Faux Finish : Verdigris

You can do colour washing onto bare wood, furniture or walls. It is basically applying a base coat of colour paint with a second light coat containing a mixture of another colour and glaze. Various visual effects depending on what you use to apply the glaze – brushes, sponges or cloths (regular cotton, cheese cloth) or even paint mitts.

Tools and Materials:


  • Latex paint (base coat and wash color) 
  • Paint tray 
  • Paint roller 
  • Glaze 
  • Putty knife 
  • Joint compound 
  • Drop cloths 
  • Painter\’s tape 
  • Paint brushes 
  • Color wash applicator 

Protect the areas around (and on the floor) where you’re working where you don’t want paint to end up on with drop cloth.

  1. Apply the base coat as you would when painting a room. Prep your room, wall (or surface that you’re working on), fill in crack or holes and sand the surface. Lightly wash the surface with clean water to remove dust and allow to dry. 
  2. Latex paint is easier to work with than alkyd (oil) paint (less smell and easier to clean up) but you can use either. Use low sheen or eggshell finish for a better base color than semi gloss or high gloss paints.
  3. Allow to dry.
  4. Prepare glaze mix by combining glaze and secondary color in a 4 to 1 ratio, (four parts glaze to one part paint). The way you apply your glaze mixture determines how it ends up looking. 
  5. If you use sponges or a cloth apply the glaze mixture, apply it in a circular motion – as if you were actually washing the walls. 
  6. If you are applying the glaze with a brush use short random criss-crossed strokes. Minimize the brush lines by feathering the glaze with a different dry brush (one that hasn\’t been used to actually apply the glaze) across the wet glaze.
  7. You can even apply a third coat of glaze (after allowing the 2nd coat to dry) if you want to add some creativity and depth to your colour washing technique. 

Tips: Work in diagonal sections rather than up and down when applying your glaze coat to minimize the appearance of any vertical lines. Finish the entire wall once you’ve started applying the glaze coat, as you may get a noticeable line where you stopped and than started again.

     8. Protect your color washed walls with a coat of clear varnish.


A verdigris faux finish can make your ordinary outdoor furniture, flower pots or virtually any wood, metal or ceramic object look like a valuable heirloom. The faux verdigris finish replications the green coating that forms on copper after it has been exposed to the elements for some time. You can readily achieve that same appearance and give your yard a “touch of class” at the same time, (and no one needs to know that the old planter isn’t really a valuable piece of antiquity). Here\’s how to achieve a faux verdigris finish.

Tools and Materials:

  • Metallic copper or gold paint 
  • Dark green latex paint 
  • Light green latex paint 
  • Blue/gray latex paint 
  • Clear acrylic spray paint 
  • Paint brushes and sponges for applying paint 
  • Paper towels 
  • Sandpaper 
  1. Clean the surface of the object you want to paint. If you’re wanting to paint of a metal object, sand it with a 100-grit sandpaper to ensure the pain adheres to the surface. 
  2. Apply the first coat of paint (metallic copper or gold), from top down towards the base of the object. Allow this coat to dry.
  3. Apply a coat of dark green paint with a sponge. Blob on the paint leaving enough space between blobs for the gold or copper to show through. Allow to dry.
  4. Apply a coat of light green paint, again using a sponge, in an irregular pattern overlapping the dark green color, making sure to leave small bits of the gold/copper color showing through. 
  5. Evaluate the finished look once the light green paint has dried. Adjust accordingly by dabbing on more color or even applying some streaks of copper/gold to achieve a look you like. Allow to dry.
  6. Apply a light coat of watered blue/gray latex paint, then blotting it with a paper towel. Allow to thoroughly dry.
  7. Finish your verdigris project by applying a final coat or two of a clear acrylic or urethane finish to the entire surface.