How to Patina Metal Sheets

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Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar

  • Salt

  • Water

  • Spray bottle

  • Plastic tarp

  • Rubber gloves

  • Sponge

  • Cool water

  • Garden hose (optional)

  • Old towel


You can also try leaving your metal out in the elements or painting it with ammonia. The ammonia works faster, but the elements are both cost-friendly and chemical-free.

Patina gives metal an aged look.

Metal sheeting has many uses in your home and crafting life. You can frame the sheeting for an instant magnet message board or cut it into decorative tiles and coasters. You can also cut it into small pieces and roll it into beads or bend up and crimp the sides to create containers. Metal patinas add character and visual interest to all of these projects. Patina goes well with vintage, modern and eco-friendly home designs.

Step 1

Fill a quart-sized spray bottle with equal parts cider vinegar and water. Add about 1/2 cup of regular table salt to the mix. Cap the spray bottle and shake it vigorously until the salt dissolves.

Step 2

Lay your metal sheeting out on a plastic tarp. If you have many small sheets, line them up so they do not touch or overlap.

Step 3

Spray down the entire sheet with your vinegar mixture. Saturate the metal surface thoroughly.

Step 4

Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands. Spread the vinegar mixture evenly over the metal sheeting with a sponge. This eliminates patina spots from the vinegar beading up.

Step 5

Allow the sheeting to lie overnight. In the morning, the sheeting should be covered with a nice coating of distressed patina.

Step 6

Rinse the metal sheeting with cold water from your garden hose on low pressure. Dry the sheet thoroughly with an old towel.


Megan Shoop

Megan Shoop has Bachelor of Arts in English literature and is proficient in both AP and MLA styles. As an editor of her college newspaper for one year, she assisted with copy editing, proofreading and layout design. She also wrote art and movie reviews and articles about campus events.