DIY verdigris

It's verdigris“What do you think? It’s verdigris.”

“Looks like stuff I spent hours trying to get rid of when I was an apprentice.”

“Good, that’s the look I was going for.”

Husband and I don’t agree about verdigris. I love the patina, the idea of something ancient looking, the layers of character, and the colors. Husband just sees something that needs to be sanded and restored to pristine sparkle.

The backyard bodega (storage shed) proved a little to damp for the NSF wire rack. It rusted and was on it’s way to a bad end. I replaced it with plastic shelving and attacked it with a wire brush. Then I got the brilliant idea of using copper color paint instead of bright silver. If I had used spray paint, maybe it would have worked better.

It didn’t occur to me to take pictures along the way. The first layer is Berel 100% Acrilico Esmalte Metálico in cobre (copper colored acrylic enamel) that I bought at Home Depot. I mixed some left over Comex house paint in Calypso, the turquoise color we used on the wall behind the pool with water and cal to make chalk paint. Cal is used in making cement and is basically gypsum. I also used other random phthalo green based colors in my paint box. I just randomly dabbed colors on. In some places I wiped the colors off, there was not much method but it was fun and I really like my


I didn’t bother to put on the back pieces, the rest of the shelves are added to another shelving unit elsewhere in the house.  I use a couple of old record racks and file folder stands to store canvases. My paints are in the tool boxes which I plan on painting someday.

I also painted a black plastic waste basket to match. I needed a place to store pattern graph paper, tag board, posters, and maps that I had rolled, but needed something waterproof.  One of the drawbacks of cement tile floors is that everything either needs to be waterproof or easily moved when the floors are mopped.


About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. I am trying this but wonder why I am not getting the blue/green tarnish look.
    I removed my kitchen cupboard hinges which I supposed were brass, cleaned them up real well, let them dry, then dipped in a vinegard/salt solution and a copper color shown through. A verdigris method should work on brass or copper, right?

    I have tried using heat from a blowdryer. I can’t bake them because the hinges have a plastic part that I assume is essential. I’ve re-dipped and swished and air-dried. I’ve tried distilled vinegar and when that didn’t produce results, I switched to apple cider vinegar. But, nothing is making them turn blue/green.

    If the hinges look brass or copper, but aren’t, what could they be?

    • Yesenia,
      Sorry, I really don’t have an answer for you,I did it with paint. I used a copper colored enamel paint and then painted over it to make it look like verdigris. I have no idea what your metal hinges are made of.


  2. Well, that came out well! It’s so much better to repurpose/refinish something like that rather than throwing it out and buying a new one.

    Do you refinish wood furniture? I’ve gotten involved in a project trying to restore the finish of the top of a bureau recently, but have run into a very annoying “fisheye” problem with the varnish due to silicone contamination. That has created a whole detour into shellacking and then dealing with shellac problems. (Shellac is not affected by silicone and can create a clean base for varnish.) Now a small project has turned into something convoluted.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we have a copper mailbox that will hopefully some day turn green.

    • Kim,
      I don’t have the patience to strip a piece, sand it, and then paint or shellac it. I do more of a shabby style like I did on our dining room table and china cabinet.

      My goal is to repurpose what I already have rather than buy something new. Funny thing is, since I postponed a few projects I find that I am rethinking them.

      You have my sympathies, I hate it when what seems like a simple project “evolves” into a big deal. Then again, you can look at the results with pride.


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