To make the brand new metal you just bought look old, you can age it with paint. You can also tarnish it by using corrosive materials such as an acidic cleaner, vinegar and salt. It might sound difficult, but all you need is regular household products to age metal for years in a matter of hours. You can create amazing accessories or just metal home decor pieces that look like expensive antique pieces.
Method 1 of 3: Aging metal with paint
Step 1. Find a shiny piece of metal
Most often, you are going to find galvanized metal that is coated with steel to protect it from rusting. This process is ideal for accessories and furniture if you want to create an antique artistic finish.
Step 2. Sand the metal
Sand metal objects with 80-gauge sandpaper. Use a sanding pad or sander for larger pieces. Sanding removes the topcoat. Rub the metal object until the surface loses its shine. Wipe off dust created by sanding.
Wipe the metal with White Spirit or vinegar to clean the surface. A clean surface allows the paint to hold better and last longer
Step 3. Prepare the paint
Pour some matte black acrylic paint onto a palette. Dip the brush in water to soften the bristles.
Remember to only paint in a well ventilated area
Step 4. Apply the paint
Start by applying paint to the object in light bursts. Start with the crevices and cracks in the object, then continue around. Black should cover the object, but you could add variations to mimic the aging process.
Step 5. Let the black coat dry overnight
You must allow the paint to dry completely before applying the next coat. Find a place out of reach to let the object sit overnight. Wash the brush while the paint is still wet to make it come off more easily.
Step 6. Choose accent colors
If you want to give a galvanized appearance, you can purchase matte gunmetal gray and burnt umber paint. If you want a bronze look, buy a matte burnt acrylic paint and raw umber.
- Don't feel pressured to apply multiple coats of paint. You can try applying gunmetal gray with the sponge to create an aged galvanized appearance. Then decide how much umber to apply, if you want to use it.
- If you want a bronze look, you can mix raw and burnt umber to create a warm bronze color.
Step 7. Dampen the brush
Pour your chosen color onto the palette. The color of the paint will depend on the finish you want to achieve.
Step 8. Dab some paint on the metal surface
Your goal is to create an irregular patina. For example, you might get a more gray or bronze color around the edges or clods.
If you want a galvanized look, you can add a coat of umber paint
Step 9. Wait for the paint coat to dry
Let the object dry in a well-ventilated place out of reach for at least 24 hours.
Step 10. Sand the edges
Take a look at the aged metal and decide if you need to add some finishing touches. If you want to continue to create an aged effect, go over the desired areas one last time with the sandpaper. Wipe off the dust and the metal object is ready to be shown.
Method 2 of 3: Aging galvanized metal with acid
Step 1. Find a galvanized or gray metal object
This is the ideal process for creating a white, aged or mineralized appearance. You may even be able to create a little rust in some areas.
Step 2. Sand the surface of the metal with a sander or sandpaper
Choose 80-gauge sandpaper. Rub the surface until the layer of shine is gone. Wipe down the parts to remove dirt.
Step 3. Place the object in a well ventilated area
You could also lay on a large sheet of plastic on the floor to protect it from the chemicals you are going to use.
Wear safety glasses, gloves and a long-sleeved top. The toilet cleaner can be quite strong. It can ruin your clothes and irritate your skin and eyes if you touch it directly
Step 4. Pour the liquid over the metal
Hold the bottle with one hand and turn the object so that the acidic toilet cleaner covers the entire surface of the metal.
Dip an iron wool sponge in the product and rub the iron object with it. Be sure to rub well on handles and other such areas. Apply as much cleaner as needed until the entire surface is covered
Step 5. Leave to act
Leave the even layer of product on for at least half an hour. You will even be able to see the metal age before your eyes. If you are not satisfied with the result, let it soak a little longer.
Step 6. Rinse the metal object
You can use your rubber gloves to wipe off the product while you rinse it off. Make sure you rinse all chemicals well and dispose of them safely. Let the metal dry before using it.
Method 3 of 3: Create a patina similar to brass
Step 1. Find a metal object
Copper or brass do the trick very well. This process creates a verdigris patina. You can find recipes that use different ingredients to create a wide range of colors using the same methods.
Step 2. Prepare the solution
Prepare a solution of three parts apple cider vinegar and one part salt. Make sure the salt does not contain iodine, for example sea salt.
- Pour the solution into a bowl if the object is small.
- Pour the solution into a spray bottle if you want to use it on a larger object.
- You will find other recipes to create a patina. Chlorides will create green undertones while sulfides create brown undertones.
Step 3. Place the object in the solution for half an hour
Immerse it completely in it. Let stand.
You can also spray the solution on the object. Reapply the solution several times on the surface during this half hour
Step 4. Take out the metal object
Place it on a paper towel. Let sit for a few hours to reveal the shade. Once it has fully appeared, you can decide if you want to start the process over to continue transforming the object.
Step 5. Spray the object with hairspray or wax
This will seal the color to the metal. Once you are satisfied with the resulting color, cover the entire surface with varnish.