Aging glass and mirrors / tarnishing metal

TOXIC – yes, wear a respirator, gloves and protective clothing
INGREDIENTS – the items you want to age, spray adhesive (spray mount), flour sifter, fine colored dirt or powder

One of the easiest methods for aging glass, mirrors, silverware or any other materials is to lightly spray the item with spray mount (aerosol glue) and then use a sifter to dust the item with dirt, baby powder or any other fine powder. Powdered grout (found in the tile/ceramics section) comes in a HUGE variety of colors, such as browns, grays and greens. Pick the smallest, cheapest bag – you won’t need much. Spray mount can be found at any hardware store or art store. Get one with a “light” hold.

Detail of fresh carcass bones on plate and faux tarnished flatware.

The key to good application is to go slow and easy. Wave your hand back and forth with the spray glue just like with spray paint. Use a flour sifter to create a soft, even dust. (Do not use it for food consumption afterwards!) Try experimenting with dusting multiple colors. Start by lightly and evenly spraying the item with spray mount, dust the first color of grout (like brown) onto an item. Then apply another layer of spray mount and dust the item again with another color like green or grey. This will create an amazing mossy / patina look. You can remove the glue with a product called Bestine. It will dissolve the spray glue, but be forewarned the grout may stain porous surfaces.

NOTE: All decor shown was new and shiny prior to aging. Apologies that there are not many before and after shots.

Below is one of the resulting images that came from this set. More can be seen at Ransom & Mitchell.