Monday, July 8, 2013

Distress Paint Rust Effects - First Technique – TRUSTY RUSTY

  For the last month or so I have been trawling through all the TH0621023 123“Rust” pins on Pinterest.  It makes me feel good that other people also think Rust is beautiful.  I love how rust looks and when I started expressing this little fetish publically – I always got skewed looks.  So finding rust-loving pinners made me feel wonderfully accepted. 

  Of course for a paper-crafter – if something is beautiful, you have to find a way to emulate that on paper.  That is what I am attempting here to show today.  I have experimented with a variety of techniques, but this technique that I am sharing today is my favourite.TH0621023 284  I will be sharing the others at later dates on different posts.

  If you have Distress Paint, glue and some grit – it is almost too easy to do this effect as shown on the frame, accents and hinges card on the right. 

Today you have two options of getting the handle on this technique.  You can just click on the video below the text-tutorial and watch me demonstrate the process - or you can skip the video and just read the shortened cheat-sheet post right here with bonus pics and talk-throughs after it!

 Step one
Figure out what you want to “rust”. 
Even though I had that nice picture of a rusty pediment on the top there to show you how cool the rust effect is - for the purposes of this tutorial I am going to “rust” the posts from TIM HOLTZ ALTERATION’s Hardware Findings Die. 

Step two
If you want to – you can sponge on Rusty Hinge Distress Ink to create a rusty colour

Step  three
When tin or iron corrodes its starts to flake and bubble and get real gritty. 

To create the uneven surface of rusty metal - I put some glue down on the item – in the video the tube says Paint Appeal – but I just recycled the tube cos it has a nice pointy tip, and I have filled it heavy duty cold wood-glue. 

Now you’re going to need grit.  I bet you can use anything gritty – art sand, regular fine sand, even glitter flakes.  I took some fine table salt – blasted it in a coffee grinder to make it finer and then added Rusty Hinge Distress Ink (the refill ink not the stamp-pad if anyone is wondering how to do that).  I blended that in until I got a nice orangey hue.  This is optional because you will be painting over it anyway, but it is kinda fun to dye the salt.

The next step is to rub that on the piece that you have covered in glue. It doesn't have to be uniform and you dont even need to cover the whole piece in a layer of grit.  You just need enough to create some corrosion texture.

Step Four
Gather up all the Distress Paints you have with the colours that you want in your rust.  Usually rust has patches of ochre and red, orange and browns, sometimes a little blue-grey, sometimes even green.

For my piece I gathered up Barn Door, Rusty Hinge, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed, Walnut Stain  and Tarnished Bronze.  I also got out the Weathered Wood for the oxidising finish.  I think Bundled Sage Distress Paint would be better but I dont have that yet.

Using your finger or cottonbud (Q-tip) or the “Tincan Tool” start creating your patches of corrosion by dotting/spotting/tapping the paint on and lightly blending it together.  Do this until you are happy with your rust pattern.

Step Five
The last step is giving it an oxidised look.  Rust that is outside in the elements sometimes develop a chalky blue-grey or green-grey oxidation, like how patina forms on brass statues or figures.  

To do that you just need a tiny amount of Weathered wood mixed with a bit Peeled Paint Distress Stain (If you dont have Bundled Sage Distress Paint like me)  or Bundled Sage Distress Paint.  Use your finger again to just dab on the tiniest amount here and there.  This step is optional but I really like how that constrasts with orange and ochre.

Step Six
This is another optional Step – but to keep the grit from eventually falling off etc, you might want to hit it with a blast of matt finish fixing spray.  I dont think its too big a deal though and you can skip this step.

So that concludes the technique bits – now let me show you the other cool bits of the card.

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To get the metalworked Rusty effect –as in on the frame of the card – I ran Rusty Hinge Distress Ink all over a piece of cardstock and then embossed it with the sizzix alterations Regal Flourishes texture fade.  I applied a “rooibos” rust to the frame. Rooibos (literally translates into “Red Bush” in English) is a type of tea in South Africa that brews to a gorgeous red colour, I cut open a teabag, poured the contents into a coffee-grinder and mixed some of it into clear matt glaze medium.  The dye in the tea starts to migrate a little and this I thought creates a pretty cool effect.  I think you could use ground up Hibiscus Tea for this as well – it might yield a very pinky-red stain though.

The next cool thing I loved doing was faux pyrography.
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If you dont know what pyrogaphy is – it is the art of burning designs into wood with a heating unit.  I tried to do this with that soldering iron I spoke about in my last post but I couldnt steady my hand enough to write legibly on the popsicle stick so I did the next best thing.  First I stained the popsicle stick with Rusty Hinge Distress Ink.  I wrote on it with an embossing stylus using as much pressure as I could to create an indentation without actually breaking the stylus.  Then I traced in the indentations with the fine tip of the Walnut Stain Distress Marker, I might hace also gone over with Black soot – I cant really remember – but defo on the Walnut Stain.
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This card is for a sweet old guy who had an accident on his farm while working and he was beat up pretty painfully, so he was in need of a get well card. I loved the idea of a fuse to fire up recovery. I go around looking for all kinds of things that people usually throw away.  This fuse came from the rubbish bin of a mechanic, one of my best random-scavenger-days ever. The Heart was originally a pastel pink button that I painted with Fired Brick, Barn Door and I crackled that and then rubbed Tarnished Brass Distress Paint all over it.  I painted White Picket Fence on the glass bit of the burnt out fuse and then tried to write:  “Love is the best medicine” on it – that was hard cos I had to write so microscopically – I am going to have to practise my fairy-sized writing skills.

I was really looking forward to using the map stamps that I have – they are pieces from a bunch of different sets.  I gave them the ol’ Distress Marker and waterbrush blending treatment.  So loved how it turned out. 

Alright, time to wrap up this post.  Like I mentioned earlier – I have experimented with other techniques to create rust, I will be posting other rust effect tutorials on these techniques as well.  I am also super keen on following through with my promise to deliver the forged-gold tutorial and the Stone-texture tutorial – all totally possible with just a few colours of incredible Distress Paint – bookmark this blog, follow by email or through an RSS feedburner to make sure that you get in on it first.

Thanks for checking this out.


  1. Love this card and great tutorial! Thank you! :)

  2. Your card is amazing.
    I love the heart with wings!!
    The fuse is such a creative idea.
    I hope your friend recovers quickly

  3. Fabulous rusting work... thank you for all those amazingly detailed technique instructions... Also love your brilliant fake pyrography - so clever! What a fabulous make altogether.
    Have a great week!
    Alison x

  4. WOW! Your card is absolutely amazing. You've achieved such a great rusted look. I love the design. The colors all are so beautiful together. You have really put alot of thought into this card and it shows with all of the lovely little details. Love your instructions, too. What a detailed and fabulous tutorial. Thanks for the nice comment you left on my blog as well. :) It's so nice to have such nice people leave comments and make your day.

  5. I just love your thought processes, the way you observe and experiment to achieve the look you want. This rusted technique is fabulous and looks so good on your card. Thanks for sharing such a detailed post and a fantastic card.
    Have a great week.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

  6. Luv rust! Now I definitely need t get some DP! I'm a new follower so I can keep,up with all the cool things you do! Hugs


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