DIY Rusted Faux Finish

How To Make Metal Rust Without Using Dangerous Chemicals

An Easy Technique That Makes Steel, Iron or Tin Rust

"… how can I make metal get rusty looking but without having to buy expensive spray paints?"

I get a number of emails each month asking me if there is a faux paint finish, or some sort of other decorative painted technique that can be used to easily and “cheaply” make garden art items (such as barn stars or new metal plant stands) rust quickly. These DIY crafters don’t want to purchase the commercially available spray paints that can produce a faux rusted paint finish.

Though you probably don’t have a project that will be the size of the rusted windmill I’ve shown here, the DIY rusted “faux finish” technique I’m going to share with you works in a similar manner as dear old Mother Nature has naturally done to this metal windmill.

Rusted Metal Windmill

So, is there a “cheap” faux finish way to rust metal? There sure is and it is a very easy to do technique, too. It will definitely cause steel, iron, or tin to age and become rusted. You can even get your kids involved, as there are no toxic ingredients to deal with.

Easy Rusted Metal Technique

This Is An Outdoor Project That Even Your Kids Can Safely Do

One Simple Ingredient & Patience Is All That’s Needed 🙂

Here’s what you need for this DIY project:

  • Common table salt
  • Water
  • Spray bottle

Directions to rust metal:

1) Mix up some salt water: fill a spray bottle with a salt & warm water mixture. Use approximately 1-2 tablespoons salt to a pint of warm (or hot) water. Shake it up! Make sure the salt becomes completely dissolved.

2) Take your garden art item outside. Now, all you have to do is spray the tin or metal item every day with the salty mixture. Leave your item outside and it will begin to rust.

The oxygen in the air & salt water cause the metal to rust.

3) Keep up this routine until it gets as rusty as you’d like.

That’s All It Takes 🙂

This simple faux finish technique can transform new or old metal items into shabby chic items in no time! It’s really a matter of being patient and letting Mother Nature go to work.

Good luck with this project and remember … Have Fun!

Speak Your Mind


What is 13 + 34 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)