03 January 2013

Fast and Fabulous Rusting Technique

Got a quickie to share today while it's fresh in my mind ... a technique I stumbled upon for giving a rust finish to hardware, gizmos, and gadgets.  I stumbled upon the idea on a Pinterest board the other day, and thought it sounded too good to be true - but it isn't!

I recently bought some vintage style hooks for yet another project (!), and while I liked the style of the hooks, the finish was too shiny for the use I intended them for.

In my usual fashion, I headed straight for Google, and researched ways to age/weather metal.  A lot of what came up were commercial products and ways to make metal rust, or at least be more "vintagey" looking, by using various chemicals.  Not my style, and I didn't want to get into WAITING for an order of commercial products to arrive.  I am woman, I want it yesterday!

One posting suggested the use of a mixture of vinegar and salt.  Those being items I keep on hand, I had nothing to lose and gave it a shot.

I soaked the hooks in plain vinegar first overnite, and then added some table salt the next morning.  Supposedly the vinegar breaks down whatever finish is on the metal and then the salt adds insult to injury, as the expression goes, and does the rusting job.  (Sorry!  This is not a scientific formula, but I guess I added about 2 tablespoons of salt to the vinegar.)

As you may be able to see, the mixture gets kind of murky and bubbly.  I left them in the salt/vinegar mixture over another night. 

The next morning, I removed them from the solution, and left them on newspaper to dry.  That's where you really see the fruits of your labor!  It seems like the exposure to the air on the wet residue on the metal is what really "makes it happen".  They went from shiny to weathered just like I hoped.....

Don't you just love it when something so easy really WORKS?????  I "rusted" about a dozen hooks, listed some in my Etsy shop, and now have some to play with.  Happy girl!

Try some!  Would love to know how yours turn out and if you have tips to share.  Wonder what other types of metal gizmos it would work well on ...

Over and out - till next time!


  1. CanNOT wait to try this on my jewelry holder (big piece of old barn wood that we've added some cool knobs and hooks to. Needed a way to hang up earrings, so was thinking of laying some chicken wire over the front to hang stuff on. Will this work on galvanized metal, though??

  2. Hmmm...good question! Galvanized metal will rust with time but it does take longer to break down that finish. I've had success, tho', by pumping up the salt ratio and doing the dipping/air drying process a few times. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out. Send a pic!


So glad you dropped by ... please leave a comment and share your thoughts with me ...