Rusting Metals (part of a larger project arc)

I’m currently working on a larger diorama project, and while that’s not finished yet. . . there are lots of little sub-assemblies I thought I might share some bits.

My project requires some rusty, aged metals. You can create rust effects with paint and washes fairly easily, but sometimes you want the real thing. With a bit of vinegar, some peroxide, and good old fashioned salt you can actually rust a lot of metals.

This piece will be a wall section in my diorama. It’s a galvanized type corrugated piece from dollar tree. I brushed my solution over it many times and loaded salt onto it until it was giving me the right level of rust effect. You may need to scuff your metal up with some sand paper before you begin to ensure success.

I also used a bobbin to create a rusty spool for wire.

If you aren’t getting a lot of reaction, add more salt! If the metal piece you are trying to rust has been treated with an oil or otherwise protected to prevent natural rusting you may be better off to go with the faux rust painting.

I think a little black wash on the spool might bring out the details so I may add that in as I go, but for now, I’m pretty satisfied with these pieces.

I’ll endeavour to keep taking pictures and documenting the diorama process and hopefully this project will amount to something worth sharing! :crazy_face:


Added black wash to both pieces.


Deelightfully grimy, grubby, & deteriorated!

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Oooh, very well done!

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Thanks ladies! I’m trying to get into the habit of sharing more along the way. I go long periods without posting things I’ve completed because I don’t document the process :woman_facepalming:t2:

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That looks great! I’d love to see what you do with it.

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Lovely rust! Very dystopian looking. I can’t wait to see the final project!

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These turned out great! There is something so satisfying about oxidizing metals, isn’t there?

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I love the little science bits that can be incorporated into life. My spouse never learned to bake until we moved in together and I taught him that baking was all about creating reactions. Now he bakes more than I do and he’s really good at it too!



Yes, the black wash really added drama. I can’t wait to see the final product.

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