I’m hot on copper this week! Last time we talked all about how Copper is becoming a new metal trend of choice for accessories, fixtures, and architectural elements like countertops and even flooring! I’ve been fan of copper ever since I was a child. I remember my mom going to Copper Craft parties with her friends. Does anyone else remember that? Those were the days of Princess Diana wedding and Duran Duran… oh my, I’m giving away my age!. Copper Craft focused on pots, pans, and jewelry. Everyone had some piece of copper back then. Well, copper has gone upscale and made it’s way to the forefront of design. If copper is not in your decorating budget right now don’t worry! Today I want to show you how to get the look of copper for less.
When we moved into this home four years ago, the front door lantern lights had a pretty coppery glow that complemented the copper colored brick siding. So when we installed the privacy fence, we opted for real copper capped fence posts. I think we have 10 copper capped posts along the property. They look just beautiful and shine brilliantly in the sun.
Then I came across this beautiful mailbox in Grandin Road. My heart went pitter-pat when I saw it! But the $300 price tag didn’t enthrall me. Most of the homes in my hood have expensive custom brick mailbox structures. Well, I’m not one of those lucky ones….
This is my sorry mailbox. He’s sad isn’t he? He’s faded. He doesn’t match the house at all. He has iron rust stains on his post from the sprinkler’s well water. The neighborhood dogs anoint him everyday. He’s been kicked down and abused by a few episodes of rowdy teenage angst. He falls off his post almost every time the mailman opens his box (because no screws hold him down…my mailman hates me). His door falls open with the slightest wind.
Ok, HE’S PATHETICALLY DULL. Time for a MAKEOVER!
He deserved an upgrade. So we knocked out the dents, tightened the door and gave him a new look. I wanted the bright and fresh glow of new copper. I chose Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray in Copper.
Ta-da! Black satin exterior paint coated and covered the rusty looking white post and the metal mailbox received its beautiful coat of copper! The astaic lily plants were spruced up with bright yellow pansies and coppery mums. For less than $20 I was able to greatly boost the curb appeal of my corner.
Remember those coppery lanterns I mentioned before? Well after four years, they’d lost their coppery glow and I realized they weren’t copper at all but just painted to look like it. By now the paint was faded and the raw, silver metal was exposed and they looked just plain ugly. I think the southern lantern fixture is appropriate for this home so I knew a quick fix with paint was the solution. I taped off the brick and glass and spray painted them with the same copper paint.
This is how they looked before….. blah, blah, boring….
And now…. bada-bing! Yah baby! It’s a bit flashy I’ll admit, but I like flashy! I know it’ll fade and mellow over time too (everything does), so no worries. Goodness, it’s just spray paint. If I get sick of it, I’ll paint it something else. Nothing is permanent right? Go with the flow. Regardless, it’s a great look for fall.
We have the same lantern fixture over the garage on the other side of the house, and back in June I experimented using a different type of copper paint.
I painted the garage lantern with Martha Stewart Copper Liquid Gilding which the wonderful crew at Martha Stewart Crafts had sent me to try out in the early spring. I applied the copper gilding using a flat tipped, 1/2 inch wide paint brush. It copper gilding has actual copper in it! The gilding is thin and watery but coats the surface well. A tiny amount goes a very long way. When dry, the gilding was just as bright and shiny as the spray paint, but because it has actual copper in it, the gilding will develop a patina over time.
It took about four months for the patina to darken. This is what it looks like today. The lantern is looking more like aged copper, but I’m not sure which look I actually prefer… shiny or aged. I’m torn.
Here is how the front of the home looks with it’s splash of coppery bling.
I still might age the copper with a bit of Rub n’ Buff in copper green, but we’ll see. Right now I’m enjoying the look for autumn. You can easily choose black, oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel or any other metallic color you desire to make over your mailbox and exterior light fixtures. A $5 can of spray paint is much more affordable then brand new fixtures! With these tips you can pinch those pennies, extend the life of your belongings, and make your home look fabulous too!
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