Yesterday I shared how to make a DIY metal arrow sign. Today I’m going to show you how to age it to perfection. I’m not real crazy about super aged things these days, I mostly go for a fresh look, but this metal sign needed something and a little aging never hurt, right? Well, I mean age galvanized metal, that is. With a couple of common household products and a couple of tools, you can get all aged up in minutes.
As for chemicals you only need two things: Clorox Clinging Bleach Gel toilet cleaner (I tried about 5 brands – this worked best) and regular old baking soda. You’ll also need a worn out old paint brush and a heat gun (I love mine from HomeRight*). You’ll also need a small glass (we’ll get to that in a minute.)
This is kinda two step, but it goes pretty quickly. First, squirt the cleaner onto the metal. Notice how it pools in the valleys? Yeah… that’s why we need a brush and the heat gun.
With one hand use the brush to spread out the cleaner, and with the other use the gun to dry it onto the metal. If you have a friend it goes faster. We did it outdoors and the chemical smell was hardly noticeable – but if you’re sensitive to these things then please wear a mask.
Once you have the whole thing coated with the dry cleaner, then move to step two.
In a glass, mix together more of the same bathroom cleaner about half and half with baking soda until you get a paste. This is where the magic is really going to happen. But don’t skip the first step – make sure you have the coat of full strength cleaner on there before moving on.
Paint the cleaning/soda mix onto the metal with a brush in a good, thick layer, then dry again with the heat gun.
When it’s dry it will start to bubble up, and that’s exactly what you want. Make sure you have a enough on there to really coat it well. The baking soda helps to make sure it’s thick enough to really sit on the metal – even on the sloping parts – so it all ages beautifully.
Once the entire piece is dry, give it a few minutes to cool off, then wash it down with water to clean off all the dried on stuff and reveal all that beautiful aging.
If you want to age galvanized metal – just remember, you won’t be able to control every little inch. It will have darker and lighter places and find a beauty all on its own. But this technique works really well, especially on galvanized metal roofing.
*Thanks to HomeRight for partnering with me on this post. All ideas, opinions, words and images are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links*