Please help me give my metal objects a convincing old and rusty look
Jimmy McGoldrick, Ireland
Answer John replies
When painting rust on to bare metal, I find that it’s often easier to paint the smooth metal surface first and then add the rust on a new layer afterwards. This will enable you to add and erase rusty areas as you see fit, without destroying the original material you created.
Rust usually tends to have a dull, rough appearance, alternating between brightly saturated reds and dark browns. To paint convincing rust, it helps to understand that rust grows in patches, and on bare metal it will come in as a raised texture. On painted metal it grows in between the layer of paint and the base metal, and over time pieces of the paint will flake off, leaving a scaly texture underneath. As you work on it, be sure to introduce plenty of grain and grunginess to the metal. For realism, where you add rust is also important. Rust has a habit of concentrating in areas where two separate pieces of metal touch each other, like rivets and seams. It also tends to form vertical streaking patterns from these surfaces, due to water flowing downward.
There’s really no mysterious trick to painting rust. Just add it on in rough patches and concentrate it in areas
that might collect moisture. Iron oxide is a red, flaky powder that grows as a raised surface on bare metal. Just paint it on a separate layer and erase as needed.