DIY… Rust

Now my husband would say “Are you stark raving mad? Who in their right mind would willingly rust metal”

Of course, living in a beach house down by the sea, rust is often more of an aggravation for us. Everything metal, both inside and outside rusts. . . think light bulbs, door hardware, decorative items etc. The salt air just works its magic and ‘tadaaa’. . . RUST.

On occasion though I need a rusty item in a hurry and can’t wait for nature to take her course. . . that’s’ when I turn to these tried and true methods.

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There are quite a few ways to make metals rust and many use dangerous chemical combinations.

I don’t do nasty chemicals. . .so here’s a couple of easy and safe variations for you to try at home.


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[Lantern – IKEA. Rust – Mother Nature]

First off though, let me give you a few tips on rust. . .

Rust is a compound that forms on any surface containing iron when it is exposed to water and oxygen.

Ensure that the metal you are working with will rust.

Okay so that probably sounds silly. . . right, but only metals containing iron will rust, and some iron alloys will rust slowly or not at all. Stainless steel, an alloy of iron and chromium, will be very difficult to rust. Cast iron or wrought iron will rust most easily.


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Method 1: Use a container that has a lid. . . I usually use glass coffee jars. Pour enough bleach into the jar to cover your metal items (eg safety pins, cup hooks, hinges, wire, screws). Put the lid on and leave it to sit for 24 hours.

Drain the bleach down the toilet, leaving the metal items in the jar and then refill with cider vinegar and a handful of salt. Place the lid on the jar and leave to sit again for 24 hours.

Day 3 – drain vinegar and place jar out in sun to dry uncovered. The metal items will rust as they dry.

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Method 2: In a spray bottle, mix 1 tablespoons of salt with 1 cup of warm water. Shake until salt is dissolved.

Place your metal items outside and spray with the salty mixture. Respray every day until your items have rusted. The oxygen in the air and the salt water will cause the metal to rust.

This is my preferred method when time allows and it truly works.

I’m sharing my rusty recipes at the link parties this week and with these lovely friends: French Country Cottage, The Vintage Farmhouse, 36th Avenue, Clean and Scentsible, Live Laugh Rowe, The Common Ground, The DIY Dreamer, Transformation Thursday, At The Picket Fence, The Cottage Market, Nifty Thrifty Sunday & Power of Pinterest with Fox Hollow and DebbieDoo’s.

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