Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Painting wire so it looks like snow?

Dear Orchidians,

I have wire “trees” that I have made to use as displays and several
people have told me that the color of the metal interferes with
people’s perceptions of my pieces–they get confused and think it’s
one big sculpture. Most of these people thought I should use black
wire but, since it’s the holidays, I’d love a kind of glittery white.

Since I’m up against the wall, I can’t make new displays (I still
don’t know if I’m going to have enough jewelry made by the time of
our local show!), so I want to paint the ones I have (nickel, copper,
and brass). I need something I can apply quickly and easily, that
doesn’t require priming, that won’t rub off onto ear wires, etc.

Since I started making jewelry, I have not tried to paint metal, and
I don’t have a lot of time to experiment now, but I once had an awful
experience painting a metal desk (the paint rubbed off on everything
and I finally had to throw it out) which I don’t want to replicate. I
have thought about spray paint for cars…it really needs to be
something I can spray and there’s an auto supply place in town (no
art store, but there’s a Michaels one town over)…I really did
search the archives, and I found some stuff on colored epoxy, but I
need something much quicker and dirtier than that.

Any ideas?

Lisa Orlando
Aphrodite’s Ornaments

Krylon spray paint works great on metal. I’ve used it on all kinds
of surfaces, baskets, metal file cabinets. I even re-did my kitchen
with it. I found these terrific 1970’s metal lab cabinets with
drawers, cleaned them up well and spray painted the drawer fronts.
(sanding any drips with 1500 grit) The paint job is holding up very
well after two years.

Krylon for metal. You won’t have any trouble.

Ah, I read again and you want snow. Buy some of that "Stone Fleck"
paint that they sell in the spray paint aisle to make your trees
bumpy. Then after that dries, paint over it with a white spray
paint. Then, if you still have time, check the craft store for an
iridescent spray if you like, and spritz that here and there.

Another advantage of spray paint is that it dries very quickly,
which should help you get your project done on time.

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Studio 925; established 1992

Hi Lisa Not glittery, but why not check to see if Michael’s has
florist’s tape in white? It’s easy to wrap around wire with a little
stretch as you go and it clings to itself. Might also grab on to a
few judiciously-sprinkled sparkles or even holiday party "confetti"
in small sizes.

Pam Chott
Song of the Phoenix

Lisa, I don’t know for sure if this would work, but you could try
Krylon spray laquers - many people use the clear to protect glass
bead coatings that rub off, so my guess is that it would work on
metal too. They dry pretty quickly, and you can get them at a
hardware store.

– Leah

I was told by an interior decorator that it is very easy to get a
great look when painting a metallic paint onto metal. He suggested
using a plain old basic, cheap acid (flux) brush and model paint from
the hobby store.

No brush strokes, no separation of the components in the paint, Just
a fast and professional look to it,

All of my projects have turned out much better than I had hoped for.
He knows his stuff!