Take the Perfection out of Sheet Metal Projects by Distressing Them

Sheet metal can be used to make magnificent works of art, furnishings, and just about anything that you can dream up. But, if you don't want that shiny, perfect finish on the piece, how do you go about distressing it? Below, you will learn a few different techniques that can be used to distress your sheet metal project.

Remove Sharp Edges

Working with metal can be relatively dangerous because cut edges and corners can be very sharp. Before you begin handling the piece, remove the sharp edges using a metal file. Wear thick gloves so that you don't get cut while working with the metal.

Start Cleaning

The next step to distressing your metal works is to clean it thoroughly. You want to remove all of the oils from your hands, the metal shavings left behind from the formation and anything else that could be left on the surface.

To clean the metal, mix a few drops of liquid dish soap with some very warm water. Wipe the surface using a clean cloth and then set it out to dry before continuing with the distressing process.

Sand the Surface

Use a sanding block and 400-grit sandpaper to begin distressing the surface. Test this grit of sandpaper on a small area before you go too far in your efforts. If it doesn't provide the depth of distress that you want, switch to a rougher sandpaper. If you want less distress, use sandpaper with a higher grit rating. Continue trying until you find the right grit for the perfect finish.

Dings and Dents

Metal truly looks aged when you pound a few dings and dents into it. This can be done with a rubber mallet or hammer. Using a rubber mallet to distress it in this manner will give you more control over how deep the dents and dings will be in the finish.

Patina Finish

Don't like the cold color of steel? Well, you can use patina solution to give it a whole new color. You can choose from colors like, amber, black, brown, and even deep red.

Before you apply the patina solution, you want to give the metal a good cleaning. The solution will react to any oils left on the metal and it will soon become obvious where you had been handling the metal.

These steps will help you create the perfectly distressed piece of metal work for your home, office or lawn. If you have ideas for metal workings for your home and don't have the skill or equipment to create them yourself, contact your local metal fabricator to have it made for you. Then, you can customize the finish yourself.