A Shimmery Metallic Copper Wall with Modern Masters

Copper metallics are hot right now. Williams-Sonoma is selling copper kitchen equipment and utensils this season. Home decor magazine pages are full of copper. Copper is a current wedding decoration trend. It’s a warm and welcoming metal, perfect for cozy homes in the fall and winter.

I recently created a luscious shimmering copper accent wall in our basement. We’re turning part of our basement into a “man cave” media center. I prefer televisions surrounded by darker surfaces, so it’s like being in a movie theater. But, there was a bright white wall near the TV that was covered with a shiny dry erase board. It was time to change the wall. Here’s a sneak peak of the transformation:


To make this space into a manly cave, I added high contrast, bold patterns, black color, and dark metallics. The inspiration for this project was this photo of the Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler Presidential Suite living room:

Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler—Presidential Suite

To make the raised patterns on the wall, the inspiration was mud cloth from Mali:

Mali Mud Cloth

The Paint: Modern Masters

If you want to paint a metallic wall, two words come to mind: Modern Masters. Why? They have a huge selection of metallic paints. Not just silver, gold, bronze and copper but also blue, green, red, black, pink, orange … any color you want, but in metallic! It was hard to choose (it helps to get a color card) but I finally settled on Antique Copper for a rich, deep dark copper color. Modern Masters was wonderful to work with, and provided me with a kit of metallic paint, extender and a fluffy roller for this project.

Modern Masters Copper Wall Painting Supplies

(Hey if you can’t beat that light flashing on the wall, highlight it!)

Supplies for the wall

  • Modern Masters Antique Copper Metallic Paint, total 64 fl oz (2 quarts) for a 7′ x 7′ wall
  • Modern Masters paint extender
  • Modern Masters roller with deep nap recommended for the metallic paints
  • 4″ roller with 1/2″ nap for the edges
  • Primer
  • Dark brown Benjamin Moore paint
  • Bucket to mix paint and extender
  • Paint tray

Supplies for the mud cloth-inspired wall art

This was my first time painting with the Modern Masters paint which contains real metal particles. I learned that it’s all about protecting the particles if you want a shiny metallic wall. Think of the particles like newborn puppies. You don’t want to smush them! Thus, the need for a cushy deep nap roller with 1/2″ nap. It’s almost like fluffy sheepskin, but on a paint roller, super cushy!

Before - White Dry Erase Board on Wall

Because there was dry erase board permanently installed on the wall — you can see the slick shininess above — first I applied a Kilz primer. Then I painted a dark brown Benjamin Moore color left over from a previous project, to start with a dark base coat instead of painting on white.

Dark Brown Base Coat

Painting Tips for Metallic Paints

You’ll notice in the supplies list above, I mentioned an “extender.” You can mix an extender into the paint, and it extends the time that the paint stays wet.

Modern Masters Antique Copper Paint Supplies

As Modern Masters recommends wetting the roller, I found it really does help to wet the roller before painting, then spin the roller to fling off excess water. Because the nap is so long, the paint will spread more evenly when the roller is wet. You can spin the roller with your hands, but I found an inexpensive roller spinner at Menards.

Spinning a Paint Roller

Also — important — don’t paint Vs and Ws. Remember it’s all about protecting the particles. If you paint slanted lines, the metallic particles can be facing lots of different directions and you won’t get an even finish.

Instead, paint straight lines up and down, or left to right. Roll your paint from floor to ceiling in one stroke, then “backroll” back down the wall to the floor. So you are rolling up and then rolling back down over the paint you just applied. Keep rolling strips up and down the wall, overlapping with the previous strip by about 2 inches. Keep working so that the previous strip doesn’t dry before you roll the next one.

Let the first coat of paint dry. It may not look so great at this point, but don’t worry. Repeat the process for a second coat. With the second coat, you’ll get a rich, even finish.

Copper Metallic Paint from Modern Masters

You can see the metallic copper emerging in this photo, versus the flat dark brown. The final result is a burnished antique copper penny surface that’s so luscious and luxurious! It’s metallic shiny too!

But Wait There’s More: Raised Patterns

The black patterned wall in the Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler photo above inspired the idea to create raised patterns on boards. I used the Royal Design Studios Tribal Vibes Allover Wall Stencil because it looks like mud cloth, a strong masculine-feeling pattern.

The Tribal Vibes stencil is wider than the boards, so I laid different areas of the stencil on the boards to make each look one-of-a-kind.

Stencil Layout

Then so the surface would be same as the wall, I primed and then painted the dark brown Benjamin Moore paint.

Primed and Painted Boards

Wood Icing Textura Paste was applied through the stencil to make a raised pattern. To apply Wood Icing, load some of the product on a flat-edged trowel and then run the trowel almost parallel over the stencil. The Wood Icing will fill in the stencil. Let the Wood Icing set for a minute, then peel up the stencil. The good thing about Wood Icing is it adheres super well. But that also means, wash it off your stencil and trowel before it dries. You can sand the dried Wood Icing with fine grit paper to give the raised pattern a smooth finish.

Wood Icing

I actually got so excited about the luscious antique copper color that I wanted to paint the whole world right away! So I mistakenly painted the boards copper before applying the Wood Icing. You don’t have to do that! I got ahead of myself. If you follow the steps that make sense, in the right order, apply the Wood Icing, let it dry, and then paint the metallic Modern Masters paint over the raised stencil pattern.

Wood Icing Raised Pattern

And that’s it — mud cloth-inspired raised panels! They add some tone-on-tone subtle texture to the wall. The rest of the room will be “pattern-full” so I wanted to keep the wall monochromatic.

Modern Masters Antique Copper Painted Wall

I placed a mid century modern chair that I re-upholstered with real mud cloth in front of the wall, and stacked up my favorite design books as a little “side table.” The Edison bulb lamp was also a DIY project — this little corner is full of DIY creativity! Though this area was supposed to be a man cave, right? I think it’s styled more “bohemian chic” (or “chick”!) right now. My husband’s large screen TV, stereo and speakers are just out of shot, so that is the manly stuff in this entertainment hang-out space!

Copper Raised Pattern Wall Art

Global Decor

For more ideas on how to use metallic paints, visit the Modern Masters Cafe blog and enjoy the gorgeous projects there.

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