Paint Weathering

If you want a piece of wood look like a rusty metal box or if you want to add some rust details to your foam armor, then this is the video for you. Here I am going to show you how I create rust effects on a metal surface and then top it off with paint that looks like it’s chipping away. It doesn’t matter the media you have, wood, plastic, EVA foam, whatever, well if it’s metal, you might as well just add real rust. I will be presenting this on an EVA foam detail that I made specifically for this video. If you’re not familiar with what EVA foam is… well, it’s the anti-fatigue foam mats that you put on your garage floor.

The item to be painted... prepped and painted black

So the starting point here is an item with a prepped surface and painted black. I’m not going to cover surface prep or clear coating, because the media you are finishing may be different and your prep and sealing process may vary.

Rust can present itself in all kinds of shades and colors. Generally it is in the brown, orange, red and yellow family. So I suggest staying away from colors such as green, purple and Smaragadine…

The materials I use are an air brush,  Chrome spray paint, Vallejo brand Dark Sand, Cavalry Brown and Red Leather paints. Createx Opaque Yellow and Opaque Red paint. A cheap bottle of black acrylic paint. A rattle can of the color you wish to paint your item. You will also need some rock salt, mustard, the cheap dollar store stuff will work here and depending on the size of your items, lot’s of paper towels.

Okay , start with the chrome spray paint and a cloth. As lightly as you can, spray a little paint into the rag. I like to tap my cloth or close the cloth onto itself just to make sure I don’t get more than I want on the item. Then lightly wipe your item with the cloth. Rinse and repeat until you get the effect you like.

So now with that done, we will need the salt, a brush and some water. Grab something ironic, like a rusty axe or hammer to break down the rock salt into smaller pieces, you don’t want all the same size. Go for about half the size of a normal rock salt, down to the tiny granules. Dab some water on the brush and wipe where you want the metal showing through. Then sprinkle your rock salt on the wet areas. The more salt you use the less rust you will get in the end. But feel free to put a bunch on, because as you airbrush some of the salt will fly off. Keep in mind how the item would become worn. For example, if it is a wearable item, how would it rub against the environment, on the flipside, if it is an item that sits in the yard such as a broke down tractor, it may have less metal and much more rust and very few wear marks.

Load up some cavalry brown into the air brush and paint some areas of the surface, cover more ground with this color since it will be covered up by the other colors.

Now with red leather in the air brush do the same thing, just make the areas slightly smaller.

Now add a drop or two of dark sand and continue spraying areas, this time get more of an over spray and promote spitting by flicking the air brush trigger.

Finally, using about 4 drops of yellow and 1 drop of red reduce the paint quite a bit, we want the paint to go on wet and not too opaque. When you spray it on, spray it on thick and blow it around with the air brush. Keep that up until you are happy with the results.

Salted and Airbrushed

Gently clean off the rock salt. If this is your desired result, you can move on to clear coating from here.

Salt removed - looks like rusty metal

Now for the messy part. Pull out the mustard and apply it thick where you want the metal and rust to show. If you put it on too thin with a brush the paint will not come off.

Once you get the mustard on, hit it with your final color and wait about 45 minutes or until it’s dry to the touch. I notice during summer, that’s about a 20-minute wait, but in winter it’s closer to an hour. The key is that the paint isn’t wet and not fully cured. If it sits longer it’s no big deal, I just found the longer you wait, the edges of the paint seem to be thicker where the paint reveals the metal and rust layer.

At last you can take a paper towel roll and go to town. Most likely, you will rub through to black if you’re not too careful. Don’t worry if you do. I do it all the time. It’s really easy to fix in the next step.

Fresh paint looks kinda chipped

The next step is to dry brush the surface edges to make it look warn and rubbed. You can spray a bit of the chrome spray paint into a little container or you can use aluminum or chrome colored modeling paint. Using a medium artist brush dab some paint on and wipe most of it off onto a paper towel. Now lightly swipe the edges of the piece until you get the effect you’re looking for. Now is a good time to fix those blemishes you made wiping off the mustard.

Dry brushed the edges

Ok, here comes the last and most fun step. If you’re doing this for the first time you may be a bit nervous here. Take the black acrylic paint and thin it down a bit with some water. Now take a brush or a sponge to apply the paint to the surface. Wiping away the excess fairly quickly. This makes it look greasy and grimy in the recesses of the item. You can also add layers of brown as well to make it look dirty.

Grease and grime applied

Wallah… that’s it. Feel free to modify this process to fit your needs and enjoy. I hope you found this tutorial to be helpful and thorough. If you have, please click that like button and if you haven’t already I’d really appreciate it if you subscribe.


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