Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Project Rust - how to make rust paper

Rust Paper
I was wondering how to make rust paper.  It sounded like something that I needed to know how to do.  Its actually quite easy - here's how
Metal objects that rust placed on water color paper

  1. Items that will rust - various shapes or one consistent shape like a washer
  2. Watercolor paper - I used Arches 90lb hot press because I wanted smooth paper
  3. A spray bottle
  4. White vinegar
  5. Bleach

First off you want to do this in a well ventilated area or outside.  I chose to be inside the garage but I did have the doors open while I was working on this project.   Wear gloves - bleach is kinda harsh stuff.  I gathered up a bunch of miscellaneous items that rust.  Most of them were already rusty so they were easy to identify.  Try to pick items that have a lot of surface that touches the paper.  Some of the things in the photo above didn't have good surface to paper contact.

I laid a protective substrate on my garage floor.  I used plywood but cardboard would work to.  In the spray bottle mix 1 part bleach and 1 part vinegar and start spraying.  I wet things down really well and flipped them over so the wet side was touching the paper.  Once everything was sprayed, I covered the surface with an old sheet.  You can also use a second piece of paper.  Then leave it overnight.  The next day you should have rust paper.  On the second day I re wet everything with the spray bottle mixture and moved the items around a bit to get more even rusting across the paper.  I left it for another night.  I was happy with the results over the two days and stopped at that point.  Now I have a sheet of really beautiful rusted paper that I can use in my art projects.


  1. Gorgeous results Marji. Thanks for the tips.

  2. I love the effect you achieved with this and its not something I'd ever even have thought of doing do thanks for the step by step. I'll look forward to seeing how you use this in your art projects.

  3. thanks for sharing..love rust in all its forms..love the pay it forward paintings too


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