Coldcasting

Ever want a genuine metallic feel to your props but can’t pick up blacksmithing? Coldcasting is a great alternative! With just a little powder and resin (or even rubber!), you can get metallic looking props that can be buffed and polished just like real metal.

For this tutorial I am going to skip the molding process because there are already invaluable resources that can be found here and here.

Here’s how it works:

via Gfycat

 

 

NOTE: Not all molds can be coldcast! If there are tight or hard to reach areas it can be near impossible. Box molds are ideal, as they have an open space to evenly coat the powder.

Let’s get started!

 

What  you’ll need:

  • Brush
  • Silicone mold
  • Metallic powder. I’ll be using Alumilite brand gold powder
  • Casting material, like resin
  • Black So-Strong tint (semi-optional)
  • Gloves (optional)

 

For this I’ll be using my cheap brush dedicated to cold casting, some gold powder, and SmoothCast 300 which is a great all-purpose resin.

 

Brush a decent amount of powder onto the mold. Some powders stick to the mold better than others. Brass feels near impossible to get to stay on, whereas this gold mica powder I’m using has no issues.

 

Use a can of compressed air (or blow on it, just make sure to wear eye protection!) to get rid of the excess powder. Before and after blowing out the excess powder.

 

Next step is to mix and pour the material. Think about how the material will flow into the mold. Keep corners, tight spaces, and shape in mind before pouring – you’ll need a plan before mixing your material.

 

Truly the most difficult part: waiting for the resin to cure. SmoothCast 300 hardens within 10 minutes and fully cures within 1-2 hours.

 

Finished product!

That’s honestly it! To see some more tips and tricks, read below.

 

>> The color of the material being poured matters! <<

As a general rule of thumb, darker colors fare better with metallic powders. However it depends on what you’re going for! Maybe you want a brilliantly shiny gold – white may work better for you then!

These 2 medallions were cast with the same gold powder, one with white resin and the other with gray.

The back

 

While this particular powder doesn’t need to be buffed or polished, many others like brass and aluminum will. To polish you can use some steel wool or a buffing wheel (optional) and some polishing compound to bring out the shine.

Unbuffed aluminum cold cast (left) versus buffed with just steel wool (right)

 

 

Pretty much any metal you can think of you can get a powder for – the creative decision is yours to make! Check out a couple more examples below to help you get started with coldcasting.

 

Brass