Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Alive!!!

It's ALIVE!!!!! It's ALIVE!!!

I feel like Dr. Frankenstein today after bringing 5 tins of Gilders Paste back to life. Late last year my friend Claudia from CalliopesAttic, a great vintage findings shop on Etsy, sent me her old tins of Gilders Paste because after trying them she decided that she likes other patina techniques better. She said she was embarrassed to send them to me after opening them and seeing that they'd dried out, but I convinced her that for playing and learning, they'd be just fine.


I have to say that they smell a lot like shoe polish. As you can see, they were in various stages of dryness, from totally dried out to just a little dried out. After searching the web for instructions on reviving Gilders Paste, I ran across directions to add odorless turpenoid and mix to the consistency you want. And guess what? It worked!

From this...
To this!

See the broken plastic knife? I had to really work that tin to get it back into condition, and the knife paid the price. Poor knife. All for a good cause though. Note: turpenoid is flammable and is toxic if swallowed, so take care when using it and always use it in a well-ventilated area and wash hands thoroughly after using it.

To add the turpenoid, I used a straw by dipping the straw into the liquid and putting my finger over the hole so that I only got small amounts of liquid at a time. I then worked the liquid into the paste and added more until I got the consistency I was trying for.

Next comes the fun part! Using it!!! So I got out some raw brass findings and scrubbed them with a toothbrush using soap and water to make sure that they were clean. Raw brass finding often have oils from the stamping process and your patinas will not adhere to the metal if it isn't clean. Here are the results:

Gilders Paste in Rust
Gilders Paste in Foundry Bronze with Rust accents

What are you working on today?
Happy creating!



  1. Nice! Good to know - thanks for sharing. Just curious, does it dry to a set finish or do you have to add a sealant?

    1. If you want a special finish on it I'd say to add a coating that will give that (such as a glossy finish) otherwise it dries to a matte finish (I think). I've been told to add a sealant to prevent eventual wear...

    2. interesting - wonder if something like a lacquer spray would work. Will have to google it. Thanks

  2. Oh my gosh! I love the technical part of what you do. Me? I've been knitting covers for IKEA clocks. Don't ask!

  3. That is great info to know that it worked, I will store that one in the back of my head for later, or when possibly needed. :) Your findings look awesome!!!

    I am going to eat in a minute and then break out all my new watercolors and start playing, I have not used watercolors since I was a little kid but for some reason have had this itch lately so I bought everything I needed yesterday and today is play day!!!

    1. So jealous of your shopping trip! Next time I go shopping at Michael's, I'm taking you with me so that I can get such an awesome deal! Watercolors are so fun! Share photos when you finish one.

  4. That looks like a fun process. Nice job reviving! I'm working on a very special needle felted kitty sculpture.

  5. the findings look great, and sounds like you had some real fun with the Gilder's paste.

  6. just finished up a steampunk clock for my living room, pop by the blog and see it :)

    awesome post!

  7. Brilliant post, I'm just in the middle of learning about patinas and they are fascinating!

    That fan finding looks *so* pretty:)

  8. SO cool! How proud of yourself you must have been!
    I just finished a custom design for fleece pants in Dogarks with two dogs on a leash. I think I'll make them available as a special order.

  9. Very cool! I learned something new, too! I have never even heard of it til now :) Great job on those charms, Mad!

  10. Beautiful result !
    I never used patina, does all type of colors use the same process ?