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How to Paint Plastic to Look like Vintage Metal

Inside: How to paint plastic to look like vintage metal with a rusted feel! This simple process creates a gorgeous patina look; plus details on how to paint wood and plywood to look like metal.

Here we are! That time again 🙂 Monthly DIY Challenge time!! First of all, our group of bloggers has been hearing over and over again how much you like our fun little challenges every month – so thank you for all the support. If anything, it’s something to look forward to each month, right? This month, we are all using a very special kind of PAINT – patina paint. The whole idea is that I’m going to take these plain dollar store plastic bins and paint them to look like vintage aged metal!

Creating a Faux Metallic Look with Paint

Metallic Spray Paint

There are multiple ways to achieve a faux metallic look. If you are painting wood, you might consider using a combination of spray paint and glaze. Spray Paint will give a great industrial feel and look to your piece. I used it when I made over this wooden thread spool into an Industrial Style Mug Rack.

DIY Mug Rack

Specialty Metallic Paint

You can also get specialty metallic paint that will give plain wood a really solid sheen. I used it when I created these metallic wooden holiday trees. It also works well if you are painting powder coated metal to look vintage. I used specialty paint from Modern Masters to transform this old card catalogue into galvanized steel.

paint metal galvanized steel

Vintage Metal Love

What is Patina Paint?

Patina is (according to Wikipedia) a green or brown film on the surface of bronze or similar metals, produced by oxidation over a long period. Think about all those aged bronze statues in Greece and such, that is patina.

The bad news is that getting something like copper or bronze to develop a real patina can take decades along with exposure to extreme weather elements. The good news is there are quite a few ways to achieve the patina look on your own treasures simply by using the right kind of paint and finish.

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Today, we are going to use Modern Masters Blue Patina Paint Kit to demonstrate how easily you can give regular plastic storage bins a whole new metallic look. This kit is meant to create a blue patina with a bit of a rust like finish.  

Here’s what I used for this Patina Paint Project:

As I said, we are all tackling creating cool decor items using Modern Masters paint. It’s the neatest product. This was my first time using the reactive patina spray paint kit and I turned some boring Dollar Store Bins into Weathered Metallic Goodness!

I recently refurbished a curb side find to be my new little desk and since then, I’ve been gathering bits and bobs to help me organize all my office supplies. I found these little plastic containers in the dollar section at the grocery store and figured they’d be just the thing to help me organize my drawers. But the colours? Not so much.Faux Metallic Bins BEFORE

Steps to Paint Plastic to Look like Vintage Metal

Step One: First things first, I gave them a coat of spray primer. Modern Masters recommends that you prime any surface first with a tone that is somewhat similar to your base or metallic tone. I figured a solid white would work just fine. Then I followed that with a coat of the primer that is included in the Patina Kit. It goes on pretty thick. I’d say you could do one or two coats depending on what you’re covering. Modern Masters Patina Kit

This is what the patina kit looks like. It comes with handy web resources too and links to project ideas (but really you should just look at ours!). I chose the ‘blue rust’ kit, which is reactive with their bronze base paint.Modern Masters Blue Patina Kit Content

So with a synthetic brush, I applied three coats of bronze to my bins, allowing for about half an hour of drying time between coats.Modern Masters Bronze Oxidizing Paint

I love the bronze on its own! But to take it up a notch and give it that patina look, the next step is to use the reactive spray that comes in the kit. The cool thing about this paint is that it’s not ‘metallic look’ – it’s actually metallic, as in it has metal fragments in it that react just like normal metal would! So cool, right?Plastic Bins Turned Faux Blue MetallicOrganize with Faux Metallic Bins

I think these little guys turned out A-Okay, don’t you? And they are great additions to my desk area.  Faux Metal Finish on Plastic Bins Office supplies in faux distressed metal bins How to create a patina finish Dollar Store Plastic Bins turned Faux Blue Patina

Meantime – here are ALL the other Metal Effects Projects! Enjoy!

Here are some other posts you’ll love

This post was graciously sponsored by the fine people at Modern Masters. All the opinions and project work are my own. If you would like information about sponsoring one of our challenges, please get in touch using the information under our contact tab. You can see our full privacy and disclosure policy here. This post contains affiliate links.

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Amanda Fettig

Thursday 14th of April 2016

No way!! I have those same bins, but yours look AMAZING! I've got to try that patina paint, they really look like metal!!!

Emily @ Table & Hearth

Thursday 14th of April 2016

They seriously look like real metal! Love them!

Erica @ Dwell Beautiful

Thursday 14th of April 2016

The effect on these is STUNNING! I never would have guessed they were plastic bins - they really do look like metal! What a great way to store some of your supplies :)

Bre @ Average But Inspired

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

These look so pretty! What a great Dollar Store upcycle!

Tara @ Anything & Everything

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

You would never know that these were plastic dollar store bins, they turned out great! Love the color!

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