Wednesday, March 6

Tutorial: Altering metal word / phrase plaques - vintage touches


Today I'm going to show you a super easy, and inexpensive way, to alter those little metal plaques you can pick up in the art stores. This particular plaque / plate that I'm using is from Tim Holtz.

The only materials that you're going to need is a metal plate, and an opaque acrylic paint - and a paintbrush to apply this paint. If you don't have any, just add a bit of white to the colour you want to use. The reason I say opaque, is that it allows the colour to show up nice and vivid. To get a more patina effect, you would use a turquoise. For a 'rusty' effect, you would use a red-orange. To keep things extra simple, and inexpensive - and to show that you can do this with any acrylic paint (as long as it's opaque!) - I have just a simple, cheap acrylic paint - Apple Orchard, by FolkArt. I'm using green for this demo simply because it's my most favourite colour! :D

This process is a 'quick' process, as the acrylic paint dries fairly fast. So read everything over a couple times until you have the process pretty much down and then go ahead.


 Step 1. Apply the paint to the metal plaque, and be sure to use the paint brush to push the paint into all the little crevices of the words.


Step 2. Take a damp-to-dry paper towel (or cloth) and gently wipe the paint off. Try to just graze the surface as to not pull the paint out of the words. I say paper towel over cloth here, as clothes tend to have 'fuzzy bits' that go into the cracks and pull the paint out. Don't worry if you do pull some out. The main concern if getting the paint off the surface where you do not want paint. If some tends to dry there, you can try some sandpaper to gently get it off.


Step 3. Take a look at the words, and see if there are spots that need more paint. The beginning of the word "capture" needs more, so I'll repeat the above steps in that area:


Step 4. I've reapplied the paint to the area that needs some more colour


And that's it! You're all done!! Now you can attach this into your art journal, or mixed media paintings and art pieces.  You can use this technique really on anything that has little grooves to catch the paint.

I used this process in my Forest Shadow Box art piece. There is 'black bits' added to this particular metal plaque - for this I just used a black ink pad (permanent and waterproof - very important, or else it smears off) and just 'buffed' it very lightly. For this plaque, since it is on an art piece I was selling, and I want it to retain it's colour through the years, I used colbalt turquoise, from Golden (with some white), as it has significantly better light fastness than the cheaper acrylics (the ability not to fade in colour over the years).




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