Fake It Til You Make It: Faux Brass Finish DIY

published Aug 11, 2017
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(Image credit: Amelia Lawrence)

There’s a lot to be said for DIYs that meet the ultimate trifecta of projects: affordable, customizable and efficient. I’ll take all three, and I’ll show you how to create custom brass-look decor for your home that won’t break the bank, despite it’s more luxury appearance. So head over to the local craft store, toy store, or Amazon (let’s be real, we’re all headed to Amazon) and make this project in just four easy steps!

What You’ll Need

One medium to large plastic* figurine, like this one.
Black acrylic paint
Liquid leafing paint in brass or similar color
Mod Podge or other acrylic sealant

Medium flat brush
Thin brush
Foam sponge brush

(*Note: Most materials will work for this project. For porous materials, coat with a clear acrylic sealant first.)

(Image credit: Amelia Lawrence)

Step 1. Paint your figurine black

Bye-bye stripes! Adding a coat or two of black paint under the metallic paint will add character and authenticity to your figurine. Make sure all of the cracks and crevices are painted in, as this will be the step that takes your plastic figurine to a next-level faux brass. Allow the paint to dry completely.

(Image credit: Amelia Lawrence)

Step 2. Paint with gold leafing

Carefully and lightly paint the figurine. You will not need to use much gold leafing – a little goes a long way, so start with a small amount and build up as needed. If you add too much paint, the gold will run into the textured lines on your figurine.

(Image credit: Amelia Lawrence)

Step 3. Add more character

As the gold leaf paint is drying, you can go back in using a dry thin-tip brush to add detail. My general rule of thumb is to think of where the brass would naturally age — like on the tips of the ears, inside the mouth, maybe around the feet, or inside the creases along the back. Add a very small amount of black paint and lightly fill in the desired areas.

(Image credit: Amelia Lawrence)

Step 4. Seal it (Optional)

I like to seal my final project with a thin coat of acrylic sealant. Something not too glossy.

Let it dry for an hour or two, and then you’re ready to add it to your home decor!

(Image credit: Amelia Lawrence)
(Image credit: Amelia Lawrence)
(Image credit: Amelia Lawrence)