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I love the rustic, worn look of galvanised steel. What I don’t love is how hard it often is to find galvanised steel home decor at a reasonable price, at least here in Australia. So what do you do when the real stuff is too pricey? You create fake galvanised steel, like a gosh darn liar.
Using this technique takes something like this:
And makes it look like this:
You can create fake galvanised steel finishes in a few different ways, but this particular technique is my favourite because it requires no fancy equipment (just some paint, a paintbrush, and some ground cinnamon) and it’s easy to do.
- A paintbrush
- Black acrylic paint
- Decoart’s ‘Dazzling Metallics’ paint in ‘Shimmering Silver’ or similar.
- An old sponge
- Ground cinnamon (optional)
Step 1: Apply metallic silver paint
To begin, use your paintbrush to apply a thin layer of metallic silver paint paint. Make sure to vary your brush strokes – do both short/long, and horizontal/vertical strokes. Applying the paint like this creates a nicely textured base which helps your fake galvanised steel look realistic.
Allow to dry. Apply a second coat if necessary.
Step 2: Apply black paint
Now for the fun part: Using a sponge to emulate the imperfect look of galvanised steel.
Lightly dip a small corner of your sponge into your black paint, keeping most of the sponge clean. Remove excess paint by dabbing your sponge against a rag a few times. You should only have a very small amount of paint on the sponge.
Dab your object very lightly with the painted part of the sponge a few times.
You then want to blend the black paint so it fades gently into the surrounding silver. Do this by dabbing the edges of the black paint with a clean part of the sponge.
Repeat as many times as necessary, paying particular attention to the edges. When you’re done, you should have something like this.
Allow to dry.
Step 3 (optional): Apply ‘rust’
I like to add a little rust to my fake galvanised steel. If you don’t want rust, feel free to skip this step.
To add fake rust, dip your paintbrush into a small amount of silver paint. Brush a small, light coat of paint where you would like the ‘rust’ to appear.
As soon as you have dabbed the paint on, sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon directly on to the paint.
Shake or flick your object with your finger to remove excess cinnamon. Use the same technique to add more rust as desired.
And that’s all there is to it!
I’ve never bothered sealing any of the (indoor) projects I’ve used this technique on and they’ve held up just fine. However, if you’re painting something that will be handled a lot/exposed to the elements, you might want to give it a quick spray with some paint sealant.
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