Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nicks: Are You Getting Rusty??

Thank you all so much for the lovely comments on my last tutorial - I am loving my time on Gingersnaps with you all.

For my second tutorial with you I thought I would share my way of obtaining a rust effect, without the use of expensive, complicated and potentially toxic potions. You can use this on many different surfaces, but if you want to use it on a non-porous surface you will need to use a coat of gesso first so that your surface has a 'key'.

For this tutorial I am demonstrating on a piece of mountboard.

You will need:

a large brush
- such as a decorating brush or I use an old stencil brush - do not use your best/new brush as this technique will ruin it, use an old beat up one that you didn't clean properly when you decorated the living room!
Acrylic paint
Palette (I recycle polystyrene trays Pizza trays)
Old credit card

Apply a generous coat of PVA to the mountboard using the credit card (you can of course use a brush - but CC's are easier to clean and quicker).

If you stole the sand out of your husbands green house like I did, you need to make sure it is dry. I spread it mine onto a baking tray and popped it into the oven on a low heat for just a few minutes.

Sprinkle the sand over the wet PVA - dont be too particular, you dont want it to be too even, tip the excess onto a scrap piece of paper and tip back into the pot.

Mine was a bit too even for my liking, so I rubbed a bit off here and there with my finger.
Allow it to dry.

Get all your paints ready by squirting a generous amount onto your pallette - my orange was running a bit short and I tapped the bottle to get it out - as you can see some splashed into the other colours, but that'sok as they are all going to get blended anyway. You don't want to wash your brush in between using each colour, as the mixing of colour adds to the effect.

Start to apply your paint using a pouncing action, don't try to brush it on. Try not to think too hard about what you are doing as you want a very random effect. Twist and turn your brush so that you dont get too many repeat patterns. Start with both black and brown on your brush as these will be the main colours on you piece - then move away from the black and add brown and grey.

Finally add touches of orange - keep playing until you are happy but dont overwork the project and muddy the colours TOO much.

I used some green Adirondack colour wash to add a hint of 'verdigris' as I only wanted a hint I removed the spary attachment from the bottle and splattered it on rather than spraying it - then gave it a light spray of water to blend it into the paint.

Heyhoe.... final result. (two different pieces) It looks fab in the 'flesh' and has a lovely rusted texture.

Now it is yours to do with as you wish.

I made mine into a cover for a large box of matches that lives somewhere in our front room ready to light the fire - its such an ugly box that I wanted to make it look more beautiful so it could live on the mantelpiece.

Initial plans was to decorate it, but actually I like it quite plain and simple - plus I realised it would be getting a a lot of handling, so I am leaving it as you see it in the photos.

So there you have my second tutorial, I hope you have enjoyed it and will have a go, I would love to see any works of art you produce. Please hop over to my blog and leave me a comment with a link to your blog and I will visit and have a look

Thank you for having me as your Muse

Happy Creating


  1. Smashing tutorial where can I get some sand.....I know, your x

  2. I chuckled all the way reading this, the sand in the oven for a few minutes on a low heat set me off.

    Great tutorial thank you XOXO Zoe

  3. What a cool technique and a budget saver; old beat up brush, credit card, Pizza tray and some stolen sand.

    Thanks for the fab tut!!!

    Warm hugs

  4. oooh! never seen sand used in this way. That is so cool and love the colours

  5. I've got to try this technique, it is very timely as I was about to order some of that kind of stuff!

  6. I've got to try this technique, it is very timely as I was about to order some of that kind of stuff!

  7. Wow! That came out great, a must try!

  8. This is really quite incredible. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

  9. So affective Nicks, thanks for sharing this great idea and your match box looks great.

  10. Awesome!! Thank you so much and it looks spectacular.

  11. This is very cool and may I add for anyone that is having a hard time getting sand, just use a large sheet of sandpaper, I am sure most hubbies have that on hand and it would save a few steps. This is very cool. Off to the basement to get some sandpaper.
    I have painted on sandpaper, and believe it or not it takes the acrylics very well.

  12. Cool idea using sandpaper!!

    Thank you for all your kind comments, glad you enjoyed my tute x

  13. So cool, love the technique ... just not quite sure where to get the sand (lol)

  14. Oh, I love this....So my style. It's on my list to try.

  15. I really need to try this thanks Nicks !

  16. Stunning! I really need to try this thanks.



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