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How to Paint Pewter

Pewter home accents can be painted to enhance their look.
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Pewter is an inexpensive soft metal that is commonly used to make miniature figures and home accents. Most pewter items are unfinished, but the metal holds paint well, so it can be dressed up quite easily. All the tools necessary for preparing and painting pewter can be found easily. The necessary supplies are available at craft stores, hobby shops and gaming stores.

Things You'll Need:

  • Small file
  • Hobby knife
  • Lint-free rag
  • Primer
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes, various sizes
  • Magnifying glass, optional
  • Clear coat

File down the bumpy molding seam in your piece of pewter. This is called the flashing. When the flashing is filed down nearly all the way, remove the rest of it with a sharp hobby knife. Wipe the pewter with a lint-free rag to remove small bits of pewter left from the filing.

Apply primer to the pewter with a paintbrush. Spread enough primer to cover the pewter, but not so much that the detailing in the item is lost. Allow the primer to dry completely before continuing.

Apply paint, using a paintbrush. Work in a bright light so that you can see all the details. Allow the base coat to dry overnight so that it doesn't streak when other colors are applied. If necessary, apply another coat, and let it dry.

Paint the details on the pewter. Select different-sized brushes, based on how fine the details are. Carefully paint any filigree or designs, and use a magnifying glass if necessary. Many pewter decorations have very fine details, and an error can be difficult to fix. Allow the paint to dry completely before continuing.

Spray the pewter with a layer of clear coat to prevent damage to the finish. Spray in quick strokes from one side of the object to the other. Do not allow the clear coat to build up too much, but make sure the entire object is protected.

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