5 Questions with Metal Effects

One of our most popular product lines is Metal Effects. The collection creates amazing blue and green verdigris and rust patinas – they’re so beautiful and so easy! Here at Modern Masters, we play around with the patinas weekly and also talk with creative customers around the world about the line. We wanted to share the Top 5 questions we receive and our best recommendations and suggestions!5 Questions with Metal Effects | Modern Masters Blog


Using the Metal Effects Primer | 5 Tips for Using Metal Effects | Modern Masters BlogWe recommend it. Metal Effects undergoes a true oxidation process and you want that process to stay on top of your surface – not penetrate it! The Metal Effects Primer is a unique water base, acrylic primer designed to block the Patina Aging Solutions & Rust Activator from reaching the metal or wood surface chosen as a substrate. Other primers are not recommended as they allow the Patina Aging Solutions & Activators to penetrate through to the substrate and may disrupt both the patina and the process.


5 Amazing Tips for Using Metal Effects |Modern Masters BlogThe Copper Reactive Metallic Paint and the Bronze Reactive Metallic Paint from the Metal Effects line are unique, water base paints that contain real metal particles meant to oxidize. The copper and bronze colors from our original Metallic Paint Collection are not meant to patina and will not oxidize when paired with the Patina Aging Solutions & Activators. Make sure to stay within the Metal Effects line for the best results!


5 Tips for Using Modern Masters Metal EffectsTiming is everything – and that sage advice works for Metal Effects Solutions and Activators, too! When using the Blue and Green Patina Aging Solutions, ensure you spray while the second coat of the Copper Reactive Metallic Paint or Bronze Reactive Metallic Paint is wet. For the Rust Activator, the Iron Reactive Paint needs to have two dry solid coats for best results. Please note: the second coat must be dry for one hour before activation!


5 Tips for Working with Metal Effects | Cabinet Door Patina & StencilsYou cannot control the oxidized colors too much and this is part of the beauty! As it is a natural patina finish, temperature and humidity play a part in the color development of Metal Effects patinas – just like Mother Nature.


5 Metal Effects Tips | Modern Masters BlogMany do like a deeper patina and saturate the surface with the Patina Aging Solutions. Beautiful results can occur! Do not over saturate the finish so much that you wash off the wet Reactive Metallic Paint – they are meant to work together!

We hope our sharing the five most popular Q&As we have help you with your next Metal Effects project! If you have a question about Metal Effects that is not covered, you can leave it for us in the comments! Be sure to share your projects with us by tagging us on any social site or using the #ModernMasters hashtag. Stay inspired!

To purchase Metal Effects, head to our online shop or find your local retailer via zipcode. Please call ahead to assure of stock and if not in-house, it can be ordered in for you. Have an inspired day!





















68 thoughts on “5 Questions with Metal Effects

  1. I am painting four garden pots with an iron rust effect. The first pot that I added the activator, I did not add enough. After half an hour there were still grey patches, so I decided to add another layer of activator. I now seemed to have washed off quite a bit of the first layer, the pot is now really streaky. Help. How do I sole this?

    • Hi, Melissa! We have one of two theories. We are not sure if you used the Metal Effects Primer first, but if you did not and it was a ceramic pot, the ceramic might be sucking up the materials and not allowing it to oxidize properly. The Metal Effects Primer would help prime the surface and provide a good base for the Reactive Paint. If you did use the Metal Effects Primer, we believe there might not have been enough Iron Reactive Paint on the pieces as the activator might not have had enough paint to react to. For now, we would recommend painting full coats of the Permacoat Xtreme sealer on the pots, which will stop any oxidation and then starting over from the Metallic Primer on up. If you’d rather not use the Permacoat Xtreme, you could also sand down the project very thoroughly before starting with the Metal Effects Primer again. Thank you, Melissa – let us know if we can help further.

  2. Pingback: Copper Patina Flower Pots - Modern Masters - Pinterest Addict

  3. I have been working on a project using your copper along with the green and blue patina. I have it complete and to my liking and it has cure for 3 or 4 days. I am wanting to clear coat all 3 pieces with a heavy duty 2k/2 part spray max clear coat and can’t find any info on using this clear coat on any projects. Do you know if it will have any effects on the petina or change the look etc.? If not maybe you can point me in the right direction of someone who may have used a similar clear on a project so I can get an idea of outcome.

    • Jerry, hello! For the Green and Blue Patinas, we do not recommend that they get topcoated. If you needed to, we would recommend the Permacoat Xtreme which is made specifically for Metal Effects. Here is the page with the product info: http://www.modernmasters.com/landing/homeowners/brands/me Our suggestion would be to create a sample board with the patina and test out the Permacoat Xtreme to ensure you like the final look as it may deepen the color. We hope this helps!

    • I have been looking for the same solution, and have been disappointed in various clearcoats, waxes, etc. They all darken and dull the bright copper patina effects. I am resolved at this point to not coat the surface at all until a workable solution avails itself.

  4. Hello! Love this line and want to do a ceiling with layers of the rust and blue patina. Could you give me direction on the best way to create a colorful layered effect? Thanks so much for your help!


  5. I am wanting to paint my truck with theach iron reactive paint, with a high gloss polyurethane (oilbase) automotive clear coat over the top. Is this possible?

    • Hello, Mr. Leasure – Most will use our Permacoat Xtreme sealer on the rust first. Then, it’s usually followed with an acrylic automotive clear in a Matte finish. Automotive oil base clears can sometimes be a little to hot, chemically, and can wrinkle the system. We hope this helps.

  6. hi i didnt use your primer and put on coat of bronze on my wooden birdhouse.. i was wondering if i can go back and apply a coat of your primer and start over again with the bronze

  7. I painted the copper then sprayed the green aging solution on and there is to much copper is there anyway I can make it all tarnish

    • Jared, we heard from our studio and they have more guidance: Make sure two coats have been applied and activate within 5 minutes of the second application. If it is a larger surface, make sure to use a larger plastic spray bottle and not our spritzer cap. We hope this helps!

  8. My project was a heavily textured wall. I would like for the green patina to be more prevalent. Now that it is all dry can I spray more patina on it to get it more effective?

    • Hi, Debbie! Once the patina has developed and dried, applying more activator usually does not create a stronger patina. Because it is a texture, the patina tends to develop more in the recesses than the peaks. The resolution could be to apply a little thicker of a second coat and not soak the surface so that the color can develop slower and allow for the application of more activator as the color develops. We hope this helps!

  9. Can I use this to paint a car? If so, what kind of finish coat would I use? Could it be outside in the weather without hurting the paint job?

    • Diana, Yes you can. We would recommend prepping a car as much as possible to ensure success and then using an acrylic primer that goes over a solvent-based primer specifically for automobiles or an automobile primer that is acrylic. Then, you would use the Metal Effects Primer over this followed by the Reactive Paint and Aging Solutions. The Metal Effects Primer protects the substrate surface from the patination process but you do need a good automobile primer over your prepped surface to begin with. If using the Rust finish, we would recommend the Permacoat Xtreme as the sealer and topcoat. We would recommend two diluted coats of Xtreme followed by an automotive matte clear. As a last note, the Metal Effects is more of a decorative finish for a show car – not a car that would be used daily. Btw, here is a post with the Metal Effects on a car: http://modernmasterscafe.com/2014/10/31/the-rat-look-on-a-beetle-with-modern-masters/ We hope this helps and please let us know if we can answer further questions!

    • Hi, Heather! Please ensure you have complete coverage of the Iron Reactive Paint over the Metal Effects Primer. Two solid coats should do it. Please let us know if we can help further!

  10. Hi, my oxidizing iron paint seems to be drying up in it’s container. Is there anything I can add to liquefy it?


    • Hi, Lisa! Depending on how old and how much head space is in the jar, you may be able to add a little water and stir it up really well. Is it drying or thickening? If it is drying, you will not be able to save it most likely. If it is thickening, a little water may help.

  11. I can not get my ME579, Copper Penny (opaque) purchased in 2009 to Patina using Green Patina Aging Solution purched in 2017. My project is a poured concrete formed foutain. Is it possible that one or more crucial chemicals in the old Coppery Penny have been compromised over time? If you have any other sugested solutions, let me know.

  12. Hi
    I am using the materials specified for the turquoise gem project. On my sample boards I am finding that the bronze patina is not oxidising and is ending up a blackish colour rather than the intense blue/green required.

    I have done several sample boards – one with the suggested hydrogen peroxide and water (which I applied over wet patina solution) and got quite a muddy effect. Another sample board, I applied the patina solutions without the water and hydrogen peroxide. Two more sample boards were prepared and one had hydrogen peroxide only applied and one water only. Another two had the same treatment but after the patina solution had dried.

    The boards are painted and dried flat and the instructions have been followed. The copper oxidising paint is holding a good patina and the problem is in the bronze paint. I cannot shift it from the ‘blackish’ hue.

    What do you think I am doing wrong?

    • Hello, Cath! Make sure that the surface has the Metal Effects Primer on it and that the Bronze Reactive Metallic Paint has been stirred thoroughly. Usually, the blackening is from the heavy dose of activator. We rated the turquoise gem finish as an advanced DIY project so we do recommend becoming thoroughly familiar with the Metal Effects line and the various oxidizing techniques individually. Our technical support number is 818.683.0201 in case you’d like to speak to someone in person. We hope this helps!

  13. I have a table that is already stained and I’m wanting to paint a logo with this copper paint and reactant spray over it. Can I do that or will the spray inter fear with the stain?

    • Hi, Jordan! This one will depend on the actual stain that was used. If it was on oil stain or a Stain & Seal, it will have to be primed first for adhesion and not just directly worked over. We would recommend protecting as much of the stain as possible as well from the oxidation process. We hope this helps!

  14. i have used the rust effct on a set of game boards (cornhole) i am trying to figure out how to seal it the official sealant is polyurethane any ideas i dont want to loose the rust look

    • Hi, Michelle! The Permacoat Xtreme, the recommended topcoat for the Rust finish, is an acrylic not a urethane. This would be the only clear we would recommend. Both coats of the Xtreme need to be thin and the first coat get diluted 50/50 with water. When sealing a rusted finish, as well as the patinas, you are incorporating moisture back into the rust which will change the color. There is no way around this unfortunately. On average it goes 30 to 40% darker. Perhaps try a sample board? Here’s more on the Permacoat Xtreme (scroll down): http://www.modernmasters.com/landing/homeowners/brands/me We hope this helps!

    • Hi, Calee! Yes – we would highly recommend using an acrylic primer made for the galvanized surface first and then following up with our Metal Effects system, starting with the Metal Effects Primer. If you have never used Metal Effects before, we would also suggest to make samples and familiarize yourself with the products to help ensure the most success. Thank you!

  15. Hi and don’t think I’m nuts…I did not see anything here about applying the Metal Effects to existing 60’s type floor tiles. I am going for the turquoise look in a small basement bedroom- the room has existing asbestos type tiles I have kept pristine and they are not going to be removed due to the disturbing of the contact cement beneath them. Id like to apply metal effects to achieve the turquoise look and then seal it permanently – make myself the ultimate getaway bedroom. CAN I DO THIS? They are generic Armstrong era tiles and they are solid. Suggestions? And thank you!

  16. Hi,
    I am looking for a new UK source for reactive metal paint and patina. I have previously bought from the USA but the customs charges are killing me as I’m an artist in the UK, not the US.
    I like that you do larger sizes of your copper and bronze reactive paints, but would like to try a tester size first.
    I have seen that you do kits of these, but can’t see how to buy them from a UK supplier.
    Can you help?

    • Hi, Fran! The closest distributor to you is Pentol out of Spain, and they do not carry the kits. Our recommendation would be to reach out to them to chat about sizes available as they do carry smaller sizes than gallons. The contact at Pentol would be Paul Deprez. Phone: 113-49-02-199-361, Email: info@pentol.es We hope this helps, Fran!

  17. hi guys!!! i m so happy with my METTAL EFFECT RUST kit! i am in love with the results from all differents activators and oxidizing paints, i think that if you wanna get a well job, you should have a lot of practice. i have a question about the PERMACOAT XTREME! When i used it on my project i got a gloss finish..is it normal for the rust activator to leave a gloss rust finish? is it possible to get it in matte? I m trying to get a more natural rust look, and not so much a glossy rust look. Also, the spray nozzle that came with the kit, shoots small globs of activator that end up leaving glossier spots on the end product. It makes the surface look over saturated. I dried it with a paper towels but was not a good solution. it is normal? Maybe my spray is not working very well.

    • Hi, Maria! Thanks so much for your comment – we love hearing about Metal Effects projects. As to your questions, we would recommend doing 2 diluted coats (equal parts with water) of the Permacoat Xtreme to keep the sheen down. If the project will not be in a high traffic area or touched often, consider leaving it at is. On the spray nozzle, it should spray evenly. We would recommend cleaning out the nozzle and/or using another spray bottle applicator. We hope this helps. If you’d like more technical help, please email technical@modernmasters.com and if you’d like to share your projects with us, please send to projects@modernmasters.com. We hope this helps – thank you!

  18. I have applied the first coat of bronze metal effects over primer (2 coats which dried for several days). I see streaks through the bronze paint- I applied bronze as thickly as I could with a brush but still streaky. Should I apply a second coat to fully cover and then a third coat to use with activator(s)?

  19. I messed up my iron rust door. The top 1-1.5 inches did not have the same beautiful rust streaks as the rest. Instead you could very clearly see a line of spray circles and then inactivated black paint at the top. My attempt to fix it made it so much worse.

    We applied the primer and 2 coats of the paint, following instructions on the cans. The door was horizontal for these coats, then we leaned it on the wall for the 2 rounds of spray, again, following instructions to the letter. We then dry brushed it like we saw in your video.

    After 45 minutes, we had beautiful streaks everywhere but the top. We considered leaving it, but it just looked like someone had taken a spray can and sprayed short bursts all along the top leaving a hard feathered black edge along the top.

    We laid it horizontal and then thought, let’s just add another bit of activator along here and blend it in. Oh boy was that a mistake! Now that section is much lighter on the rust with a hard line like a bad water color.

    So we have a few thoughts, but before we waste a bunch more paint or just pitch the door and start over, we wanted to get a more informed opinion.

    Can we just wipe down this door and paint another layer or two of paint and redo the activation?

    Would we need to put down a fresh coat of primer before we recoat with paint?

    Would we have to clear coat this layer to prevent our mess from continuing to rust under the new attempt?

    Should we just throw away this door and start over?


    • ​Hi, Claire!

      Usually when this happens, there was too much activator applied and it can look like a dark charcoal or black. It can also leave a water mark type of edge to it where the rust does start.

      Safely, you would want to remove the finish back to our Metal Effects Primer instead of putting so many coats of paint over it. If you choose to paint, you would need to seal with our Permacoat Xtreme and then re-prime. Product Page: http://www.modernmasters.com/landing/homeowners/brands/me

      You may want a small tilt to the door when activating and then carefully lay it flat. We hope this helps! If you have further questions, you can also reach out to technical@modernmasters.com or call
      818.683.0201. We hope this has helped!

      • Thank you so much for your quick response and for calling me back at the end of your work day! We will break out the sander tonight, get it back to the primer, and try again.

  20. I am using the oxidizing bronze paint with the blue patina aging solution on a glass and wood curio cabinet. It has a intricate wood pattern laid on top of the glass, I only wanted to use it on the wood. I was able to scrap off the excess primer from the glass but my concern is the bronze paint and the aging solution. If the aging solution gets on the glass will it damage the glass or discolor it? if it will damage the glass could I apply Vaseline to the glass to protect it from the aging solution.
    The wood pattern is very intricate and I was wanting to just spray the solution on the wood and glass, then once the project was dry scrap off the excess aged bronze.
    Thank you

    • Chris, our tech studio advises that if the activator is left on the glass, it could possibly etch it or leave a crust in the recessed area of the wood pattern. Their concern with the Vaseline would be if you got some one the finish while trying to remove it, it would not be ideal. We hope this guidance helps!

  21. Hi, I am trying to price out materials to re-do a church ceiling. We would be painting plywood, then nailing up. What would be a good coverage estimation for a gallon of your paint?

  22. Hi. I am about to transform an old brass bed. I want it to have the green and blue patina but I also want it to be rusted. Which should I do first? The patina effects with the blue and green or the rusting first? Not sure which steps I should do. I have the primer and everything else I need I just can’t remember the right steps for the process of achieving rust and also patina. Thanks!

    • Hi, Rita! We would not recommend mixing the finishes until having made several samples first and becoming savvy with the results that can occur. We prefer to do the patina first and then the rust over it. We hope this helps!

  23. Hi I’m trying to do a big metal mirror I did all the steps but there were some spots that just didn’t seem to take so I went over those spots with the bronzer and while it was still wet I sprayed on the patina spray thinking it would just dry and blend with the rest but it just doesn’t seem to be doing anything please let me know what I can do to fix this thanks so much

    • Hi, Karla! We would make sure you are letting the Metal Effects Primer dry properly and that you are applying to good coats of the Reactive Paint. We recommend doing it in sections since it is a large piece. You can try the process on a sample board to ensure desired results. Thank you!

  24. HI, I’ve just started working on patinas currently on brass sheets. My studio is in my garage and recently the weather has been freezing at night. Im not getting the desired result, after following the directions from the book I have, at all. I’m fuming for 24 hours then letting react in open air for days. Ive tried multiple times with the same result. Could the cold weather be effecting my results? Appreciate your help

    • Hi, Niki! We are not sure which book you are referring to so are not familiar with the instructions. Are you doing the entire Metal Effects system or just trying to put the Activator on Brass? Also, our Metal Effects Primer would not go directly on brass. We look forward to hearing from you.

  25. Hi, I am wanting to paint over ceramic tile on my fireplace surround using the metal effects paint. Do I need any other primers beside the metal effects one? Thanks!

    • Hi, Wendy! We saw that you spoke with our technical team but wanted to answer the question for anyone else reading the blog. 🙂 As long as you use a quality bonding primer first, and maybe even give your tiles a quick scuff sand prior to priming, you should be good to go! We hope this helps. Happy Painting!

  26. We have reproduction elks antlers made from resin and would like to green patina finish them . Will the paint work on resin

  27. I want to refinish metal kitchen cabinet hinges to look like Oil Rubbed Bronze finish. The finished look should be dark bronze with tiny amounts of copper showing through. What steps and products should I use?

    • Hi, Ms. Shaw – thank you for reaching out to us! We normally do not recommend our paint on hinges because the latex can tear with the opening and closing of the doors. Please let us know if we can help further!

  28. I would like to paint 2 large, new galvanized steel livestock water troughs to look like aged copper (with green patina).
    I am going to use them as exterior plant containers. Can you please tell me which products to use and in what order? Thank you very much, -Marcia

    • Hello, Beau! The Metal Effects Primer is part of the Metal Effects system and is especially formulated to block Metal Effects Patina Aging Solutions and Activators from reaching the metal, wood, or reactive substrate. This helps prevent the formation of rust or other oxidation from ‘bleeding through’ and forming under the Metal Effects Reactive Metallic Paint film. Not using it can cause adverse reactions in the surface and/or unwanted color changes in the oxidized finish. Please let us know if we can help further!

  29. I would like to use the Metal effects bronze with blue patina on my front door which is not wood-metal or fiberglass…need to check ; ) Can these products be used in this application? Any special instructions? Thank you!

    • Hi, Holly! The surface would need to be primed with an acrylic primer that is suitable for priming on that surface and then starting our Metal Effects system after it dries. Here’s a video on the Blue Patina finish application on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI-TAPU7jUs We would recommend using larger sizes than the kits for your front door and also creating sample boards to work with the product beforehand and finalize the look you’d like. If you have further questions, we invite you to contact technical@modernmasters.com for more guidance. We hope this helps and look forward to seeing your project!

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