DIY- Rusted Wood

Rusted Wood Cover

This project is fairly simple to do, it creates an amazing effect, and it can be completed very quickly!  You can make custom crates to store plants, renovate your old bookcase, or wherever your imagination takes you!

For this demo, we’re using pallet-wood; it’s cheap, easy to get, and easier to work with, but remember- all wood and furniture acts differently, and reacts differently to paint and stains.  I do want to add that this may take a couple tries to grasp, and that’s fine- keep playing with it, and every time it will look better and better!

Step 1)  Sand the wood a little before painting to get some of the rough spots off, but not too much as the roughness helps add to the character. For the painting portion, the best effect is from what is called a ‘Chip Brush‘.  These are inexpensive, natural bristle brushes that cost around $1.  They do not cover the wood completely in paint (leaving some bald spots for the natural wood to peek through), and are cheap enough to replace as needed.


Step 2)  Now slap some paint on.  You may want to paint several boards at once, starting with the lightest color of paint you’ll be using.


Step 3)  Do not clean the brush between colors, instead brush it on the plank until most of the color is gone.  HINT: Use a different brush only if you feel the colors will not blend well.  Being that blue and green go very well together, we will continue using the same brush.


Step 4)  Wait a little while as the paint dries… somewhat; it doesn’t need to completely dry before you apply the second color.  You’ll notice that this tutorial does only have 2 colors- you are more than welcome to use more- I’ve even seen some use 5!  The choice is up to you.


Step 5) When the paint is (mostly) dry, sand it.  you can sand it a lot, or very little; remember, this is your creation- have fun.  Depending on the type of wood, 80 grit sandpaper works great, or you can simply use what’s already on the sander.  Whatever wood is exposed through the paint will soak up the stain, and get a bit of a reddish color.


Finished sanding.


You’ll then use a stain to go over the top. Pallet wood takes the stain really dark, so it may be beneficial to use something a little lighter like Early American or Provincial.  For these colors, however, something darker might be nice so we’ll be using Dark Walnut.


Step 6)  Cover the paint/piece of wood completely.  You will want to use a Chip Brush for this as well.  If you would like the brush to last for other stain projects, simply wipe it off with a rag.


Step 7)  After applying the stain, wipe off the stain with a rag (You can even use an old T-shirt you were going to throw out).  NOTE–stain rags should be put in a bucket of water and not reused.  This is a VERY important safety tip as the stain is highly flammable, and can catch fire just from being left in a pile.

After everything has dried, you will have something very unique.  Enjoy!