The Detroit Post
Saturday, 16 October, 2021

How To Rust Metal Pipe

Paul Gonzalez
• Sunday, 15 November, 2020
• 7 min read

A sterile-looking metal chest or a rustic wood cabinet with shiny new hinges and knobs, for instance, transform into items you could swear have character and history you can feel with a little rust. But rust forms naturally when metal is left exposed to moisture, heat and air.

rust steel pipes shutterstock footage


Carry the item outside or set up your work area in the garage instead. Open windows and the garage door to ensure plenty of ventilation.

Fill a spray bottle with regular-strength hydrogen peroxide, such as you buy in the drugstore. Experiment with the salt, scattering it randomly or coating the metal, for instance, to achieve different rust effects.

Finish with a cold water rinse to smooth the surface. Place the metal in a glass or plastic container large enough to hold it.

Immediately pour vinegar over the metal and shake in a handful of salt. Metal Pipe • Rust Labs Pipes are a relatively common component that are used for guns, salvaged tools, and rocket launchers and rockets.

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Whether you wish to rust hinges and hardware to further disguise the age of distressed wooden chest or you prefer the look of older metal candlesticks atop your farmhouse table, follow these easy steps for how to rust metal and you can transform any object around your home. Lightly sand the entire surface of the metal with a fine-grit sandpaper to shed any protective coating present that might prevent the object from rusting.

Place the sanded object in the center of a plastic bin that’s rested on either hard ground or a flat work surface in the garage. As it dries, the acid of the vinegar will begin to corrode the surface of the metal and you will start to see rust appear.

Pour two cups of hydrogen peroxide, four tablespoons of white vinegar, and one-and-a-half teaspoons of table salt into a plastic spray bottle. Once the salt has dissolved, spray the solution over the object to coat it partially or completely, depending on the desired effect.

Finally, spray a thin coating of clear acrylic sealer to the dry rusted object. It will set the rust and preserve the aged appearance for years to come while providing an acrylic barrier that keeps it from inadvertently staining any other metal or wood with which it comes into contact in the future.

This instructable will show you a fast, safe method, using common household chemicals that you probably already have, to produce a rich rust patina on iron and steel to give it a weathered, aged appearance. I've had this Maine 'buoy bell' wind chime for about eight years now.

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It has the haunting melancholy sound of a bell buoy at sea being tossed by wind and waves. It came painted black on the outside and was supposed to develop this rich rust patina naturally over time.

Well, the unpainted inside did rust completely after about a year, but the outside only rusted slightly, near the bottom, even after exposure to the sun, rain, and snow of the northeast for eight years. I wanted it to have a nice rust patina that looked like it had been hanging on the eaves of a lobster shack, at the end of a pier, for many a year, being splashed and buffeted by nor'Easters and sudden gales.

I searched the net and found mostly dangerous methods to induce rust on steel using highly caustic or acidic chemical solutions. However, I finally did find a simple safe method, using on-hand household chemicals, buried deep within a thread on the subject at a metalworking forum.

I got spectacular results which have not only withstood the wind and rain of the southwest but have actually improved with the help of mother nature. I like the results so much, and there is so little practical information on the subject that is accessible to the public, I thought I'd share this simple method with the intractable community.

Judging by the number of posts on forums asking how to do this, I see I am not the only one who wants to actually promote, rather than prevent, rust on iron and steel objects. I found out the basic information for doing this at the very cool Metal forum: rust _promoter.

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You will need the following safety items : Safety goggles (enclosed type for chemicals not open type) Chemical resistant gloves (available at home stores) First the usual disclaimer : I will not be held responsible or liable for what you do with this information.

You are ultimately responsible for using this information in a safe, conscientious manner and for not using it irresponsibly. This information is for instructional purposes only, in the spirit of sharing, and is not intended to be misused by wise guys for practical jokes, or used by people who shouldn't be handling chemicals in the first place.

Young children should always have adult supervision when using any chemical. Never use chemicals when medicated (legally or otherwise) or under the influence of alcohol.

These instructions are intended for, though not necessarily limited to, people with an artistic bent who just might want to rust something made out of iron or steel. You will be using an acid, vinegar, and an oxidizer, hydrogen peroxide, so do wear the safety goggles and gloves. It is mildly corrosive and will rust anything made of iron or steel.

Do this outdoors preferably in a place sheltered from the wind and away from people or pets. I am assuming you already have a clean iron/steel object that is free of any paint or other protective coating.

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Nasty stuff. Once you have clean metal you need to degrease it so chemicals will penetrate the surface. Again wearing goggles and gloves, apply degreased according to instructions on the bottle.

Don't touch the metal with bare hands or you will make oily fingerprints which might show up on the final finish. Now take your objet d'art to the outdoor place where you will spray it with chemicals.

Picture below shows clean degreased metal ready for the next step. At first, I didn't do this and several areas would not rust because the solution could not penetrate the surface of the metal.

I simply hung up the degreased bell and sprayed it with solution. Placing the object in direct sunlight will speed drying.

You can mix this accelerator solution directly in the spray bottle if it has a wide mouth or you can mix it first in the measuring cup, making sure to dissolve the salt, and transfer it into the bottle with a funnel. Tighten the spray bottle cap and shake well to dissolve the salt. I assume you have placed your awaiting object in a safe place away from people, pets, and things you don't want to get rusted and by now you are dying to see some rust.

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Spray some solution onto your object, soaking it from top to bottom all around. I only had to let it dry for 5 minutes but YMMV (Your mileage may vary) depending on the ambient temperature.

The rust patina should deepen each time you repeat the spraying and drying cycle up to a point beyond which there is no noticeable change. You have greatly accelerated a natural process and now have a piece of metal with an attractive aged-looking patina.

I would advise you to dump the remaining accelerator solution from the spray bottle and rinse the bottle and spray head well with clean water. You can save the solution in a jar with a plastic, not metal, top if you like, or just dump it in the toilet, flushing immediately, or in the sink, flushing it down the drain with lots of water. Now you have several options.

The last picture shows the bell after a torrential downpour and subsequent drying by the sun. Other steels are probably different in the speed at which they rust and may require more or fewer spray/dry cycles.

I hope people will report their experiences in the comments section. This form of corrosion is both unsightly with its reddish-brown spotting and detrimental to the integrity of the pipe because rust will eat through certain ferrous metals, such as iron and steel.

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A thorough scrubbing with sandpaper followed by a coating of a rust -inhibiting primer and paint will ensure a longer life for your metal piping. Rub a fine-grit sandpaper in a circular motion over the pipe's surface to remove stuck-on rust missed by the wire brush.

Allow the naval jelly to sit for an allotted time that's specified on the manufacturer's directions in regard to the amount of rust present. Pour clean water over the pipe to remove all traces of the naval jelly, which dissolves rust.

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