The colors and texture that form on certain metal surfaces, such as brass, copper or bronze, are known as verdigris. It is largely pale green and may have rust-colored areas as well as blue spots. This patina is commonly associated with The Statue of Liberty. The statue's vivid colors are a result of this natural process, which surprises many visitors who previously assumed it had been painted.
This naturally occurring patina is produced by oxidation or other chemical processes. Most often, this occurs when metal is exposed to air or seawater, becoming weathered over time. The coloring may develop quickly or may take years, depending on whether the environment is urban or industrial and what elements are found in the area.
Building designers, landscapers and interior decorators are increasingly drawn to the bright blues, greens and rust colors found in this patina. Developing this finish naturally can take a significant amount of time, but builders and landscapers can usually account for this taking place sometime after their structure has been built. For interior decorators, most of the elements they use cannot be exposed to harsh outdoor weather. It would be best if they pursued other methods that either mimic the look or speed up the process.
Incorporating elements that have a verdigris finish has become an increasing trend in interior design. It is a great way to infuse a bit of color while also adding the rustic charm that has become so popular with many homeowners. To add this finish to indoor elements that cannot be exposed to the weather, designers can either use an artificial process or create a faux finish.
Creating a verdigris finish using an artificial process can be done in several fairly simple ways. The easiest process typically involves basic ingredients found in the home, such as white vinegar, salt and dish soap. This treatment would work well for small decorative items, such as picture frames, lamp bases or planters.
To achieve a verdigris finish on larger areas or on elements that are not made from metal, it may be best to apply a faux finish. Home improvement stores and craft centers often carry kits that contain everything needed to create a faux finish of this type, but it can easily be achieved using various shades of blue, green and metallic paints. A faux finish would be ideal for headboards, kitchen cabinets or even an accent wall.
Incorporating verdigris colors into exterior or interior design projects will add some punch to an otherwise rustic design. The trend will likely continue as the use of metals in interior design gains popularity. The best method for achieving this look will depend on where it's being applied and the intended use of the piece.
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