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Color Washing

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  • Color Washing

    Okay... So I've made a garden memorial in the shape of a German Shepherd that will allow my wife and I to engrave the names/dates of our GSD's onto it. That said, we'd like to color wash it and then clear coat it, so that it withstands the test of time.

    I've confirmed the technique that I would like to use is color washing, however, I don't know how to go about doing it ... So anyone on here know how the process is done?


  • #2


    • #3
      Thanks overkill... I'm not certain that the process for walls is the same as the process for metal. Here is a link to some wall art that has a color wash


      • #4
        The problem becomes a case of who is really describing what. There are no laws for people to use real words or term or should I say misuse them. The link to the tree wall hanging if you read it it says that it is a powered coating. which would eliminate any kind of painting or patina coatings. Other then the use of transparent or semi- transparent colors over a base coat color and the covered by clear!
        Years of sign painting, decorative painting, stage/set painting and props. I can say there is no magic paint for your project or clear coating that will last more than a couple of years or about half of what the manufactures can will say.
        Mother nature and your local air quality are harsh mistresses. And real don't give a **** what the can says.

        You can do a real good job on the prepping of the piece and do a good job of applying the coating, waiting for it to dry the correct time between coats and then clear with a high grade clear.

        You may want to check out sculptnouveau hot metal applied rainbow patina

        The color wash process is a layered paint process that will achieve a look like washed out blue jeans. fade spotty looking, thick and thin look as described if you google color wash. you should be able to hit any big box store and check out one of their hand outs or any of the books they sell.

        Simplest form is base coat color over laid by another color glazes and work out across the area you are covering.

        If you just want the same style of look as the tree wall hanging, Pick a metallic rattle can base coat, that will give good depth of color to the colors you want to use as a top coat. pick transparent or semi- transparent colors, rattle can or bottles paint the items. Make sure the humidity isn't high and follow the drying times the maximum time between re-coatings, then follow up with a couple coats of clear following the instructions. Again low humidity and proper drying times. Don't forget to do the edges.

        But there is no such thing as a color wash for metal, other than as advertising hype to set the products apart and sell some more.
        glen, If your not on the edge, your wasting space


        • #5
          Thanks so much for the reponse; this is exactly what I was looking for. I spent hours researching how to do the color wash technique to no avail. I think the Petina's or the rattle can action will be the way we go. The other option we looked at was to do a heat treatment for it, so the petina process is very similar to that.


          • #6
            No Photos?
            Ed Conley
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            • #7

              I've been doing musical instrument repairs to help our local schools and many of the older brass instruments have been color washed on the inside of the bells with a gold color but the remainder of the instrument is usually silver or nickle plated. This was common on early marching instruments up to the late 60's

              Being that your artform is outside and exposed to the elements, I believe it will take a bit more than a common rattle can paint to achieve the look and longevity that I assume you are looking for. I believe it will take a 2-component paint product similar to an automotive refinish with a UV inhibitor to maintain the durability.

              I have seen some custom car finish effects where the bare metals have been cleared over with tints to achieve various effects. You might want to contact DuPont Automotive Refinishes, (Specifically Hot Hues Division), or House of Kolor to inquire what they would recommend.