How to Rust Corrugated Metal

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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)

Tip

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.

Warning

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.

Add rust to corrugated metal to create a different design.
Image Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

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.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Salt

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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

Step 5

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

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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

Step 1

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

Step 2

Pour or spray the solution onto the corrugated metal.

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

references & resources

Laurie Brenner

Laurie Brenner

As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.