Wednesday, 2 May 2012

{ let’s create } faux zinc

jar close2

Today’s post brought to you by Kelly

Zinc is hot. I did a search for “zinc” on the Restoration Hardware website, and 232 matches popped up. With crazy-high prices. But never fear – you can create your very own faux zinc for a fraction of the cost of the real thing. And it’s really easy.

After reading a bunch of tutorials for varying methods, I decided to go with the easiest one, mainly because I already had the supplies I needed. {Check out my Crafty Stuff pinboard for lots of examples of faux zinc.}

Are you ready for one of the easiest faux techniques ever? OK, here we go…

You’ll need:

  • Black acrylic paint {I used FolkArt in Licorice}
  • Metallic paint in silver {I used DecorArt Elegant Finish Metallic Paint in Shimmering Silver}
  • Paint brush & pouncing brush
  • Clear paste wax & a rag
  • Something to paint :-)

This white ceramic jar was in one of the swag bags I picked up at IDS12 in January. The finish is rough & unfinished, which made it the perfect candidate to zinc-ify.

jar before

I totally forgot to take an in-progress shot, but it’s really simple – I just painted the jar black with my acrylic paint. When the paint was dry, I lightly rubbed on the silver paint with a pouncing brush.


After the silver coat dried, I rubbed on some clear paste wax, buffed it, and voila… faux zinc! It’s kind of hard to see the sheen in the picture, but it’s soft & subtle.

jar 2

I used the same technique on this plastic bird that I picked up at the Dollar Store.

bird before

I did the exact same thing, painting it black…

bird during

…and then rubbing on the silver metallic paint, followed by some wax and buffing.

bird after

I didn’t apply wax to the base – can you see that the finish on the jar and the bird is a bit softer than on the base of the bird?

pot and bird

I used the same technique on a white frame from HomeSense {the other frames are getting the chalk paint treatment}.

frames before

frames during

Here’s the completed faux zinc frame with paint chip art that I whipped up in a few minutes so I wouldn’t be showing you a naked frame ;-)

frame after 3

Rubbing the paste wax onto the frame wiped off some of the finish, so the frame is waxless. I just gently buffed it with the same rag I used to apply the wax to the other pieces to up the sheen factor just a bit.

The great thing about creating faux zinc is that you really can’t screw it up. If you put on too much silver paint, just go over it with more black paint and do it again. If rubbing on the wax rubs off the paint, add more paint {speaking from experience!}. Seeing as you want an imperfect/uneven finish, you don’t have to be precise – more black here and more silver there gives the effect that you want, so don’t worry about spreading the silver paint evenly. See the colour variations in this close-up?

frame close

And that’s really all there is to it! I’m going to try out a couple of other faux zinc techniques – I have a plan in mind to make over an oak coffee table that we have with old wood boards and the faux zinc technique.  The Brickmaker’s Table from Restoration Hardware is the inspiration:

RH table

For a detailed video tutorial of a different faux zinc technique, check out Jami’s night stand project over at Freckled Laundry. She did an amazing job!

nightstand freckled laundry

Are you inspired to zinc-ify something in your house?

kelly sig

Linking up to…


  1. This is very cool. Way to transform a plastic bird: It just goes to show, that with an eye for creativity, style is for any budget.

  2. Very very clever and effective. Love the picture frame.

  3. Wow - Kelly! You are on a DIY crusade!! Can you pass some of your extra energy over here please??

    Fun stuff - the bird looks great. :)

  4. Kelly, this is really amazing! I love what you've done, and wouldn't mind giving this a try myself. I just love all your inspiring ideas and look forward to your posts to see what you do next!

  5. Wow, what gorgeous work. The effect is wonderful. Where to you find all the time for all these wonderful projects!

  6. I love the zinc! It's gorgeous! Now to find something to paint...

  7. This is great! Reading your post makes me want to zincify something right away!

  8. Great job Kelly! Who knew it was so easy! :)

  9. WOW I LOVE it!! I need to do this to like at least 6 things in my house right now! OH and I am popping over to say THANKS SO MUCH for the sweet comment you left me about my mini mailbox makeover.. that was VERY sweet of you!

  10. The transformation of the plastic bird is incredible - it will certainly have something to "tweet" about now !!

  11. This is so incredibly cool and neat! I really need to give this a go. Pinning now!

  12. Neat! Love the picture frame.

  13. Great tutorial. Love this look! You're featured this week on Share the Love Wednesday--stop over and pick up a feature button! Thanks so much for linking up this great idea.

  14. I really like that look. I particularly love how it looks on that bird you picked up at hte dollar store. This is a great DIY -- thanks.

  15. LOVE the look of your faux zinc finishes! I'll definitely try it.

  16. Inexpensive and easy with a FANTASTIC end result! That's my kind of project!

  17. Thanks for the tut. Pinned it. ~ Maureen

  18. I loved your tutorial, and just wanted to let you know that I mentioned in my blog post today...

  19. FANTASTIC Kelly! Isn't dabbling in paint and creating faux finishes fun? The sky is the limit! Thanks for sharing. -Brenda-

  20. So glad I found this tutorial and your site. Who doesn't love a simple project that turns out so dramatic and trendy? I'm off to look for something "zink-able."

    I'm adding this project to my Pinterest board for tutorials.

    I am your newest follower. Keep up the good work. -- Barbara