This is a simple little way to paint faux rust using only craft paints.
On almost anything.
Like little stars, cut out of cereal boxes. That would make ideal ornaments for Christmas trees for a front porch.
Like my porch, for instance.
Yes, I realize we just had Halloween. Yes, I realize it’s only the first week of November.
But here’s the thing . . .
I have 27 different paint projects planned for Christmas. I try to post three times a week.
Emphasis on “try”.
If I post 3 projects a week I’ll need 9 weeks to fit all of the planned projects in.
There are 7 weeks til Christmas.
That doesn’t include decorating any trees or wreaths or boughs or garlands or . . .
I’m starting my Christmas posts now.
You can use this faux rust technique for Fall. Or, hey, you can use it for any day of the year.
Before doing any faux finish it’s really helpful to look at actual finishes.
Our landlord obligingly left this cool rust . . . thing . . . in our side yard.
Look at all of those wonderful layers of color on the . . . thing.
Sometimes rust has very little orange in it.
Other times range of hues and tones are amazing.
There are lots of different products to replicate a rust finish, along with different techniques.
This is just a really simple way using regular ol’ craft paints and a sea sponge. Truth be told, you could probably just use a paper towel instead of a sponge and get a good result.
- Rust-Oleum Rusty Metal Primer
- Burnt Sienna by Ceramcoat
- Terra Cotta by FolkArt
- Spicy Mustard FolkArt
- Wrought Iron FolkArt
- Wicker White FolkArt
- Sea Sponge
- spray matte sealer (not pictured)
Besides the cut-out star from the cereal box . . .
I also painted a thrift store sleigh,
And a neon green plastic dollar store bucket.
Besides painting faux rust on metal, you can paint cardboard, wood, or plastic.
You could probably even paint faux rust on glass, but it didn’t make my Christmas Project List this year.
Ok, I wound up trying two slightly different versions – one with dark gray and one without. First up is the method without gray.
Step 1 – Spray your project with Rusty Metal Primer.
This alone will give most anything a nice rusted look.
Step 2 – Apply Terra Cotta paint with sea sponge.
Step 3 – Apply a few highlights of Spicy Mustard here and there.
Step 4 – Apply even fewer highlights of Wicker White.
These highlights of white and yellow add dimension to the finish so it doesn’t have a “flat” appearance.
A note about using a sea sponge:
Applying paint with a damp sea sponge will leave distinct markings unless you push and smoosh the paint around a bit.
Otherwise it’ll look like a kitty got her paws in the paint and ran over your project.
No kitty tracks, ok?
Step 5 – Apply Burnt Sienna over the highlights to tone them down a bit.
Burnt Sienna is close in hue to the spray primer. Since it’s a craft paint some of the highlights will still be visible, just not as harsh.
Step 6 – Seal with a matte sealer.
Matte sealers aren’t only to protect the finish, they also increase the look of dimension, which is critical when painting a faux finish. My projects always look quite flat, even with lots of paint layers, until I seal with a matte.
Plus, there is no sheen with a matte, or only a very slight satin. So you’re not taking anything away from a true rust appearance.
For the plastic tub I started with Wrought Iron mixed with a little Wicker White. I dabbed the sponge in each and let them mix on the tub, rather than mixing on the palette to get a medium-toned gray.
Don’t forget to do the inside of an open container too!
Next, add the Terra Cotta close to the gray mixture.
I’ll do a video on Faux Rust pretty soon but I wanted to show you how I use a sea sponge.
First, dampen the sponge and absorb most of the water in a paper towel. Then dip in a little paint and apply to the surface.
Turn the sea sponge to the clean side where there is no paint.
Use the ‘clean’ side of the sponge to smoosh the paint around and get rid of any kitty tracks.
As you apply, smoosh around, reapply, smoosh some more, you’ll wind up with different textures – just what you want for most faux finishes.
For the plastic tub I didn’t apply any white or yellow highlights or Burnt Sienna, simply because I liked the look with only gray and Terra Cotta.
But I did seal it with a spray matte.
I put the pumpkins and gourds in the tub just so you wouldn’t panic and think that this is a Christmas project.
Just don’t be surprised when you see a bunch of faux rust ornaments on some alpine Christmas trees.
If you start now, you’ll be all ready for when it’s really time to decorate.
I won’t tell a soul.
Have you tried any faux finishes? Which one did you paint? What did you paint it on?