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How to Color Steel Using Wax

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you working on?

Kevin Caron: This is a new contemporary art sculpture I was just finishing up here in the studio. I've been playing with some of the colored waxes from Sculpt Nouveau. You know who they are, right? A guy over in California: Ron Young.

I've never used these before, so they've been fun to play with - all kinds of different colors. These are white, red and clear.

This is a white patina; I added the white wax over the top of it and buffed it with my little buffing ball, giving it a nice shine. It helps give metal art a little depth, but more importantly, it helps protect it, helps seal it up. So, it's a patina, then a clear coat over the top, and then the wax over that. It's almost like a car, really. That's how you treat it.

If I was going to make this an outdoor sculpture, that's exactly what I would do. About every six months or so, you?d need to wipe it down with a damp rag, put a new coat of the clear wax over the top of it, buff it out just like you would a car, helps keep it sealed; helps protect it.

But the cool thing with the different color of waxes: now you can give the metal work highlights, and you can change the colors a little bit.

The first thing I did was to put some of the red patina on it. It wasn't quite what I wanted, so I put some of the white on - burned it on with a torch; heated it up, got it up to about 200 degrees, just like the directions say.

I put the white on, using it like a primer. Then I went back and put my red patina on. Then I came back with the red wax. Now I've got that coat, with a nice, deep red to it. It's bright; it's not screaming red, but it's not "ugh" red either.

It's a great way to vary the color; vary the shades. You can always mix the waxes and get a different color if you want. You can blend them if you're going to just gradually move from the red to white to whatever shade you want to go with it.

It's fun to play with; I'm going to be using it more.

Let me get back to work. Later!

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