A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: SHINE BIG...shine small Modern Masters Metallic Reactive Paints

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21 January 2014

SHINE BIG...shine small Modern Masters Metallic Reactive Paints

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This post is part of a campaign with Modern Masters and LooksiSquare. I was provided with materials for my projects, but all opinions are entirely my own.  Without these materials, this post would not have been possible.

This campaign was titled "Shine Big, Shine Small".  The idea?  To do one big project and then fall in love with the paint so much that we just grabbed something little along the way and made a "bonus" project.  This pretty much happens with EVERY project I do, so I thought, "No Biggie!".  My only problem?  I did a big project.  Then I did a small project.  Then I did another small project.  Then I did a tiny project.  Oh and a medium project.  Go figure.  I am now self titling this post my "Shine Big, Shine small small small small small" project.  Ready to rust?  Let's dive in!

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi SquareModern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

We must start way back at the beginning when I thought of the most needy outdoor furniture I could think of for this reactive iron "rusting" treatment.  The garage door is in pretty sad shape, and I REALLY want to make metal-like windowboxes and shutters out of plywood for the FRONT of the house, but what really caught my attention were these chairs.

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

They are actually fairly nice chairs and we use them out in the yard quite a bit all summer long.  I painted them almost four years ago when we moved in this house, but they are definitely starting to show their age.  What is funny is that the iron treatment is supposed to make them look "aged", but in a better way.  You will see what I mean....

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

Here is the rest of the porch furniture pushed up against the porch away from snow.  
No chips on this stuff.  My ugly brown chairs really didn't fit in.


Supply List:

Typically you can skip a step here or there in DIY projects, but for this process, you will absolutely need the four different elements! Let's start with the primer.  This primer is a MUST because you are going to be rusting the paint on top of this layer and it will actually eat away at your furniture without a protective primer layer in between.

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

After the primer, you apply 2-3 coats of the iron reactive paint.  It basically looks like a very matte version of chalkboard paint.  Without the primer (yes I experimented!), you will need 4-5 coats and you might have issues down the road from skipping the primer.  In other words, don't skip the primer! 

After the primer and iron paint go on, you let them dry fully and then use a spray bottle to apply the activator.  This is BY FAR the coolest part.  You wait 2 hours and can literally SEE the activator turning the paint to rust.  Really, really cool!

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square
Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

After the surface is COMPLETELY dry (I waited overnight every time), you can apply the topcoat to seal the finish.
The finish will darken and look less "loud" with the addition of the topcoat.  
This coat also preserves the artistic finish you created instead of further aging in the elements.

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

See how "loud" the rust color is on the halfway point up there?  Don't worry.  It ends up darker and deeper!

Also, don't worry about the blue tint that the cover coat has when applied.  It turns completely clear.

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square
Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

A couple notes on different techniques I used (I tried a LOT of different ideas!)

A.  I like a "little" bit of rust on some items and a LOT on others.  All over the chair was too much for me...

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

B.  Squirting the applicator in "dots" then blending them together can end up really pretty :)

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

C.  For the final finish on the chair, I did the "rust all over", then before adding my topcoat, 
went back and added some more iron paint.  I really love this look!

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

If you like to get creative with paints, try different techniques out with several small projects first before tackling a big one.  

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

D.  Using a crisscross, crosshatch pattern with my brush gave a really pretty finish on the metal chairs, 
but I loved a "rubbed" finish (with a towel) on a table I did indoors (future post to come!)

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square


Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

E.  I tried these paints on several different materials including metal, plaster and even wood!  This whale turned out really pretty when the iron paint and activator were added with no primer coat.  The wood grain shows through just a bit, so it is hard to tell whether it is really wood or metal.

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

So the ACTUAL small project?  Well, in addition to the letters and whale (and a clock and another table...)

THIS is my small project.  Ugly yes?


I don't even know what it is for, but I liked the shape and picked it up for a dime or so at a thrift store.

I gave this piece primer, iron paint and activator, but skipped the clear topcoat.  
The matte finish is really nice for holding my business cards and stationary.

Modern Masters Iron Paint Looksi Square

WHEW.  Enough projects anyone?  I seriously have two more to show you (an indoor table AND a mailbox update!)  ...and I can't WAIT to get my hands on some of that copper reactive paint for some plywood shutters...you hear me Modern Masters?!?  

Which project is YOUR favorite?  Have you used these paints before??  
Feel free to share your photos on the Nest Facebook page -- I would love to see them!
For more Modern Masters projects from the Looksi team, check out Looksi Square on January 30th!!

Now it is YOUR turn to win!  enter below for a reactive paints prize pack from Modern Masters and Looksi!



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