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How to paint metal so it looks old

Painting metal to look old can add charm and elegance to what would otherwise be a simple metal cabinet. Metal lamps, chairs, a bed frame, can all be painted using spray paint to give them an antique look, and spray paint for metals can be purchased in various metallic shades and colors.


How to paint metal so it looks old

  1. Buy two shades of metal spray paint for your final finish. Be sure to use metal paint so you do not have to buy fixative. Choose the metallic color you want and another one that will serve as a darker tone. If you have doubts about which second tone to use, remember that black is very versatile and can be used to darken any metallic color. Choose matte spray paint if you want a dull and non-glossy effect. Use varnish if you want it to stay shiny.
  2. Prepare an area to use spray paint. Do it outside your home or somewhere well ventilated. Cover the surface of where you work with newspapers.
  3. Meticulously clean the metal to be painted. Use a cloth and degreaser to remove dirt and grease.
  4. Make light strokes with the dark tone so that it penetrates in the cracks, corners and folds of the object that you paint. Give it a thin coat of paint so it will not drip. There is no problem if the painting touches other areas of the object.
  5. Let the coat of paint dry and then use a 220 grit wet paper and then a 320 grit, also wet. Sand the object so that the dark tone prevails in the cracks and corners and the light tones appear as you move away from these areas.
  6. Paint light strokes of light tones on flat or raised areas. Use the spray so that it fades to the dark tone.
  7. Let this layer dry. Sand gently and repeat if necessary. What you’re doing is basically giving it a stained metal look.

Tips & Warnings

  • Metal stains and spray patinas can be used for an old appearance. You can also try to smooth the object with a block of wood to give it the appearance of used.
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