DIY Projects

DIY Antique Metal

Hello friends! Today I’m sharing my experience with making new metal look like antique metal. If you’ve been to Target recently, you know that they have some AMAZING metal goodies in their One Spot. Last week, I bought a cute little olive bucket for $3. Awesome, right? The only problem was that it was all shiny and new (totally doesn’t match the rustic vibe I’m going for on the front porch). Anyway, I brought it home thinking it would definitely be worth an attempted DIY, even if it wasn’t successful.

So here’s what we’re working with. I have this olive bucket (I couldn’t find it on their website, but it came from the Target One Spot), and I also decided to try it with this watering can I’ve had for a while from Ikea.

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This is definitely an OUTDOOR project, so take your items outside, and gather your supplies. My front porch is a never ending project workspace, and I’m constantly wondering what my neighbors are thinking of me. There’s that weird girl painting someone else’s trash. There she is, sanding something again. Can she possibly paint anything else? What on earth is she doing now?

There are some supplies that are necessary for this DIY, and some are optional. Here’s what I used:

Aged Metal Supplies




-rubber gloves

-steel scouring pads (optional)

-sander (optional)

So first things first, I removed the twine handles from the olive bucket. Then I sanded these bad boys down. I’m not sure this was totally necessary, but I like using my sander, and I figured it wouldn’t hurt. If you don’t have one, I think it’ll still work, so you’re good.


Next comes the reason why this really needs to be an outdoor project. I filled my bucket with vinegar and bleach. I didn’t measure exactly, but I think I used about 1.5 gallons of vinegar and 1 gallon of bleach. This smells AWFUL. I didn’t wear one of those mask thingies (totally correct name), but I probably should have. It seriously is one of the nastiest things.

I submerged my metal in the bucket. With my rubber gloves on, I used the scouring pad to scrub the metal while in the bucket. It sat in the sun, and I would scrub every 15 minutes or so.

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As you can tell in the above picture, the bleach/vinegar concoction turned orange. This is because I left the scouring pad in the bleach when I wasn’t using it. This rusted the pads and changed the color. It was totally unintentional, but it made the metal come out with a more orange, rusted look, which I really like. Overall, these sat in the bucket for about an hour each, scrubbed every fifteen minutes. As you can see, my bucket wasn’t quite big enough, so I had to flip the metal over about halfway through.

When I was done, I pulled the metal out of the bucket and hosed them down. When they were finally dry, I put them back on my front porch. I am IN LOVE with how these tuned out. This was a total experiment and I had very little idea what I was doing, so I’m super pleased.

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I placed a smaller vase inside to hold flowers because there are holes in this, and well obviously that can’t work.

The lines that appear around the top and bottom are due to not having the whole thing submerged at once, but I’m really okay with it. More character.

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I keep hearing Taylor Swift lyrics in my head: Did you have to ruin what was shiny, now it’s all rusted?

To answer your question Taylor, yes. I kinda did.

If you can get over the smell, this is a really easy project to try. It’s messy (but not messy enough to stain my shirt!), but in my opinion, totally worth it! I’m obsessing over these! Now I need to rust all the metal things!!

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Let me know if you try this one! I’d love to hear about it!

That’s it for today. Have a fabulous day, friends!

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