These Railroad Lanterns are from 1st Dibs and have a gorgeous, natural patina that developed over years. They are an excellent study in the range and variety of surface color that develops with age and perfect for inspiration. There are countless mediums you can use to replicate patina but my favorite, especially for outdoor metal objects is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®.
It is easy, sticks to everything, and is amazingly durable.I have used it on outdoor furniture, garden planters and flower pots, lights, lanterns and even old chandeliers that hold candles. I think the hardest part is deciding what color patina you are going for..I go back and forth between a zinc grey and blue and a coppery turquoise and green.
You can use one color as long as you paint light layers of different shades and tints of that color, like the Duck Egg Blue I used on my outdoor lantern.
For more a rusty, verdigris, start with Graphite and add light layers of Provence and Duck Egg Blue. You can add areas of rust with Primer Red. No sealer is needed and never use wax to seal anything that stays out in the weather.