Antiqued, weathered, distressed, shabby chic, whichever words you use – they all mean the same thing. Not new (looking). Galvanized paint and its effects are one way to get that look.
Want to give something a distressed finish but don’t have any paint (or rusted metal) handy? Read our DIY strategies below.
Galvanized Paint: Fake It Till You Make It
There are two ways to do a galvanized finish. The second one assumes you’re working with metal already. But if you have some wood furniture store item you’re trying to distress, start with step one.
Step One: Paint the Object Grey
For our tutorial, we’re going to assume you’re painting something silver metallic, and not any of the other colors.
You’ll need a medium to dark grey spray paint or surface paint for the first step. Cover the item evenly, including any surfaces (inside, outside, legs) that people can see. Let it dry longer than you think it needs (better to be safe…)
Step 2: Silver Paint
Then, take a silver metallic paint and put it on a paper plate. If you have a leftover lid from a big yogurt container or butter bucket, that works too. Pour the silver metallic paint on the plate and dip the bottom bristles in, only.
This will keep you from getting too much paint. You’re going to want to “stipple” the metallic paint onto the grey. It shouldn’t be a full coat, you want to see tiny dots of the dark grey poking through.
Then, use a corner of your plate/lid to mix some of the silver with black or darker grey paint. Put this in tiny places, spread out over the item. It’ll give it depth – but too many black spots ruin the look.
It shouldn’t even look black – just slightly darker silver.
Step 3: Rust Color
Finally – take a rust color you have and paint it in where you think it’s appropriate. If there are appliques or one part of the furniture meets the other – that’s a natural place for rust.
You don’t need a ton, just enough to make it look weathered (not beat up).
When you’re done (and it’s dry) spray it with a clear coat, to keep the effects for years to come
Use Science to Galvanize Metal
If you have something that’s made of metal, like a bucket or a tray, it’s easy to galvanize it by using sandpaper and vinegar.
Yup -it’s acidic enough to erode parts of the metal finish.
First, you want to take a piece of sandpaper to the surface and give it a good rundown. Make little spots of concentration, where you sand harder than others. This will give it visual interest.
Then submerge the metal item in a big tub of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar. Let it sit for at least two hours, if not a full day. Pull it out and let it sit outside (in the sun is best) until it’s dry. It should have oxidized the metal nicely.
Your New Decor
If you like the antiqued look, then the galvanized metal trend is for you. Try it on a few wood items, like those cute little signs with protruding letters.
Galvanized paint would look great on those. For more DIY projects like this one, click here.