly alter the ph of the acid and can impact the color. The source and age of
the metal also influences the patina color. In short, it is virtually impossible to
predictably obtain or consistently obtain any specific shade of patina. When
consistent color is wanted we recommend you treat all parts of the project in the
same manner and time frame as possible.
How do I
get the rust finish just the right shade of brown when applying it to the Iron
The typical rust finish that develops
following our standard instructions is usually a light to dark brown. Sometimes a
yellow or orange type look will result. The rust finish that develops is the result
of a very organic process. The color is influenced by a wide range of environmental
conditions including; temperature, humidity and air quality. The color is also
influenced by the amount of Iron Metallic Surfacer and the amount of Rust Antiquing
Solution applied and the method of application. Spraying or misting the solution on
for example seems to slightly alter the ph of the acid and can impact the color. In
short, it is virtually impossible to predictably obtain or consistently obtain any
specific shade of rust. When consistent color is wanted we recommend you treat all
parts of the project in the same manner and time frame as possible. What in general
we find is that if you apply the Rust Antiquing Solution to the Iron Metallic
Surfacer sooner then the suggest 8 to 10 hours after applying the Iron Metallic
Surfacer the more likely you be to get the yellow or orange color. We suggest you
make a test board with multiple small test areas of the Iron Metallic Surfacers and
apply the Rust Antiquing Solution at timed intervals to see if you can find a dry
time that produces the color you desire.
Do I have
to seal the Metallic Surfacer and/or Patina and Rust finish?
The Metallic Surfacers are totally weatherproof and exterior grade and do not
have to be sealed. We suggest sealing if the finished surface is going to be
subjected to frequent handling or contact or if extreme weather conditions are going
to present. The Patina and Rust Finishes are also weather proof but you will
experience rain run-off from them that can stain surrounding surfaces. You can seal
the Patina finishes with our Clear Sealer or any high quality acrylic or
solvent-based sealer (do not seal with a urethane or polyurethane sealer). You will
see some modest change in appearance and testing the final look is always
recommended. Sealing a rust finish will more dramatically alter the natural look of
the finish and can change the appearance in what most feel is a very negative way.
All sealers will impact the look of a rust finish to some extent but a very fine
automotive grade solvent-based sealer seems to work the best. With both the Patina
and Rust finishes you are trying to seal what is by definition an unstable and
difficult surface. The most effective sealer solution we have found for those the
most durable and stain-preventing sealer is to apply a two-part epoxy sealer. These
are quite expensive and will change the appearance even more dramatically but are
most effective at overcoming the problem of trying to adhere a sealer to the loose
and powdery surface.
Can I mix the
Metallic Surfacers together?
Yes all of the Metallic
Surfacers are compatible and can be mixed together. In fact, any high quality
acrylic paint can be mixed with the Metallic Surfacers. Mixing the paints can alter
the reactive nature of the coatings and change the color and patina finish that
develops when an Antiquing Solution is applied. A favorite look is to apply a thick
coat of Iron Metallic Surfacer and "scrunch" other Metallic Surfacers such
as Copper or Bronze into the iron surface. When you then apply one of the Antiquing
Solutions the Iron will rust and the Copper or Bronze will turn green or blue
creating a multi-color look.
Are the Antiquing
Solutions and Patina finishes hazardous?
Solutions are a mild acid and can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. In general
they are considered consumer friendly and carry no special restrictions and require
no special safety precautions other then the normal effort to keep the liquid out of
the eyes and to avoid prolonged skin exposure. We do suggest that if you are
spraying the Antiquing Solutions that you wear a mask to avoid breathing the
vapors. The Patina that forms from the result of this process also contains salts
and materials that you do not want to breathe or come in contact with food. Rain
run off in particular can lead to contamination of fish- ponds if a treated statute
or object is placed near a pond or fountain. Any patina finish used on a kitchen
surface should be sealed.