Introduction: Painting an Antique Copper Effect

Picture of Painting an Antique Copper Effect

In this tutorial, you will learn a very simple process on how you can create an antique brushed metal effect on your DIY Toy. This can be done quickly with a very unique look to it, and it offers you the possibilities to take this effect and build off it. In this particular tutorial, we will be using the Toy2r Bunnee Qee.


1. Smooth flatbrush
2. Acrylic Paint (black, and a metallic color like copper, silver, or gold)
3. DIY Toy of your choice (You can purchase these at
4. Paper towel and cup of water

Step 1: Disassemble the Toy

Picture of Disassemble the Toy

Remove your toy from its packaging. If possible, diassemble all of the parts to make fore easier painting of hard to reach areas.

Step 2: Get Blackalicious

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2. Paint all of the pieces with a thin layer of black. Its not important that you cover it with a thick layer. Whats more important is that you begin establishing the direction of the brush strokes. Its typically easiest to just paint vertical strokes, but it may differ from one toy to another.

Step 3: Give Him the Metalica Special

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3. Now well be throwing on the brushed metals. Take some black paint and mix it with your metallic paint of choice. You want about a 3:1 metallic to black ratio. Dont mix the paint thoroughly. Just give it some quick stirs, but leave some swirls. Also leave some black thats unmixed RIGHT next to your metallic mix. Cover the toy with the metallic mix while remembering to keep the same brush stroke direction always.

4. Dip the edge of your flat brush in A LITTLE black and the other half in the metallic mix. Work this combination into sections of the toy so you get a bit of a black to metallic gradient.

Step 4: Bling Out the Edges

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5. Now for the final touch. Take one of your smallest paint brushes and use your metallic paint unmixed on every sharp edge on the toy. Any seam or ridge should be highlighted to give it the true rustic look.

Step 5: Do Whatever You Like

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6. Thats it!! Now do whatever you want! We might recommend using a clear coat to finish him off or just protect the base coat before you do anything else.


iheartlbank (author)2010-07-22

looks great! would this and your "Painting an Oxidized Patina Effect" work on a canvas?

zascecs (author)2009-06-02

Cool. Just if you want a really rusty/copper effect, just get an iron toy and soak it wet; it'll get rusty!
yea, that's what i thought

byerights (author)2009-06-01

Theres a technique called Drybrushing where you get a certain amount of paint on the brush, wipe most of it off so you're left with, well, a dry brush, and then just brush it all over an object. Extruding features pick up more paint as more pressure is applied and it gives a great effect.

Speedmite (author)2009-05-31

I have warm and sweaty hands so if it is real copper. I just hold it in my hand for a while or play with whatever it is all day. Sometimes I do this by accident. Such as my copper chain mail. =(

SondraC (author)2009-05-28

While this information is interesting and well written and helpful it limits you to those specific colors in the kit. You can create a metallic look to any object very inexpensively. Just buy the small jars of metallic craft acrylic paint at any Craft Store. It will turn just about any object into a Metallic Antique look. At the same store you can also buy unpainted ceramics to paint or have your child paint. It is fun, inexpensive and habit forming .

macrumpton (author)SondraC2009-05-28

I have had good success using metallic powders mixed with acrylic medium.

Ward_Nox (author)2009-05-20

where can you get the bunny fig

Ward_Nox (author)DeliciousDrips2009-05-20

i ment the blanks sorry should have clarified

DeliciousDrips (author)Ward_Nox2009-05-21

That link SHOULD take you to the blanks...there are a bunch of them:

calico1 (author)DeliciousDrips2009-05-28

When I go to these links I can't find anyway of buying these items. What am I missing here? Thanks

paintphone (author)2009-05-26

You can just buy chromed paints at home depot comes in silver gold and copper/bronze. Its ment for interior decorating special effects inside your home !

TimTheScarecrow (author)2009-05-19

great tutorial. i plan on using this when i start my first real set of steampunk goggles. two questions. 1. does this paint work on metal? 2. if i were to go to a store looking for acrylic paint would i look in the crafts section or toys or school and off supplies or hardware? p.s. that blackish ball toy with the dog inside looks amazing!

It's just acrylic paint which will work on metal, but I might recommend priming it first so you have a better surface to paint on. I would go to a real art store to get paints so you don't get some diluted crap. You want opaque heavy body acrylic from Liquitex or Golden. Thanks for the compliment. Cheers.

Gakki (author)2009-05-19

That' snot a half bad effect, but I would recomend that with the last step you go with a dry brush technique to avoid those uniform edges.

DeliciousDrips (author)2009-05-19

These are some of my finished pieces.

DeliciousDrips (author)2009-05-19

You guys wanna see some more steampunk toys, check here:

Doctor What (author)2009-05-19

Awesome effect! This'll be great for steampunk painting!

StrangeRover (author)Doctor What2009-05-19

That's exactly the first thing I thought of... steampunk!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a San Francisco based entrepreneur currently working in a speaker startup called Boombotix. As the founder and CEO, I work with my team ... More »
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