Hand Painted Finishes – Using Mica and Grit

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I love decorating my painted pieces beyond just paint and wax.

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So, I’m excited to introduce the new Mica Powders offered by American Paint Company. They are available in five colors: Metallic Gold, Metallic Copper, Metallic Silver, Metallic Pewter, and Black.

Mica Powders, ultrafine powders made from mica and pigment, are non-tarnishing. They can be mixed into waxes, topcoats, glazes, varnishes, polys, lacquers, and epoxy to create a final metallic sheen effect and enhance detailed areas. When mixing, the effect will be subtle with a mix of 1 part mica to 5 parts wax. The effect is more apparent with a mix of 1 part mica to 3 parts wax. Don’t mix them with your paints; they will just disappear, and Black has no metallic effect.

I took an old textured board and painted over it with APC Wild Horses, then taped it off to demo the effects of these powders.

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The bottom smallest square will represent a ‘flash gilding’, where I rub on a little water, let it soak in a few seconds, then rub the powder over it.

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Here’s the order of Powder applied from bottom left to bottom right: Black, Pewter, Silver, Gold and Copper.

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Then, I applied the wax with 1 part mica to 3 parts clear wax on one row and a 1:5 ratio on another.

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The whole board is complete AND turned upside down, so now the flash gild is the top row,  the  1 : 3 ratio is the middle row, and the 1:5 ratio is the bottom row. The order is Copper, Gold, Silver, Pewter, and Black.

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The copper, gold, and pewter act a lot alike – if you use a heavier concentration it will really take over and change your paint color. I prefer the less is more method,  otherwise if you aren’t careful it can really look blotchy. The silver is more like a sparkly accent (reminds me of glitter), and I find it a little odd over dark colors. I think over lighter colors, the silver would be a lovely touch, or even added in with one of the other mica colors.

I mixed the Black Mica Powder with the clear wax and scrubbed on this frame painted with Dawn’s Early Light.

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I wiped back the excess. I love to change things up, try new combos, see what works and what doesn’t. I’m not a fan of the Dawn’s Early Light on its own, but I  really like it used these ways.

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Let’s look at a few more combinations with the micas. Here are bases painted in APC chalk/clay colors Home Plate, First Lady, Freedom Road, Surfboard, Born on the Fourth and Rushmore.

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I first applied the wax and removed any excess.  Next, I really scrubbed the American Grit into all the cracks and crevices, working it into all the detail areas. Finally, I wipe away all the excess.

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Here is American Paint Company HOME PLATE with Clear Wax and American Grit.

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Here is American Paint Company  HOME PLATE with Gold Mica wax.

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Here is American Paint Company HOME PLATE with Pewter mica wax.

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This is American Paint Company FIRST LADY, a pale pink. I put on wax, wiped the excess back, and applied grit.

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Here’s American Paint Company FIRST LADY with Grit.

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Here’s American Paint Company FIRST LADY with Silver Mica wax.

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Here’s American Paint Company FREEDOM ROAD with Copper Mica Wax and Gold Mica Wax on the right.

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Here’s one of my favorite colors, SURFBOARD, with Silver mica wax and Copper mica wax. I added some American Grit as well cause I didn’t like the silver by itself.

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Next is American Paint Company BORN ON THE 4th with Pewter Mica wax and Silver Mica wax.

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This last one is American Paint Company RUSHMORE. I decided to add the Mica Gold with some APC Vintage Dark Wax  since the gold on its own is just a little wimpy to me. I mixed both at the same time and just mixed them into each other.

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I added some Clear wax and then Grit. I like these two, American Paint Company RUSHMORE with Grit on left, Gold Mica and Dark wax on right.

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Oh, the possibilities.  Having products like these in your “painty tool box”  is a necessity if you are regularly dabbling in furniture finishing.  It allows you more options and more opportunities to create a way cool finish. dsc_6078 You can’t have too many products, and you can’t have too many brushes!

If you would like to view the extended version of this original post, click here.

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Post courtesy of Patty Henning from Fabulous Finishes in Michigan

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Comments

  1. love this piece! where can the stencil be purchased?

  2. This is great!! Thanks for sharing this tutorial! :o)

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