Painting and Distressing Metal Hardware

Distressing Hardware | Technique

How To Distress with Water

I mess with stuff when I get bored.


Before I say that, I should tell you my definition of bored.  To me, “bored” means I’m waiting for paint to dry.  When this happens, I go looking around for more stuff to paint while I have wet paint on my paintbrush.  (I said paint too much.)

I tinker, I wander, and stare at inanimate objects.  Then I’ll go make some toast.

Coming back to my search for random things to paint,  this day I settled on some cast iron hardware that has been staring at me in my office for months.  I decided to “document” and share a technique (thatwordsoundstooformal)  that I played around with in the past when I was… yup, bored.

I call this:  distressing with water, because well…

I use water.

To distress the paint.

I think this works best on metal that has a texture to it, like cast iron, for reasons that will become clear….

Paint and Distress Hardware

What kind of paint?

Any paint.

Chalk paint, glossy latex paint, flat latex, partly dried goopy paint…

This is a two part process, so you might want to write this down.  (Not really.  I’m being sarcastic.  There needs to be a special designated font for sarcasm.)

Paint it.

That’s it.  Just paint it.

Paint and Distress Hardware

Wait a few minutes, depending on how thick or dry your paint is.  (If you’re using really wet paint, you’ll want to wait a little longer.  The point is not letting it dry very much.)

When you feel like it, go ahead, wash it off.

Metal Number Distressing

The dryer your paint, the stronger you want the stream of water.  Just start off with a weak stream and test it.  If too much comes off, it’s ok.  Just start over, it won’t take long.  Yeah.  that’s what I meant by “play around”.  Just re-paint, and try again until you get a feel for how your paint/water is behaving.

Using Water to Distress Paint

Paint and Distress Hardware

Distress metal with water.

The texture of the cast iron helps “hold on” to some of the paint, which is why I feel cast iron works best for distressing this way.

After rinsing off some paint, lay your hardware onto a paper towel to dry.

Distressed metal numbers

That’s it.

That’s all I got.

Thanks for reading!

Painted and distressed metal hardware

Painting Metal Numbers


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