Note: This is a repost of an old tutorial whose links to pictures were broken with the software update at HF.
Here's a way to paint anything to make it look like metal. Even better… how to make it look like grimy old metal.
If you need to disguise the original texture, you'll also be using some monster mud.
Optional Texture Disguise: Monster Mud tinted black or rust (or both)
Silver latex paint (I used Ralph Lauren)
Raw sienna paint (rust color)
Optional Rivets: White and black airbrush paint and stencil with hole in it
1 1/2" brush
Optional: air brush
Optional: paint roller
Monster Mud: This was a 'tank' made of plywood. It needed to have the texture of the surface changed so it wouldn't look like it was just painted wood. Enter monster mud. Take a paint roller, dip it into your black mm bucket and roll it onto the surface thick, even and vertically. Let dry.
You can see in this picture the texture that was left behind from rolling it on with a paint roller. It is starting to look like grimy old metal.
Silver Paint: Using the 3" paint brush, apply silver paint in downward strokes. Cover the black well but leave some of the black showing beneath. Helps give greater depth. Let dry.
Rust it Up: Dip your 1 1/2" brush into the raw sienna paint and randomly jab in some accents. Focus on places where you think rust would have formed over time (joints, seams) and pull the paint down a little. Finally, make a wash of the same raw sienna paint and starting at the top, dab it on and pull it down.
Note: In the picture you can see that there seems to be two different rust colors. It's one but the darker color is straight raw sienna and the lighter ones were thinned a bit with water and/or white paint. Just try to switch a bit of the tones so you get a more organic look. Now in the inside of the tank, red monster mud was also layered on - the illusion trying to be created here is that the monster in this tank was in red liquid (blood).
Black Accents: Dip your 1 1/2" brush into the black paint and jab in additional accents. Then, using the 3" brush, dry brush the black in random sections to help make it look like soot or just a real dirty spot is there. Finally, make a wash of the black paint and again starting at the top dab it on and pull it down.
Second Rust and Black Wash: Come back with the raw sienna wash to get a layer of the rust over some of the black. To really make it look old and yucky finish with another wash of black. This second wash is kind of optional. Just keep working on your project until it's as grimy as you want it. (I can go overboard).
Painting Rivets: If you have an airbrush, go to this link and follow the excellent tutorial at the 6:00 time stamp.
If you don't have an airbrush you can try the technique with a regular brush. It should still look pretty good. Basically, the airbrush technique is:
1. Paint a fuzzy white bottom half-circle.
2. Paint a fuzzy black top half-circle.
3. Place stencil with a hole in it in the center and paint white.
4. With stencil still in place, paint bottom edge a fuzzy black.
5. With stencil still in place, paint top edge a fuzzy white.
This was a wood crate that I didn't bother doing the monster mud step but think it still looks pretty good.
The fog machine was done a little different. It was already black and metal, so it was just dry brushed with the silver paint. Rust tinted monster mud was randomly hit in spots with a foam roller. That gave it a nice rusty-looking depth. Finished off with a little black dry brushing, quick raw sienna wash and rivets. Looks steam-punkish huh?
This was a green rotating Christmas tree stand. The texture needed to be changed. Rust tinted mm was heavily rolled on then dry brushed silver and added the black accents.
So, you can do different orders of paint layers and different tinted colored mm and get different results. It's quite fun to see what you end up with.
Cardboard boxes… heheheh See, this is fun.
Foam…yes…foam. Hmmm, what’s next? The kitchen fridge?
Thanks for checking out this tutorial.