How to Create a Faux Rust Finish
It’s very easy to make an object look like rust.There are various mediums one can use to create a rusty look on just about anything.
On this project, I used a little bit of sand, liquid acrylic craft paint in dark grey/Payne’s grey, georgia clay (a burnt orange color), red iron oxide, green, dark brown, white and a walnut (color) ink spray. I applied the paint using craft brushes (old and new) and had paper towels (dry and wet) to blot/absorb the paint.
While at a yard sale last week, I could not resist the offer to fill a box for $2.00 (made me smile all day long!). 🙂
This sweet sentiment found it’s way into the box.For an easy fix, spray paint would give it a more up to date and fresh look.
However, I wanted to create more depth and to emphasize the texture of the piece. Since it had the mesh and raised thread, I went with my favorite color choice – RUST!
First, I painted the entire piece in dark grey. Once it dried, I added the georgia clay paint mixed with a little sand (use enough sand to give it the amount of desired texture). You can already see the start of rust!!!It’s all about layers. Depending on the desired color(s) for the piece, touches of green, blue, white and yellow work well to add dimension. Use a damp cloth/paper towel to blend the edges of each color for a more subtle and not patchy look (Note: to keep your colors from blending too much and looking muddy, let each color dry between coats).Before, you begin, look at actual rusty objects to find a desired finish. Since it is one of my favorites, I started a Pinterest collection.After my paint dried, I added a thin wash of the red paint (red iron oxide wash – 1 part color to 2 -3 parts water) to the piece.
Once that dried, I added a brown wash over the entire piece.
It turned out nice and rusty (as seen in the photo below). 🙂
The next day, I decide to create more contrast so the words would stand out.I added white paint around the letters and then let it dry. It will look a little flat in dimension at this step (photo below).After it dried, I decided to use a walnut color ink spray wash instead of brushing on a dark brown acrylic wash. I mostly sprayed it on the rusty color section of the piece. I used (wet and dry) paper towels to blot some of the ink color off…especially on the white area. Then, I added more ink with a small brush to the letters.It’s almost magical how it adds instant dimension and depth to achieve the faux rust finish. Again, experiment with layering paint and washes. You can’t go wrong. If you don’t like a color you added, cover it with the rusty sand mixture (I did this over the green paint I applied to the piece…leaving only touches of the green showing will still create a little added depth). Click HERE for a tutorial regarding adding multiple layers of color.I love how the ink wash settled into the cracks of the mesh giving it depth and a genuine rusty look.To protect the finish (and give it even more dimension), add a clear matte sealer.
Have you tried any faux finishes? Check out these other faux rust techniques:
Rusty Look with Spray Paint – on Plastic
Salt Chipping – Rust Distressed Look
Give it a try…it’s a great look all year around!
Follow along 🙂
Follow on Twitter
Join the fun on Pinterest
Follow daily post on Instagram
‘Like’ on Facebook for encouragement and updates on new products.
Connect with me on Linkedin
Signup for Blog, Announcements & Updates (Side Column)
Supporter of Pediatric Cancer Research Braveeli.com
06/20/2016 @ 4:51 pm
Wow Michelle!! This is beautiful and so cool!! I never would have thought to paint a needlepoint piece. It looks so great; love the new rusty look!! Awesome job!!
06/21/2016 @ 12:33 pm
Thank you so much Keri!!! It was fun experimenting with it to make it work with our farmhouse style decor. Love the magic of paint! 🙂 Now, I need me some of your awesome coasters!!!
06/21/2016 @ 4:41 am
Love the look and the green patina adds a beautifully authentic “dimension” to the piece. I’ve never tried using sand to create a rusty texture, I’ve always used cinnamon. I’m going to have to give it a go 🙂
06/21/2016 @ 12:25 pm
Thank you Michelle! I love the texture sand adds, but I could see cinnamon working too (and smelling so wonderful!)…I’ll have to give it a try.:) So glad you stopped by…enjoying your blog!!!
06/21/2016 @ 4:42 pm
OMG, this looks like an old & rustic piece of tin, this is so cool Michelle!
06/22/2016 @ 11:32 am
Awe, thank you so much Katrin…that means a lot coming from your creative self!!! 🙂
Mary-the boondocks blog
06/23/2016 @ 6:45 pm
This is a very interesting technique, Michelle. And you have shown it to us in great detail. I have to confess before I started blogging I couldn’t understand what the fuss was about with rusty things. But since then, I have gained a newfound appreciation for all things rust and the beauty of the colors and patina. Pinning and sharing.
07/12/2016 @ 11:57 am
Thank you Mary for your encouraging words and support!!! Lol…I have friends that have felt the same way. I am glad rust is in…for I so love the look to compliment any decorating style.
06/28/2016 @ 10:20 am
Love how you always are able to get that beautiful rust appearance with paint and sand! Amazing! The quote is lovely, it stands out much more now.
07/12/2016 @ 11:50 am
Thank you so much Pili!!! Paint is a miracle worker and so much fun practicing faux techniques with it! 🙂
06/28/2016 @ 11:30 pm
Michelle, How cool is that? I love how you can take a new piece and make it look like a treasured old piece, a family relic, or something that is a 100 years old! The sand really adds so much texture to the surface. I would never have guessed that this was something created this century. Amazing what you can do with $2 and a bit of paint. So cool and inspiring! LOVE it.
07/12/2016 @ 11:46 am
Awe, thank you so much Nikki!!! You add so much Sunshine to the lives of others…thank you for the inspiration!!!
06/28/2016 @ 11:31 pm
BTW, love the new look! Great job.
New York Roofing
07/13/2016 @ 1:57 am
This piece of art is looking stunning and perfect thing to decor space. You are very innovative with art work. This is looking a real piece of rust and can’t make out that you turned it into rustic piece just using colors.
07/13/2016 @ 10:40 am
Thank so much for stopping by John and for your support…blessed by your kindness!!!