Dixie Belle Rusty Patina



My son Jack recently acquired his FIFTH fish tank, and they all live in his bedroom.  The most recent one is the largest, and he asked for a cabinet to put it on, so I found this beautiful solid old piece on FB Marketplace.

It’s a TV cabinet from when TV’s were actually built into a piece of furniture.  The guts are removed, so the inside isn’t much to look at.  But the outside is cool, right?

rusty cabinet before

Our concept was to paint the insets as if you’re looking through a window to the sea.  And to put some rusty patina goodness around the bottom, like an anchor.

If you want to see a live demonstration of this technique, you can check out the video here.

Here are the supplies I used.

Resource List:

(Note: These are affiliate links for which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for your support!)

If you want tons of information on Dixie Belle paint and products, you can check out this Comprehensive Guide post, and you can download it free here by clicking the picture:

Midnight Sky & Stormy Seas

First, I cleaned the piece well with White Lightning, rinsed with clear water and let it dry.  Using a large round synthetic brush, I painted the raised areas with Midnight Sky.  It’s a very dark blue-black color.

Then I painted the insets with Stormy Seas, a blue-gray color.  Using a clean neutral brush, I blended the wet paints together to create a cloudy look.

rusty cabinet front

I originally thought I would paint a second coat of both colors, but I decided I liked the wood peeking through so I stopped at one coat.

I did the same blend on the sides and top as well.

rusty cabinet top

Rusty Patina

When the base colors were dry, it was time for the first coat of the patina paints.  There are three colors – iron, bronze and copper – and I couldn’t decide between them.  So I used them all!

My advice with these paints is to make sure you shake them really well before use.  They have very tiny particles of actual metal in them, and you want those evenly incorporated in the paint. Also, don’t use your good brushes.

rusty cabinet side view

Let the first coat of patina paints dry, and then paint a second coat over roughly the same areas as the first coat.

There are two activation sprays – blue and green.  Iron with green spray creates the orange-y rust.  Either spray with Bronze and Copper create the blue-green tones you see.

Sidenote: In the picture above, you might recognize the dresser I painted for Jack’s room as well.  You can check out that blog post here.  His barn door closet is stained with Voodoo Gel Stains in Black Magic, Tobacco Road and Up in Smoke.  Yes, I think his bedroom might be the coolest in the house!

Back to the activation sprays, you spray these on the second coat of patina paint while it’s still wet.  They will start reacting right away, but it can take 24 hours or more to get the final look.

rusty cabinet detail

I sealed the whole piece with Clear Coat Satin, my favorite sheen by far.  If you liked this post, you may enjoy these as well:

If you enjoyed this makeover, head on over to Shop my Faves and pick out some paint and products for your next project!

Please Pin!

Rusty Patina Pin
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9 thoughts on “Dixie Belle Rusty Patina”

  1. I love the rusty patina! You did a beautiful job. Thank you for sharing at Charming Homes and Gardens.

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Kim! The patina products are awesome!

  2. This is so cool! I’m sure your son loved it!

  3. That’s a stunning patina effect ! Love how it turned out.
    Thanks for sharing at Meraki Link Party.
    Naush

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Naush! It’s fun and easy too!

  4. mireille says:

    Cool! It now looks like you found it on a ship which is perfect for a fish tank!
    http://www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

    1. Shannon says:

      Right? It’s fun painting for a 14 year old boy!

  5. Niky says:

    Wow! Super impressive! I love seeing all your stunning furniture upcycles. Thanks for sharing them at the Sundays on Silverado Link Party!

    -Niky @ The House on Silverado

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Niky! I love all your decor and recipes as well! xo Shannon

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