The Detroit Post
Tuesday, 19 October, 2021

How To Rust Effect

Elaine Sutton
• Sunday, 20 December, 2020
• 7 min read

The reason is easy to understand: it is realized in a short time and the visual rendering of the result is realistic and satisfying. I am currently using these two techniques to paint the Death Guard army that I am also realizing thanks to Machete’s War hammer Conquest.

airbrush rust effect


Let’s start immediately with Typhus Corrosion, a citadel technical color that will allow us to have a rougher and more grainy surface. While drying, I colored the “fangs” and the rag on the handle of this weapon with Jakarta Flesh.

At this point with the Gun Metal of The Army Painter, I brushed with the dry brush technique the whole part made a little while ago with Typhus corrosion. I then diluted Lava Orange, also from The Army Painter, until I obtained a very liquid color, almost a wash, which I always applied to the area of our interest.

Typhus corrosion has a dark brown color, the orange wash will make rust more evident. We just have to apply with a silver color, in this case Claymore Blade by The Army Painter, using a dry brush, to bring out every protrusion, as if the iron beat has been freed from rust. As a final touch, I gave a hand of wash, Citadel’s Agra Earth shade, to the outermost parts of the weapon and the fangs.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase we may earn a commission. I don’t know about you but my heart skips a beat when I come across reclaimed wood, rusty metal, and forged iron.

Check out our recent video showing how easy it is to make metal rust : I have to tell ya, making metal rust in fast-forward was even more fun than I anticipated.

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Update: If you watch the video at the top of the post you can see how using a small spray bottle or one with a misting option makes this method even easier! After I placed my horseshoe in the container I poured some white distilled vinegar on top.

I didn’t measure but I poured just enough so that it covered the horseshoe and then I sorta swished it around on top. At this point, you’ll want to add peroxide on top of your metal objects.

I then sprinkled …err dumped… a bunch of salt on my horseshoe and the rusty color started to come out even more. Then I called Eric over because I was all excited to show him, but I wanted more bubbles and fizz, so I poured a bit more hydrogen peroxide on top.

After a few minutes, I swished the horseshoe around in the solution to sort of rinse off the salt and then patted it dry with a paper towel. You’ll see that it’s a bit rusty but don’t worry if it doesn’t look exactly the way you want, it actually rusts more than it dries.

It was getting dark outside, so I just let it sit overnight and the next day this is what my horseshoe looked like, next to metal that’s been rusting for years: I made a few more horseshoes prior to this one and let some of them sit for about an hour because I wasn’t noticing the color change right away.

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If you don’t like how your metal looks after 10 minutes and air drying, you can always repeat the process and keep them in the solution for a longer period of time You’ll want to add a clear sealer to prevent the rusty patina from flaking off and staining anything they touch.

When I did seal them I just used some leftover Spar Urethane and a foam brush, but you can use any clear sealer and may prefer a spray-on kind. The second time I did this I went ahead and sealed the horseshoe after about 2 hours, but you can always wait overnight.

And if you have a specific technique that you prefer when it comes to making new metal look old, we would love to hear about that too! After receiving a lot of comments and emails about this not working on certain objects I wanted to add that not all metals will rust.

I believe it has to have iron in it in order to rust, and if it’s galvanized, stainless steel or some other type of metal that doesn’t corrode then this process won’t work. I learned this the hard way by trying to rust some galvanized buckets I had on hand and read up about it here.

If you watch the video at the top of this post you’ll see the difference in the spray vs. dunk method. Basically, the spray method will allow more of the contrast of the original metal to show through and it is easier to work in layers and add more rust if you want.

frosted glass effect finish

It’s Heather from Thicket works, here with a demonstration of some wonderful finishes you can achieve with RustEffect Pastes. This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission, you can find our privacy policy here.

Instead of the typical gold armor with Storm casts, I opted for something gritty, something that didn’t scream we are humankind’s saviors. I saw a great tutorial on painting corroded armor and I knew I had to use that for my Shade spire war band.

I didn’t have all the paints that were used in that tutorial, so I knew I had to do some minor adaptation, plus put my spin on it. When I mention paints by name I will either include (GW) for Games Workshop/Citadel, or (V) for Vallejo.

I find it’s a good size to get reasonable coverage and be able to handle the light blending I’m doing. Apply the Base coat The armor is base coated with Headteacher (GW).

The shading was done by mixing in some Abandon Black (GW) with Regal Blue. You could totally skip painting any part of the armor in a color and just leave it all metal.

humidity coating effect preparation surface application

Plus, I thought it would give a little visual interest in places to break up the rusted look. The brown wash over the blue does well to dull it down and give it a dirty feel.

It has a large belly, so it can hold a lot of wash, which saves you from having to continually load up the brush. I took less than I intended, but you should be able to see the Typhus Corrosion around the shield lip and parts of her armor in these shots.

On the shield and shoulders I apply this in the chips I created earlier. Time to Get Rusty Another great technical paint Games Workshop makes is Reza Rust.

I then apply a very thin coat over most of the armor to tint it orange. After that dries, I come back in with the Reza Rust and do some stippling with it to intensify the orange.

If you wanted something quicker than you could simply dry brush the Reza Rust on for this step. On the shield and shoulders I add some Reza Rust into the middle of the paint chip to keep that depth I created.

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This was my first time doing a rust effect technique like this, so it may not be a perfect recipe, but I think the results are pretty convincing. Normally I do a technique a few times before I do a tutorial on it, but I thought it would be fun to document my process and write it up.

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