How to Create a Faux Rust Finish

It’s very easy to make an object look like rust.CS Done closeupThere 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.Cross Stich OriginalFor 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!
CS Gray to RustFirst, 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!!!CS Coat of RustIt’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).CS First RustBefore, you begin, look at actual rusty objects to find a desired finish.  Since it is one of my favorites, I started a Pinterest collection.CS Red washAfter 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.CS painting around LetI added white paint around the letters and then let it dry.  It will look a little flat in dimension at this step (photo below).CS before washAfter it dried, I decided to use a walnut color ink spray wash instead of brushing on a dark brown acrylic wash.  CS Letters paintingI 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.CS Done FrontIt’s almost magical how it adds instant dimension and depth to achieve the faux rust finish.  CS Hook DoneAgain, 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.Birds CSI love how the ink wash settled into the cracks of the mesh giving it depth and a genuine rusty look.Cross Stitch Side ShotTo 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:

Faux Rust Finish for Paper

Faux Rust on Wood Letters

Rusty Look with Spray Paint – on Plastic

Salt Chipping – Rust Distressed Look

Give it a try…it’s a great look all year around!

♥ Michelle

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