Oil Based Color Wash
Over the years of making various metal sculpture and decor pieces, I have experimented with several finishing techniques. There is a lot of talk in gamer forums about using color washes with acrylic paints to add a weathered and more authentic look to game pieces and figurines. Recently, while examining a random scrap piece of steel tread plate, the idea bulb went on over my head. With the rough texture that the tread offers, why not try a color wash based on oil so I’d have the added benefits of rust prevention as well. I wanted the bare metal and tread to show through but be distinctly colored as well. The way I accomplished this was picking up a can of Rustoleum Subrusnrise Red and adding that to some Flood Penetrol. Penetrol is basically an oil based paint modifyer to help with brush marks and leveling. It is basically linseed oil, alkyd oil and mineral spirits. By adding at least twice the amount of Penetrol as the amount of oil based paint, the color becomes more translucent and collects in uneven pools somewhat like water color. For non-porous surfaced like the tread plate, it is best to apply the mixture only in the horizontal position so it will level off and dry properly.
Brazed Nail Midcentury Modern Tread Plate Wall Art
To the sculpture above I did apply my color wash rather liberally so it took about three days to dry completely. The Penetrol will slow down the drying time of oil based paints considerably. Outside of that minor flaw, I am stoked with the addition of a new technique in my arsenal of metal working skills. The Brazed Nail Midcentury Modern Tread Plate Wall Art is available in my Etsy shop.