I have to start with saying that I love all things old and rusty! Old, rusty, chippy, and dirty are just a few of my FAVORITE words in regards to home decor! If I can pull it straight off the farm and do something amazing with it in my home, then I am happy as can be!!
This isn’t always possible to do though, especially when you are thousands of miles away from the family farm. One of the downfalls of Army Life :(. For that reason, we discovered a method for rusting our own metal somewhere around 6 years ago. I came across an old railroad seal that had the perfect rust patina, and I needed some hooks to match. The hardware store had metal hooks, but they were not quite the old rusty and chippy look that I wanted.
Below you’ll find step by step instructions on how I took the shiny new hooks and turned them into rusty beauties. Of course I didn’t take pictures at the time (pre-blog) so photos of a current project will have to do! 🙂
I started with a box grater from Walmart for $3.50! Not a bad price, but not exactly the antique, rusty, and perfectly aged box grater I was hoping to find while out garage sale-ing.
It’s important to note that this method works BEST on unfinished metal. However, you can use it on metal with a chrome plating (like my box grater) as long as your rough it up first.
A sanding sponge from the dollar tree should do the trick. You’ll want to aggressively sand until you have it pretty well scuffed up. This will allow the rust mixture to grab ahold of the metal and create the perfect aging effect. (this step is optional if you are working with unfinished metal. You would just want to make sure to thoroughly clean your metal with a degreaser before starting the rusting portion of events).
Next I gathered the ingredients I needed for my rusting solution. Here’s what you will need.
- 16 oz Bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide
- Distilled White Vinegar
- 2 Water Bottles. 1 Large, and 1 Small.
Make sure you are wearing eye protection and rubber gloves before doing this portion of the project. Practicing all safety measures is super important!
Fill your small water bottle with the vinegar. Make sure you label it! The small bottle should ONLY have vinegar in it.
Next take your 16 oz bottle of peroxide and dump it into your Large Spray bottle. Add 2 oz of Vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of salt. Mix it thoroughly by swishing it around until the salt dissolves.
Put your metal (in my case the box grater) into a bucket. Spray it with the vinegar and let it completely dry (preferably in the sun because that will be faster). Once it is dry spray it again with the vinegar. Repeat this process at least 2 or 3 times. The vinegar will start to eat away at the metal, and you should start seeing some pretty cool things happening to your piece.
Here’s where the magic happens. Next, you’ll want to take your metal and spray it with your rusting solution you made. Leave it to dry in the sun. You can repeat this step 2 or three times as well, or until you have the desired rusting effect. The longer you let it sit and dry, the more rust you’ll create.
When you like how your piece looks, you can use a clear coat to seal it. I prefer flat mod podge spray.
That’s it! It’s super simple, and has an amazing effect!!! I just love how easy it is to make something new look old with just a few household ingredients and a little time!
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