How to Rust Corrugated Metal


Ever since corrugated metal has come indoors as a design element, a touch of rust may add character to the Shabby Chic style or country theme in a home. If you cannot wait until the weather rusts your corrugated metal through exposure, it's pretty simple to speed the process -- as long as the metal contains iron, tin or iron alloys. Wear protective gloves when working with corrugated metal to avoid cuts.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Bucket
  • Liquid dishwashing degreaser
  • Sponge
  • Wire brush
  • Three-percent hydrogen peroxide design element
  • Spray bottle
  • Table salt
  • Rag
  • White vinegar
  • Household bleach
  • Sealer, acrylic or polyurethane
  • Stripper
  • Large flat pan (optional)

Hydrogen Peroxide and Salt

  • Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes. Put on safety goggles and gloves.

  • Fill a bucket with water and add enough liquid degreasing dishwasher detergent to create suds.

  • Clean the corrugated metal with the solution to remove all dirt, grease or grime. Rinse it clean and wipe it dry or let it air dry. Use a wire brush that can scratch up the surface of new corrugated metal to help it rust better.

  • Pour a generous portion of hydrogen peroxide into the spray bottle.

  • Spray the cleaned corrugated metal with the peroxide as it lays on a flat surface.

  • Sprinkle the table salt on the metal while the hydrogen peroxide is wet. Cover the hydrogen peroxide with a thin coat of salt so it interacts with the hydrogen peroxide. As you sprinkle the salt, you can see it begin to work with the hydrogen peroxide.

  • Rub the item with a rag to remove the salt after it has dried. Repeat Step 4 through 6 until you achieve the rusted look you want.

  • Apply a sealing coat if you don't want the rust to rub off, such as a polyurethane or acrylic spray.

White Vinegar and Bleach

  • Mix 1 part of vinegar to 2 parts of bleach in a bucket.

  • Pour or spray the solution onto the corrugated metal.

  • Let the corrugated metal air dry. Wipe off excess rust if desired.

  • Spray the item with an acrylic high-gloss or matte sealer based on your preferences.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the corrugated metal has a seal coat on it, you need to remove that first with a stripper.
  • If you have a large flat pan that holds the corrugated metal, put the vinegar and bleach solution into the pan and set the corrugated metal in the solution for a rusted effect on both sides of the corrugated tin.
  • Discard the bleach and vinegar solution safely. In most cases, you can pour it down a laundry sink.
  • Keep small children and pets out of the work area and chemicals out of their reach.

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