Patina: How to Create and Preserve ~ Book Review

How To Create and Preserve Patina Book Cover

There was a time when a heavily weathered collector car or truck was considered a bit of an eyesore. In fact, if you brought one of these vehicles to a car show more than likely you would receive grief for showing a car with faded paint and surface rust. But not anymore. The era of patina on vehicles has been fully embraced, and rightfully so.

The genre is currently ripe with creation. Kevin Tetz of Paintucation® has delivered the first book ever on the many variables involved with patina. In a step-by-step format, Kevin walks you through creating patina from existing paint, preserving *already there* patina, and painting patina (steel, plastic, glass). Each process is unique and requires its own set of skills, procedures, and tools.

Patina: How to Create and Preserve by Kevin Tetz
Patina: How to Create and Preserve by Kevin Tetz

While it may sound counter-intuitive to try and preserve something that has been slowly ravaged by time and the elements, a quick look around any car show will reveal that “patina” has become a more popular than many would have guessed.

When everyone else is trying to be brighter and shinier than the next guy, the best way to stand out and get noticed is to do the opposite. Ask any proponent of patina and they’ll proudly tell you of times that attendees have walked past incredibly adorned autos to get a better look at “that old car” or rat rod.

Anyone familiar with our operation knows that we ourselves have danced with Mother time — forced the clock with voodoo concoctions of chemical craziness and have layered paint so thick, we’ve labored over weight reduction elsewhere.

We’ve also created and curated a lot of automotive content, most of which focus on DIY and How-To articles, so when we saw this book, we wondered of all well-documented automotive procedures, we would argue that preserving and creating patina lands pretty close to the end of the list.

CarTech® and Kevin Tetz of Paintucation® have produced the first book published that cover the many variables involved with creating and preserving patina.

The book is chock full of actionable lists and clearly presented and easy to follow step-by-step procedures and processes. The book is well made with a “section sewn” soft binding and creased covers, so off the shelf it lays cleanly on the bench without a lot of hassle and makeshift paperweights — perfect when working with just one hand — It’s easy to use and is going to stand up well (for a paperback book) in a shop environment.

At 176 pages, this is a legitimate manual that opens with some background information and explains the tools of the trade and the materials and paints used and setting up shop.

Kevin starts you off with a solid foundation what patina is how it occurs, before jumping in both feet with demonstrating how to accelerate the clock.

He sets you up for success with test panels and practice — but also helps bail you out of seemingly tough to solve yet easy to happen situations like overspray, over-sanding, paint runs, and more.

With the techniques and procedures outlined, explained, or demonstrated in this book, you can achieve any look you want – just follow along, use the processes, work some test panels, and roll your own…

Our Take


It’s clear that Kevin is no stranger to the ways and wonders of the automotive world. He is an articulate professional with lots of practical experience. He does a great job of demonstrating while explaining what he’s doing in a way that’s easy to grasp and presented in an easy to follow manner.

If your project, or even a portion of it, involves patina – this book is for you and will easily pay for itself. Moreover, the concepts and processes in this book apply to a far broader use than just automotive, whether it is resurrecting an antique, creating a prop or working over a man cave or another project, Patina: How to Create & Preserve is the perfect book to guide you through the complete patina process.

Where To Get It

From the Publisher: CarTech Books Available in Paperback and PDF format…

From Amazon: Available New and Used…

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: What Is Patina?

  • Forms of Patina
  • History of Fauxtina
  • Fauxtina in the Film Industry
  • Patina-Friendly Tools, Supplies, and Paints
  • Setting Up the Paint Shop
  • Pneumatic Tools
  • Safety
  • Craft Paints and Supplies

Chapter 2: Finding Your Light!

  • History and Chemistry
  • How Paint Ages
  • Using the Sun
  • Creating Character

Chapter 3: Practice Makes Perfect

  • Aged Effects
  • Undercoats and Primer Colors
  • Test Panels
  • Practicing Patina Three Ways29
  • Layers with Texture

Chapter 4: Planning Your Paint Job

  • Set Goals
  • Find Inspiration
  • Create a Photo Reference Library
  • Develop a Painting Strategy

Chapter 5: Creating Colors

  • Understanding Color
  • The Color Wheel
  • Color Tinting

Chapter 6: Creating Patina on Metal, Plastic, and Glass

  • Basic Chemistry
  • Metallic Paint Systems
  • Sealing and Locking Down Patina
  • Making New Plastic Look Old
  • Distressing Glass
  • Creating Aged Glass

Chapter 7: Using the Airbrush

  • Types of Airbrushes
  • Tools for Airbrushing
  • Airbrush Techniques

Chapter 8: Vintage Sign Painting and Using Stencils

  • Getting Ready
  • Create the Test Design
  • 1971 C10 Project
  • Summary

Chapter 9: A Complete Patina Paint Job

  • Paint Strategies
  • Tools and Equipment
  • Surface Preparation
  • Spray Techniques
  • Protecting Patina

Chapter 10: Recovering from Mistakes

  • Correcting Making Errors
  • Removing Overspray
  • Correcting Oversanding
  • Correcting Runs
  • Coverups

An Appendix is included that further refines some of the processes to simple lists, as well as a complete Source Guide (including websites) for the tools, supplies, and materials used and referenced in the book.

Take a Look Inside “Patina: How to Create and Preserve”

About the Author

Kevin Tetz grew up elbows deep in muscle cars, trucks, and automotive restoration. After a career in collision repair, he launched the award-winning Paintucation® instructional video series to pass along his knowledge. Kevin enjoys writing for magazines, hosting his own TV series since 2003 including Classic Rides on DIY, and hosting and co-producing the popular Trucks! and Truck Tech on Spike.