Shipwreck Beads just got in a new product called Gilder’s Paste. Gilder’s Paste is a waxed based medium used for coloring metal, wood, polymer clay, ceramic and more! Similar to shoe polish, it can be applied with your fingers, a brush or a soft cloth. Since I have never worked with this stuff before, I wanted a simple project to get started on. One of our buyers, the gal who brought in the Gilder’s Paste line, suggested I makeover an old bracelet of hers. The bracelet was several years old and the silver coating was beginning to wear away around the edges to show the copper underneath. She didn’t care what happened to the bracelet one way or the other, so she gave it to me and with free rein to play away!
I chose three colors to work with; African Bronze, Blue Iris, and Patina. The African Bronze is a really pretty goldfish-green color. Blue Iris is a deep navy blue with silver flecks in it. The light turquoise of the Patina is similar to the color of aged copper, like the Statue of Liberty. I noticed that each of the colors have a little bit different texture ranging from very soft and waxy (African Bronze) to hard and dry (Blue Iris.) According to the Gilder’s Paste website, the product has a very long shelf life and can easily be revived by mixing in a little bit of turpentine, mineral spirits or paint thinner.
1) Using rubbing alcohol and cotton balls, clean off the surface of the bracelet. Because this had been worn many times before, I wanted to make sure and remove any dirt and oils that may have been on the surface.
2) Starting with the Blue Iris, apply color around the edges of the bracelet with your fingers.
3) Apply the African Bronze, using a different finger, to the entire surface of the bracelet.
4) Blend the Patina into select areas of the bracelet.
5) Continue adding color and blending them together until the desired effect is achieved.
6) Allow the paste to cure on the bracelet for at least 12 hours then buff with a paper towel or soft cloth to bring out a nice shine.
7) Seal with a clear coat or two to finish.
A couple of notes: This is a VERY messy project. The paste can and will stain everything it comes in contact with. If you use a brush, you will need paint thinner or mineral spirits to clean it. I found that a Clorox wipe took the color off my fingers much better than regular soap and water though I do not recommend that for those of you with sensitive skin. It may be a good idea to use gloves when applying this product, but honestly, what fun is that? I love the mess! It also smells pretty bad so make sure and use it in a well ventilated are. I used the Vintaj Patina glaze to seal and it worked great. I would suggest, however, to use a clear acrylic spray that can be found at the hardware store. It was raining pretty hard on the day I did this so that wasn’t really an option for me. It’s never a bad idea to just improvise and use what you have.
I also experimented with ME1-3, one of the cuff bracelets we sell with great results. I used the same process as above and it turned out great. This is such fun and easy project. I can’t wait to use the Gilder’s Paste on some charms, polymer clay and even some wood pendants!