Faking It: Rust
Since falling in love with giant clock faces but being brought back down to earth by the I-am-now-sick-to-my-stomach prices, I decided to go extreme DIY and make a giant clock face myself.
(This is the technical step-by-step guide into how I created my own rust, rusty texture for my giant clock face. )
I have bought and sold regular sized clock faces and always seemed to drift towards metal ones- it’s the character of the metal and the chipped, aged paint, I think. So, naturally, I decided to go with metal for my giant clock face DIY project.
This is where we left off from the last post- Me versus Mother Nature. Actually, in hindsight, it was a no brainer that Mother Nature would win- it takes years for rust to form and even longer for a pitted texture to appear. I gave my big metal piece 9 months, give or take, to get beautifully rusty and gave up when I didn’t have anything to show for all of my impatient waiting. I so wanted to tackle this particular DIY project.
I retrieved my big metal piece and inspected it.
I stared at it. I turned it this way and that and looked at it a little longer.
I had to figure out how to:
Create the pitted texture of rust
Replicate the mottled brown of rust
A worn and weathered top layer of aged white paint
Aged clock numbers
Not too tall an order right? Right?!
I looked through all of the many, many ways to simulate rust on Pinterest and the internet and found myself standing in front of the spray paint aisle of Home Depot. I had no plan and had not found any one project that another DIY’er had done that I wanted to follow.
I wasn’t a huge fan of spray paint, before the start of this project, and felt like I didn’t have much control of the spray pattern and volume. I also felt like I was wearing half the can and had inhaled the other half when I finally managed to finish painting my project. I didn’t like the smell that seemed to linger and how hard it was to scrape, scrub and claw the layers off my skin.
I do have to add that if I had not taken yet another short cut, by not wearing gloves, a face mask and protective paint clothing, I wouldn’t have had these problems, so-
wear your protective equipment and clothing and don’t turn into a painted whiner like me.
So, there I was, standing in the spray paint aisle of Home Depot and I actually spotted a line of spray paint called Rust-oleum American Accents Stone Texture. I looked at the can and decided to take a chance on it and moved on to trying to find a mottled brown or tortoise shell type of color scheme. I choose to go with the medium brown of Rust-oleum Hammered color and texture that e and the oil rubbed bronze color of Rust-oleum’s Universal Metallic Paint and Primer in One.
I bought these three types of spray paint and headed for home.
I screeched to a halt in my driveway and hoped out with my bag of spray paint. I grabbed my big round metal piece and propped it up against a saw horse with protective paper all around the metal piece, the saw horses and anything else I didn’t want to accidentally paint, like Mr. Old House Chic’s truck.
At the start of my project, I reassured myself that there was A LOT of room for error. If I messed up one layer of paint, I could strategically cover up the mistake with the next layer. Remember, I told myself, you are trying to create a 100+year old aged, worn, rusty look not a brand new look.
I picked the best of the two sides of the metal piece and knocked off any grass or dirt that was stuck to the metal. I made sure it was dry and grabbed the Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Paint and Primer in One in Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. With a constant spray and using a back and forth arm motion, I attempted to evenly cover the entire surface of the metal piece. It looked horrible at this point. My round metal piece looked like it had stripes. I considered starting over again on the other side but since I was committed to playing Mad Scientist and maybe a little adversely affected by spray paint fumes (face mask people! Wear your face mask!) , I decided to see my first attempts through. I still had three more layers to go. I let this layer dry completely before moving on to the next layer.
I grabbed the Rust-oleum Hammered spray paint next and was able to better cover the initial first layer of Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Paint and Primer in One in Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. It was looking a bit better with this second layer. It looked more mottled and blotchy. I now had consistent patches covering most of the surface. (I don’t have pictures for the second step- I blame being too eager to get to the third step.)
I let this layer dry completely, as well before moving on to the third layer.
Next up, Rust-oleum American Accents Stone Texture. I sprayed in a steady stream with a slow back and forth motion to get consistent coverage over the entire surface. This layer appeared to be pretty sheer and was like spraying small bits of different shades of brown and black grit all over the surface. This layer actually started to bring all three layers of paint together and any new silver metal that was peeking through seemed to be covered. I gave this layer plenty of drying time and went back later to do a bit more touching up in places.
Here’s a close up of the three layers of paint after all was dry…
Here are my giant clock hands, also with three layers of paint…
Stay tuned for part two of the step-by-step guide to the DIY Giant Clock Face-