The Den of Slack

Aging the faux copper roof

Continuing with the Victorianna’s “copper” tower roof — it doesn’t take long for pretty, orangey copper to tarnish and turn blue out in the elements, so I need to dirty it up.

To do so, I bought a set of Vintaj Patina paints. This set is appropriately called Weathered Copper and includes three colors: moss, vertigris, and jade. This stuff is meant to be used on metal but it’s just paint, no reason it can’t be used on wood.

I started with the moss since it was the darkest and tamest of the three, using my favorite dry brush technique to splotch it on. (Dry brush technique: dab a stiff bristle brush in paint and then splotch most of the paint off on a paper towel before using it.) It didn’t look quite right, but I figured if I didn’t like how it turned out I could always repaint the roof copper and start over.

Next I splotched on some vertigris. Yikes, that’s bright.

And finally the jade. This is definitely not the look I’m going for. Back to the drawing board painting table.

For my second attempt I used a sponge brush and applied the paint more liberally. Here it is with a coat of moss.

Followed by vertigris (just one panel in this photo, to give you an idea of how the vertigris changes the overall color).

And finally the jade. This looks better than the last attempt, and is reminiscent of a tarnished copper roof. But I want my roof to be mostly copper with a hint of oxidation, not the other way around.

Using a dry brush again, I re-applied the copper paint. This process reminded me of the eraser tool in a program like Photoshop — splotching on the copper paint effectively “erases” the other colors until only a hint remains.

Here’s how it turned out. I might play with it some more when I do the other tower roof.

Working on the gazebo cupola for the other tower last week, I added 1:12 crown molding around the base of the tower roof to compensate for the roof being a little too small.

Even though the larger tower roof is better proportioned for its base, but I thought it would look nice with the same trim.

These were once again cut using the plastic miter box I bought solely for its 67.5-degree angle. I haven’t had that thing for very long but the plastic around the 67.5 angle is getting totally chewed up. Sadly, when the Victorianna’s finished it may need to be retired.

On the gazebo side, the crown molding sits on top of the octagon to fill up the extra space between the edges of the tower roof and the edges of the base. On this side, the roof almost reaches the edges of the base so I don’t have enough room to put the crown on top of the octagon. Instead it will go around the outside edge.

The crown is 5/16″ tall and the octagon base is 1/8″. I glued pieces of 3/16″ basswood to the top back side of the crown molding to make up the difference.

The bottom edges of the 3/16″ pieces sit on top of the octagon, making the crown molding pieces flush with the base. The basswood also provides more surface area to glue.

Here’s how it looks. Ideally the pieces of braid would line up with the points of the octagon, but they’re not exact. I’ll be more careful about this when I do the other roof. I’m waiting to glue on and paint the finial because I might use a larger one on this larger roof, haven’t decided yet.

Here’s a glimpse at the two towers in progress. (“Hey, that gazebo looks different than it did last week!” Indeed it does. Stay tuned!)


  1. Wow! Your aging really turned out well! One of the other blogs I follow, Epbot, also has some methods for aging copper since she loves that patina. You might get a kick out of some of her posts.

  2. It looks INCREDIBLE, absolutely INCREDIBLE!

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