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Creating a weathered metal background

My daughter recently bought a roll of metallic vinyl with an adhesive backing. It seemed like the perfect material to use in order to try the weathered metal technique that everyone on the Altered Books email group was talking about. It’s a very simple technique, and you probably already have everything you need between your paint box and your basement! If you don’t have a wide piece of vinyl tape like mine, you can substitute automotive foil tape or even plain old duct tape!
Materials and tools:

Wide brushed steel vinyl tape
Foam brush
Heat gun
Medium grit sand paper
3 colors of acrylic paint (I used Golden’s heavy bodied cobalt turquoise, cobalt teal, and titian buff)

1. Cut a piece of card stock to the size you want for your finished background. Cover it with metallic tape, layering the tape if needed. If you are using thin tape, criss-cross the surface of the card stock somewhat randomly.

2. Sand the surface lightly, going in all directions, including in a circular pattern.

3. Choose two related colors of acrylic paint, one a lighter version of the other. With a foam brush, apply the darker color to the surface, but don’t cover the entire piece. Let it dry completely, using a heat gun if you want.

4. Apply the lighter color, but again don’t cover the whole piece. Let it dry. For your last layer, apply a white or cream color to the top, still not covering the whole piece. When you are finished, there should still be some areas of metal showing through.

5. Once the piece is thoroughly dry, sand it again. Sand unevenly, cutting through all or just some of the layers of paint. There is no formula for this: just do it until it looks good. If you sand too much or don’t like the look in a particular area, you can always reapply paint and try again!

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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