Easy Faux Hammered Copper Paint Technique

Hammered copper is one of my all time favorite metal finishes.  Something about the color of copper and rustic qualities of a hammered finish just seems to add warmth to any setting.  Funny though, I don’t come across many pieces when I’m out thrifting.  Hmmm?  Is it because there just weren’t a lot of hammered copper decor items made?  Or is it that all of the copper items are being bought up and sold to the recycling facilities before anyone who actually likes copper can buy them and take then home to enjoy?   

Easy-faux-hammered-copper-paint-technique, StowAndTellU.com

I’m going to have to investigate this copper quandary some more, but in the mean time, I wanted to try out an idea for a faux hammered copper paint technique, so while I was out thrifting for a hiking wardrobe (more on that soon), I picked up a few random metal pieces, so that I could try out the paint technique.




Mind you, I was looking for old stock pots, because I thought they would be fitting, but they were plum out, so I found an old aluminum cake pan, a flour sifter, and what I believe to be a chrome dog bowl, though I can’t be sure.



The two main products I used were:

A can of rust colored Rustoleum primer

And a can of Rustoleum Reflective Finsih Copper Specialty Metallic Spray Paint

(Because this was an experiment, the picture also shows some crafts paints, but I found that the final pieces looked better without the use of the craft paints.

I also used:

a spray bottle of a vinegar/ water mixture,

some paper towels for dabbing,

and some 400 grit sand paper for sanding.



Step 1:   I cleaned the pieces really good with a degreasing detergent.

Step 2:  I sprayed the pieces with the primer and let dry.

Step 3:   I sprized the pieces with the vinegar water mixture.



Step 4:   I sprayed the pieces with the copper spray paint.


Step 5:   I dabbed the pieces just a bit with the paper towel and then let dry over night.

copper-paint-technique, StowAndTellU.com

This is how it looked the next day before sanding.

hammered-copper-paint-technique, StowAndTellU.com

Step 6:   I sanded the pieces down with the 400 grit sand paper (but not too much)  and then wiped with a damp cloth.

I tried to add some patina and age to the pieces with the craft paint, but that just didn’t look right, so I ended up repeating the spray paint and sanding steps.

faux-hammered-copper, StowAndTellU.com

faux-hammered-copper, StowAndTellU.com

faux-copper, metallic, StowAndTellU.com

faux-hammered-copper-paint-texture, StowAndTellU.com

faux-hammered-copper-paint-texture, StowAndTellU.com

faux-hammered-copper-paint-texture, StowAndTellU.com

faux-copper-spray-paint-technique, StowAndTellU.com

Notice how the color and sheen look different at different times of the day.

Some of these were taken near sundown.

I really like how the technique turned out, but I wouldn’t say that it could fool anyone at close range.

However, if you are looking to add a touch of a hammered copper look to some old pots and pans, or perhaps an old lamp, I think this technique would work well.

Having experimented with this technique, I think that I am going to test and try a few more scenarios like perhaps using a antique copper metallic rub over the finished surface, for example.

Does anyone have any ideas on what else might improve this technique?  Make it look more realistic?  I would love to hear them.

Thanks for checking this out and remember that old saying…

Find a penny pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck ~ Amy


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11 Responses to Easy Faux Hammered Copper Paint Technique

  1. Anne@DesignDreams October 22, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    omigosh! I would not have believed you could get such a realistic looking finish with a spray paint! Great job Amy!

  2. Cheryl in Wisconsin October 22, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    I like this look and it’s perfectly timed. Think of all the fall & winter vignettes that copper pieces would lend some interest to!

  3. Sherry@Thrift My House October 22, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Looks realistic to me. How do you come up with this stuff!! Great job Amy!

  4. Feral Turtle October 22, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    What a great idea….especially with Christmas on its way. I picture sprigs of evergreens and red bows in your flour sifter and dog dish.

  5. chris aka monkey October 22, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    they look good amy..may i ask why you didn’t use the hammered copper spray paint? or maybe they don’t have that…i do like what you did with these and like someone said will look fabulous at christmas xx

  6. Tuula @ The Thrifty Rebel October 22, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    I love copper, and I think they look fabulous.

  7. Danni@SiloHillFarm October 23, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    Wow! I think that looks pretty awesome! I collected copper for years and finally got rid of most of it….only to find out that Sam took many of the pieces from my garage sale and put them in the shed because he thought I was making a mistake by selling it. Guess he loves copper too! You are the queen of faux lady!!

  8. Rylee January 28, 2017 at 9:08 am #

    Hi Amy!
    I know its been some time since you posted this but am trying to DIY some wedding pieces and wondered what the ratio of water:vinegar was!

    These are fantastic!

    • Amy January 28, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

      Hi Rylee,

      For the mixture, you can go with various ratios and it should still work.
      Half water/ half vinegar is what I used. I always like to make a test one to get the feel of how to do it.
      Good luck. I’d love to see how it turns out.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  9. Joanne March 27, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    I absolutely love how these turned out! I was googling this specific rustoleum metallic copper spray paint to see what others had done with it. I’m going to do a faux finish on two brass nautical lantern sconces in my family room. Just fyi, I am going to start with a black spray base, and then vinegar, and then the copper, and as soon as I spray the copper over the vinegar, I am going to lightly sponge it all over randomly, to let a small amt of black show through. It looks amazing, and really looks like copper. Thanks for sharing!

    • Amy March 28, 2017 at 9:44 pm #

      Hey Joanne,

      Your lantern project sounds intriguing. I wanted to tell you that since this post, I have tried another copper spray paint, and I love it. It has a true metallic look, so I wanted to let you know about it. It’s called Krylon Foil Metallic Copper Spray Paint. Keyword “foil”. If you haven’t shopped for your paint, yet, see if you can find this one. The label will say something like “look of real metal”. I tried it on some planters in this post: http://stowandtellu.com/copper-paint-dipped-planters/, if you want to check it out. This paint should work with fine with the faux hammered technique, as well. Just a suggestion. Good luck on your project. ps: I would love to see a pic when you’re done, but not pressure 😉 Have a great rest of your week. Amy

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