I've had this metal deck ornament/mobile for years. I liked it a lot when I bought it, but it probably should have been thrown out years ago because the paint was so worn and faded:
I'm so glad I didn't throw it out! A month or so ago I went to an all-day class with Ranger designer Wendy Vecchi. One of the things I learned is that her archival ink coupled with her embossing powders work on metal. You can change the color of anything metal--permanently!
First I cleaned the pieces up. Here's what they looked like--pretty bad:
Next apply the archival ink. I used Buttercup for the sun and star and Cornflower Blue for the crescent moon.
After the whole piece is inked (you might not be able to see the color--especially a light color like I used), apply the embossing powder. I didn't take a picture of this step, but it's just like embossing on paper. Apply a generous amount of embossing powder on the wet ink. Use a piece of clean paper underneath your project so you can keep and reuse the powder that doesn't stick.
Then melt the embossing powder with a heat gun (not a hair dryer!). You might have to do these steps more than once. You can see a few areas I had to do a second time. Also, be careful when heating the metal--it gets HOT in your hand!
Here's a side-by side look at the difference (courtesy of my phone's photo collage app):
And a picture of all the pieces completed. It's quite a difference!
It's hard to see except on the moon, but I also added some highlights on each piece with Ranger's gold embossing paste. I just applied it with my finger and gave it another shot with the heat gun to set it.
And one last shot of the ornament re-hung on the deck after being spray sealed for outdoor use. Much better, right?
Nothing metal inside or outside my house is safe! I'm going to be re-coloring everything metal.