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topic 17478 p4

How to Rust Steel On Purpose



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December 18, 2012

Q. I am trying to get the engine stamp pad, which is located on the engine block, right in front of the right side (pass. side) head, to look aged and slightly rusted. Some have suggested coca cola, vinegar, and even salt water. What would be the best process for the result I am looking for? Thanks for any help.

Doug Jorgensen
car restorer - Staten Island, New York, USA


December 18, 2012

A. Hi Doug. Haven't done it, but I'd probably try a bleach bandage. Bleach is very tough on iron and steel.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


December 19, 2012

Q. By a "bleach bandage" do you mean taking a small piece of cloth, dipping it in bleach, and than placing it on the stamp pad and letting it sit there for awhile. The pad is about 3/4" wide by about 4" long.

Doug Jorgensen
car restoration - Staten Island, New York, USA


December 20, 2012

Yes, that's what I was thinking.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



February 18, 2013

Q. Hi

I need help to add patina to a painted metal piece.
The piece is a metal lamp shade, painted green on the outside and white on the inside.
I was already able to do it a few times, by sanding the paint, and dipping the piece in rusty water. The rust was made by putting various metal parts in it, and letting it sit for a while. The color that came on the inside of the shade had a nice rusty yellow color, and I was happy with it. Now, I ordered some iron oxide, but the finish comes out completely different. It's almost a pinkish orange, and I have no idea what to do in order to get the original look. I tried using yellow acrylic paint mixed with water, but it still not "rusty" enough. Any suggestion?

FYI, the original pieces I did look like this:

rusty metal lamp shade 6 rusty metal lamp shade 7 rusty metal lamp shade 8 rusty metal lamp shade 9

Maciek Wilkos
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada


February 2, 2013 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I have fashioned a knife from an old file and would like to quickly force extreme pitting. Basically, I am trying to achieve the look of a piece of steel that has been rusting in a puddle for the last ten years with heavy, sporadic pitting and deterioration. I want it to look like it came from Mars or something. Any suggestions on how I can do this at home ? It probably sounds silly, but I appreciate any help I can get. Hot vinegar and mustard applications have been working, but it's way too slow.
Thanks.

Rick Mcalary
Hobbyist, wanna-be knife maker - Atascadero


June 23, 2013

A. Use equal parts vinegar/ peroxide (1 cup) and teaspoon of salt. Mix in a spray bottle and fog steel (clean of grease and oil). Repeat as needed. Hose off the excess but DO NOT WIPE. After finish is completed and dry, blow off dust with air. Spray many coats with Deft wood finish (it does not yellow in time) do not let it run, light coats. You should be happy with the product.

Dean Banks
- Phoenix, Arizona, usa


February 27, 2014

A. All I did to rust steel is:

Clean with wire brush wheel or fine sanding disk.
Soak in muriatic acid for 2 hours +
Spray with hot water after each time it dries.

To speed it up I use the oven at 250 °F and spray periodically.

Jeffry Garner
Alamo Creek Enterprizes - Santa Fe


April 22, 2014

Q. I am trying to create rust designs on my motorcycle gas tank. What I have done is let the tank get a fairly rusted look, then made my stencils which I placed on the bike. I then clear coated the tank and peeled my stencils leaving only my covered design areas open to the elements. My question is if any of these methods are safe to use so I can speed up darkly rusting my design areas without damaging the clear coat surrounding them which acts as the outlines of my designs? This is my first attempt at playing with rust so any advice would be appreciated.

William Bradford
- Ocala, Florida USA


September 4, 2014

Q. Hi, My name is Sally. I am a 67 year old sculptor.
I am desperately trying to find 28 gauge steel that will rust quickly. No zinc plated or galvanized. I need sheets about 12" x 24".
I am also wondering if tinplate will rust quickly. If so where can I get sheets?
Thank you for any help you send my way.
Thank you, Sally

Sally Seamans
- Gloucester, Massachusetts


September 5, 2014

A. Hi Sally. Hot rolled steel sheet of that thickness is available from themetalstore.com
Cold rolled low alloy steel is available from onlinemetals.com

Best of luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


September 6, 2014

Q. Thank you for your answer - but I am specifically looking for 28 gauge.
The thinnest I can find is 26 guage. Do you know if 28 gauge is even made, and if so please please tell me where.
Thank you so much.

Sally Seamans
- Gloucester, Massachusetts USA


September 2014

A. Hi. 28 gauge is made and I can see it listed at Ryerson Steel with a G60 galvanized finish, although I'm not sure whether Ryerson sells direct to individuals. I see 28 gauge galvanized listed at True Value hardware at http://www.idealtruevalue.com/servlet/the-29434/Detail, and on ebay, and several other places. I think stripping the zinc coating is not very difficult.

But why does it have to be exactly 28 gauge (and there's some question how thick that it anyway -- probably nominally 0.0149")? And if it's really so difficult to find, why not strip the galvanizing from what is more available? Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


September 7, 2014

Hi Ted,
I will be hand cutting this metal and 26 gauge is just too tough for me. I can manage 28 or 30. After I cut it I need it to rust FAST. How do you strip zinc off or clean galvanized metal? I usually work with printed tinplate - that is the thickness I really like. Some tinplate is galvanized and is not rusting fast. If you wish to see some samples: www.tincansally.net
17478-10

Now I would like to make some plain rusted pieces. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Sally

Sally Seamans [returning]
- Gloucester, Massachusetts


September 2014

A. Hi again. Once you've obtained the galvanized metal from one of the sources I mentioned or elsewhere, see Guy Green's entry, which covers the whole process of stripping the galvanizing, rusting the steel, and clear coating it if desired. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



Need rapid rusting of mild steel

October 3, 2014 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I need a rapid, commercially viable way to rust cold roll mild steel. The metal is formed into a product that then has a rust "vintage" look to it. We have been degreasing, then rinsing, dipping in a muriatic acid 1:10 solution for a few minutes, then rinsing again and putting it outside for a few days. It rusts OK, but quite a bit of the time we get large "flecks" of rust that fall off (I believe from un-removed oil residue. Sandblasting works as does high temperature but both are very unwieldy...any ideas?

Jeff Sherwood
Product designer - Jasper, Georgia USA



February 14, 2015

Q. I would like my flower pot to have a rusty finish, quicker. I've used mild steel to design them..

Ali Kgokong
- Rustenburg, NW, South Africa



March 11, 2015

Q. Hello all,
I'm attempting to rust a hot rolled steel table I'm building. I'm using 75% reclaimed & rusted hot rolled steel and the balance is new HRS. I'm wanting to rust all of the new steel as well as new cuts I've made on the old steel, so that the overall piece is well blended in rust.
I've tried several approaches outlined in this thread and am still not getting there. Twice, I've developed nice rusting effects; however, I'm just getting surface rust that comes off to easily (I'm going to clear-coat over if I ever get a deeper rusting).

17478-12

I haven't tried adding heat and I've also avoided the copper sulfate and only used muriatic acid sparingly.
I've primarily tried the vinegar/salt/hydrogen peroxide/water approaches.
I live in Colorado. It has been cold here for the most part during my rusting adventure.
Any insight on how to effectively get the rust to bite deeper into my table would be appreciated.
Thanks.

Kurt Yelek
- Fort Collins, Colorado, United States


March 29, 2015

A. Hi. I am working on finding that"rusty" look, and steel wool mixed with salt and H2O2 will immediately rust

jared laugen
- Myrtle Creek, Oregon


May 6, 2015

A. Kurt,
I recommend using chlorine which is the active fraction of muriatic acid.

blake kneedler
Blake Kneedler
Feather Hollow Eng.
Stockton, California




Painted Steel With Rust Finish

April 11, 2015

Q. Hello, I'm putting together some concept marquee signs made of steel and I'm trying to determine the best way to create my paint finish. I want it to have a vintage painted look with various areas that rust is showing through. Would the best way be to rust the steel first, paint over top and then sand off the paint to show through to the rust? Or should it be painted first and then areas chosen to rust through?

17478-11a  17478-11b

Please see example photos of what I'm trying to achieve.

Paul W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada


April 14, 2015

Q. Hi. I made an outhouse out of old barn wood. Well, I bought unfinished ceiling tiles for the roof and I want to know the fastest and best way to rust them.

Kelly James
- Tehachapi ,California USA



July 18, 2015

Q. Thanks for all the great tips! Can someone tell me if, after using one of these techniques to rust mild steel, if the poly clear coat sticks permanently to the now rusty steel? Meaning, does the oxidation/rust ultimately dislodge the clear coat and/or create flaking?

Any tips/experience would be great.

Thanks.

David Nielsen
- SLC, Utah, USA



January 12, 2018

Q. I too am interested in arresting existing rust without removing it AND without darkening its color. I'd like to do this on the outside of an old cast iron clawfoot tub (I like its current corroded appearance, just don't want the corrosion to continue).

The impression I get from this thread is that most of the ways of arresting the rust would also darken it.

And several people attempting protective clear coats seem to have had problems indicating that the rust process was not truly arrested -- I'm not clear whether these objects had continued exposure to water?

I'm wondering whether something like Stops Rust® Matte Clear Enamel Spray would work for me.

I'd greatly appreciate any further advice re: how to arrest rust without darkening it or otherwise changing its appearance!

Carolyn S
- Dallas, Texas, USA


January 2018

A. Hi Carolyn. It may be possible to not darken it, but I'm betting it's not easy. The uncoated rust is light in color because it's a fluff that diffuses the light. As soon as you coat it, it's not a fluff anymore :-(

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



March 5, 2018

Q. I'm also an artist and have used many of the approaches listed here with good success. Most have turned out quite brownish, though, and I was wondering if anyone can recommend an additive chemical or technique that will produce a much lighter yellowish to red orange rust more closely simulating the colors of Corten steel for example?

Alan Hingeveld
- Whittier, California USA



March 6, 2019

Q. We want to get some gates made that look old and rusty but don't stain our driveway. The rusting method is now fully understood (thanks to you all), however I'm struggling to know what to do to prevent the ongoing rusting and seal these large gates properly to stop further deterioration. Is the use of Polyurethane sealer the only way to do this? If so, will they need progressive treatments over the years or should the sealing with a couple of coats be lasting?

17478-13b   17478-13a  

Appreciate any additional information you are able to provide regarding this. Cheers

Liz Green
Botany Bay Design Solutions - Blacktown, NSW, Australia


March 11, 2019

thumbs up sign Now I understand why our faux rust prints are getting so popular is the last few years.

Ronald Zeeman
Coil Coating - Brampton, Ontario, Canada


April 2019

A. Hi Ronald. Indeed, trying to get real world objects to "rust" naturally, but into things of beauty with no imperfections, and then stay that way indefinitely in an outdoor environment, is a very tall order :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



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