Today I’m going to show you how to make a Copper Pipe Vase without using any copper piping!
Decorative items made from copper pipes are a popular trend in home decor. You can find examples on Etsy as well as in stores like Anthropologie.
I made my own copper pipe vase by painting metallic paint from Modern Masters on a basic dollar store glass vase. I added a patina solution to give the vase an instant aged appearance. I love how easy it is to do!
Here’s how to make your own . . .
Modern Masters Metal Effects Primer
Modern Masters Copper Reactive Metallic Paint
Modern Masters Green Patina Aging Solution
Sea sponge (medium size)
Water Jar (for brushes in between coats)
Thin round vases (from the dollar store)
Here are the basic glass vases I found at the dollar store:
Step One: Prep your surface.
Make sure the glass is clean and free from any oils from your fingers. Wash/dry the glass and then wipe it with rubbing alcohol and let dry.
Step Two: Apply two coats of Modern Masters Metal Effects Primer.
The Metal Effects Primer is made specifically for use with the Modern Masters line of reactive metal paints and solutions.
Specifically, this primer provides a protective barrier on the surface you’re painting, so it blocks any of the special activator solutions – for either rusting or achieving patina effects – from reaching the actual surface where they could start eating away at your actual project.
Oxidation is a fascinating thing, but since you want your project to stand the test of time, use this primer first!
The second coat of primer can be applied 30 minutes after the first coat. This is a nice feature!
Step Three: Apply one coat of the Modern Masters Copper Reactive Metallic Paint.
The Modern Masters Reactive Metallic Paints have actual metal particles in them, which will oxidize naturally over time when exposed to the elements! How cool is that? Very!
The easiest way to paint a glass vase is to keep a few fingers inside the vase to hold it, so you can paint the vase all over at one time, like this:
Then it’s easy to simply place the newly-painted vase down to dry.
The vase on the left (below) has one coat of the Copper Metallic Paint. (The vase on the right has two coats of the Metal Effects Primer.)
(And yes, I went back and covered my thumb print I left on the primed vase. LOL)
After painting one coat of the copper paint on each vase, let dry for several hours.
Step Four: Apply the Modern Masters Green Patina Aging Solution.
First, what exactly is the Patina Aging Solution?
It’s an acidic solution (also water-based) that reacts with the metal particles in the Reactive Metallic Paints, thus speeding up the oxidation process.
Modern Masters offers their patina solutions in both Green and Blue. You can apply these solutions with a brush, a sea sponge, or with a spritzer/sprayer cap that conveniently attaches to their bottles. I used both a sea sponge and a spritzer/sprayer cap.
Apply a second coat of the Modern Masters Copper Reactive Metallic Paint.
While the paint is still wet, spray on the Modern Masters Green Patina Aging Solution all over the vase.
Your vase will look like it has a very subtle cloudy coating on it, like this:
Immediately take your sea sponge . . .
. . . and blot the patina solution to make different textures all over the vase.
You’ll be blotting both the patina solution and the copper metallic paint, so no worries if you see both on your sea sponge:
Lovely striped carpet remnant in our basement. Trust me, it comes in handy when you need a place to kneel and sit while painting!
If you want to spray more patina solution on, you can do that, and play around with the texture until you like how you think it will look. (I say “think” because it’s impossible to truly know how the oxidation process will turn out, which is part of the fun!)
Here’s a close-up shot of the patina solution beginning to oxidize, which starts happening pretty quickly:
I left the vases to sit overnight, so the oxidation could do its thing. Washing my brushes and the sea sponge was easy, as the Modern Masters paints are water-based. Simply wash your brushes/sponges with soap and water.
The next morning, I had two vases that looked like aging copper pipes!
Check out the detail up close:
I love the look of patina! (And I really love that I didn’t have to wait years and years to achieve this look naturally! LOL)
I added some vintage lace ribbon in a pale green color to each vase:
Industrial, rustic and vintage!
These vases no longer look like glass, nor do they look like cheap dollar store vases either!
I can imagine several of these displayed on a mantel, or as unique centerpieces for a wedding! And what a cute (and inexpensive) hostess gift this could be!
I really hope you’ll try this project. But be warned: Once you create something with the Metal Effects paints and solutions, and you see the lovely patina appear, you’ll want to start using this on just about everything!
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Julia Carlson says
I can’t believe that vase is actually glass and not metal. I have always loved the look of oxidized copper. I would really like to make a few of these before Christmas so I can give them out as gifts. I’ll have to put them on my crafting list.
Laura / Pet Scribbles says
Thanks Julia! A great idea for Christmas gifts, especially if you make a bunch at the same time! 🙂
Laura / Pet Scribbles recently posted…Fall Decor: Pumpkin Cookie Cutter Garland
This is beautiful!
Can the same process & products be used to make non-copper metals look like copper?