Abstract Metallic Paint Technique

June 1, 2015Allison Murray
Get an awesome metallic abstract effect with paint and alcohol. Gorgeous! tutorial

Get an awesome metallic abstract effect with paint and alcohol. Gorgeous! tutorial

So I saw this shadowbox at the thrift store ages and ages ago. From a distance I thought it was a wood tray and when I came up on it I was a bit disappointed because it wasn’t what I thought it was. But while I walked around looking at another man’s trash I thought, why the heck can’t it be a tray?

Initially the idea was to make it a catchall for in the living room. You see I am quite a neat freak as far as clean and hating germs and all of that BUT I’m messy. I have stuff sprawled all over this dang house. I’ve realized that if I just have some place where I can toss in everything that needs to be put away, my areas are much neater. And when the box gets full I wind up putting everything away. I also know to look in there when I’ve lost something like my keys.

Yes, this ridiculous system of boxes and trays around the house is actually working :) And if you’re wondering why I can’t just put things up when I’m done with them, well you apparently don’t know me at all. I’m like the Tasmanian Devil. I whirl around doing stuff constantly and this whirlwind is going to leave debris behind. It’s just the way the weather works!

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Now this is less about making a tray and more about a really cool technique you can use on wood or just about anything really. But now you also have a different use for a shadowbox, too!

For this project you will need:

Get an awesome metallic abstract effect with paint and alcohol. Gorgeous! tutorial

So here’s my tray. It was intended as a catchall but I have a feeling that this is going to be what’s happening most of the time. Marla is the big boss and if there is something in her way she flicks it out using her claws to grab on and just tosses it wherever. So much for getting things neater!

Get an awesome metallic abstract effect with paint and alcohol. Gorgeous! tutorial

First spray paint your surface and allow to dry completely. If your tray or surface is older or has been used, it may be a good idea to give it a quick sand and pick up your dust and whatnot with a wet paper towel or a tack cloth.

Water down your black paint in a half and half mix. Or as close as you can get it. These nifty medicine dispensing cups make it pretty easy!

Get an awesome metallic abstract effect with paint and alcohol. Gorgeous! tutorial

Paint your thinned out acrylic on top of the spray painted surface in small-ish areas. You need the paint to still be wet for this next step…

Use your eye dropper to add a drop or two to the surface of the wet paint. If you get pretty close to the wet paint when you release the drops, you’ll get something like this.

Get an awesome metallic abstract effect with paint and alcohol. Gorgeous! tutorial

Alternatively if you raise your dropper several inches above the paint, you’ll get a look like this with the more misshapen splotches and little dots all around.

Get an awesome metallic abstract effect with paint and alcohol. Gorgeous! tutorial

When the entire surface is covered, allow to fully dry.

Get an awesome metallic abstract effect with paint and alcohol. Gorgeous! tutorial

Next paint the edges of the shadowbox to match. I stuck with black, so the copper would really pop out.

Finish with a coat or two of your glossy polyurethane. This is a really important step. You saw how it looked drying and it stays that way. The high sheen gives shine to the acrylic paint and protects the surface from regular use.

So what do you think? I am loving this tray so much that I think I must use this technique again. I’ve already got my color palette chosen but not my item to do it on. I guess it’s back to the thrift sto’!

Get an awesome metallic abstract effect with paint and alcohol. Gorgeous! tutorial

 

 

Written by Allison Murray - Visit Website

Comments (3)

  • Grethel

    July 21, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    Hi,
    Thank you so much for this information. I can see me using this for a lot of things around my apartment once I have done the first one.
    I will try this method for the first time on a pair of end tables and I still have a few questions.
    1. When you say water down the paint is that with the alcohol or with water?
    2. The drops are also with alcohol, right?
    Thank you in advance!

    1. Allison Murray

      July 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM

      Hey Grethel! You water down the paint with water and then drop the alcohol to make the paint separate. Sorry for the confusion!

      1. Grethel

        February 4, 2016 at 7:11 PM

        Thank you so much!

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