alter-filigrees-using-swellegant-patinas (800 x 444)

Tutorial of the Week: Swellegant Patinas

Happy Thursday, everyone!  …I told ya I would be back with another tutorial today 😉

Before I get onto that, though…you have probably noticed that I am constantly trying to find ways to make your experience here at ButterBeeScraps better and better.  Well…some of you already know that my latest brain-child is adding a forum to this website so that we can all connect a little bit easier.  Wouldn’t it be great to share tips and tricks, projects, and hopefully some laughs?  Last week, I asked who might be interested and many of you answered…the response was a definite “yes, please do it!”

So…I have decided to go ahead.  This is the good news 🙂  The bad news…is that it is just little ole me, myself and I running the whole show over here.  Setting up a forum, maintaining it, and actively participating in it all takes a lot of time, which means that something else has to give 🙁  So…I have decided that rather than doing a tutorial every single week, I will be doing one every second week.  I know that many of you look forward to these tutorials, so I definitely wasn’t going to stop doing them altogether.  And…although it would be nice to have a new one every week, won’t it be nice to connect directly with me more often than that?  …I think so too 😉

Without further adieu…let’s get to this week’s tutorial!  Last week, I introduced you to Swellegant metal coatings.  Well, this week, I am going to take that a step further and show you how you can use the Swellegant patinas with the metal coatings to create some really cool effects.  There are four different patinas available – Tiffany Green/Rust, Gold-Green Verdigris, Darkening, and Sky Sapphire.


As I mentioned last week, the line of Swellegant products are all low-toxic, non-hazardous and easily cleaned up using soap and water.  They can also be used on pretty much any material you can think of.  They are also tough enough to withstand being used outdoors.

The metal coatings had no odor that I could detect when I used them.  The patinas differ a little in this way…they do have an odor, but honestly, an open jug of vinegar has more odor than these patinas.  There is only a very slight vinegar smell that you may catch the odd whiff of.  In my book, these patinas are waaaaaay safer to use than many of the standard chemicals you might otherwise use to obtain a patina finish, plus you achieve the look of a natural patina much, much faster 🙂


The materials you’re going to need are as follows:

  • Swellegant Prep & Clear Sealant
  • Swellegant Metal Coatings & Patinas
  • something to alter (I used metal filigrees, of course)
  • protective non-stick work surface
  • steel wool, fine grit sandpaper or burnishing block
  • small pieces of sponge
  • paint brush
  • latex gloves
  • paper towel
  • small glass of water
  • heat gun (to speed dry time, if desired)



In order for these patinas to work, you need metal.  I did try them on the bare filigrees you can buy at ButterBeeScraps, but we’ll get to that in a bit.  For the best results, you need to start with two coats of a metal coating on the item you are altering.  Just make sure to prep your item and do the “basic application” of the metal coating as described last week.  You can find all that info right HERE 🙂


Step 1

Before moving forward, you need to make sure that the metal coating on your filigree is dry.  This will give you a nice base to start from.  Now, brush a thin coat of the same color metal coating onto your filigree.  I used the Brass metal coating here.


Step 2

While the coating is still wet, apply a liberal amount of the patina to your filigree using a paint brush.  You can see on the right that I have pooled quite a lot of patina onto the filigree.


Step 3

Set your filigree aside and let the reaction take place 🙂  I left the reaction to continue until everything was dry, but you can dab some of the patina off before it’s done drying if you like.


One recommendation made by the creator of the Swellegant line, Christi Friesen, is to create a little “humidor” for the iron coating when paired with the Tiffany Green/Rust patina.  All you need to do is dampen a paper towel, set the filigree on top, then fold part of the paper towel over top.  You do not want the paper towel touching the top surface of your filigree…you just want to add a little humidity to help the reaction.


I did a lot of playing and tested all of the patinas on four of the metal coatings…copper (small leaf), bronze (decorative filigree), brass (round filigree), and iron (large leaf).  Here’s a look at what all four coatings look like after the Sky Sapphire patina had dried:


Step 4

You do end up with some light and dark blues on the filigrees, but it is quite overpowering.  So…after the patina dries, just add some more metal coating with your finger to bring out more of the detail (just like we talked about last week).  Here’s what the final result is:


I really do love the color of the Sky Sapphire, but I did feel like it reacted differently to the coatings than the other patinas.  I actually felt like it was more of a dye than a reaction, but that just might be me.  In my opinion, it looked the least natural, but that may have been my fault for slathering so much of it on.

My recommendation for the Sky Sapphire would definitely be to use it in moderation.  Maybe just add a little bit to a few areas of your piece rather than the entire surface.  This being said, I do quite like the look of it on the bronze above…I think mainly because there is so much open area in the filigree.

Here’s a look at the Tiffany Green/Rust on the four metal coatings.  The top picture was taken right after the patina had dried.   The second was taken after adding the final little bit of metal coating with my finger:


I absolutely LOVE this patina!  You can see that it created both green and rusted areas on the filigrees…except on the iron, which just rusted…and looks totally natural, I might add.

Next up…Gold-Green Verdigris.  This also produced a beautiful green patina combined with rusted areas.  It’s a bit difficult to see in the pictures, but it did produce a lighter green that tended a little more toward yellow.  The iron, like with the Tiffany Green, just rusted…and I did not use a humidor with the Verdigris patina.


Finally…here’s a look at the darkening patina.  This patina just basically turns your metal coating black in areas…kinda like you would naturally see with silver and sometimes brass.


Up until now, you may have been wondering, “but, Monique…what about the silver coating?”  Well, silver doesn’t turn green or sapphire as it ages, so using the other patinas would look completely unnatural.  In fact, I think that the iron with the Sky Sapphire was a silly combination, but it doesn’t hurt to experiment, right?

Anyways, here’s a look at what the darkening patina looked like on the silver coating (left) and one of the silver filigrees from ButterBeeScraps (right):


Step 5

Before I get too far ahead of myself…you definitely want to add the clear sealant over the dry patina.  This will protect your finish and ensure a beautifully aged filigree for a long time to come 🙂

Patinas with Bare Filigrees

I did tell you that we’d be getting to how the patinas worked on the bare filigrees from ButterBeeScraps.  Before we get too far into that, I will tell you that I did prep the filigrees by giving them a quick sanding with a buffing block then washed them in warm soapy water.  Here’s a look at the results with all four patinas:


The darkening patina did look pretty cool on the bronze filigree.  The Sky Sapphire would work on pretty much any filigree, I think mainly because I felt there was little reaction and more “drying”.  It still produces a beautiful finish, though 🙂  As for the Tiffany Green and Verdigris, they both only caused the filigree to rust, and only in the areas that were buffed.  This is because the patinas reacted with the base metal that was exposed.  This is definitely a great way to safely rust your filigrees if you’re going for that look 🙂

All in all, I totally fell in LOVE with these patinas.  I was a little unsure when I pulled them out for the first time, but they resulted in a very natural looking patina.  This is probably because there really is a reaction going on between the patina solutions and the metal coatings (that are made from real pulverized metal).  I particularly loved how quickly I was able to achieve an aged looking filigree without the worry of using some serious chemicals.  The metal coatings are nice, but the patinas take them to a whole new level!  …you won’t just want to stop at the metal coatings!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s tutorial.  Thank you for sticking with me through this one…it was a loooooong one!  I will see you for another tutorial in 2 weeks, but not before sharing a project or two 😉  Cheers!

Reader Interactions


  1. Michelle says

    They came out perfectly! I love the darkening and the Tiffany green rust the most. Thank you for this in depth tutorial, very helpful ?
    Can’t wait for the next one!