DIY Rustic Tin Wall with Galvanized Metal Roofing - My Favorite DIY Home Decor Project of All Time

DIY Rustic Tin Wall with Galvanized Metal Roofing - My Favorite DIY Home Decor Project of All Time

It must be said right away that this rustic tin wall is one of my top favorite DIY pieces of all time! (And I've done some pretty cool shhhhhh...)

This project ranked so high with me because the result was exactly what I had envisioned, and the process was fairly easy, as well as difficult to mess up. So, with great confidence in my easy-to-follow tutorial, I've decided to share my method for making a rustic tin wall piece.

*** I can vouch for the steps in this tutorial producing the result in my pictures. However, one corner cut, or one product replacement, I cannot guarantee your happy ending.

PROJECT SUMMARY & TIPS

* My instructions will create an approximately 4ftx8ft tin wall statement piece. If your desired dimensions are far from this, you'll need to cut your metal sheets. NOTE: Lowe's and Home Depot do not provide this cutting service. You'll need special power tools, saws and precision.

* The galvanized corrugated metal sheets are 8ft long with extremely sharp edges. Keep this in mind when transporting them. I would suggest bringing a few old towels with you to protect your car's interior. With the back seats folded down, I was able to slide them into my Volvo S60, but the drive home had to be very delicate. Driving with two giant guillotine death traps next to my head and the risk of decapitation at every turn made my short ride quite tense.

* You'll need to be working outside, IN THE DAYLIGHT, on a concrete surface like a driveway that has a hose handy. The chemicals involved in this project will likely stain your work surface (driveway) temporarily. Also, you want the surface to be fairly flat. The chemicals need to sit and soak on top of the metal sheets in order to age/rust the shiny surface. If all the liquid is running down the driveway, it's no good. If you have a gently sloping driveway, like I do, you can use something (like a couple bricks) to make a platform to raise one end of the sheet metal so it's horizontal. Make sure your forecast isn't expecting rain or winds. These weather elements will remove the chemicals needed to create the rustic tin look.

* Once you have your metal sheets prepped, all you'll really be doing is slathering on your chemical mixture, letting it sit, hosing it off and letting it sit. Yes, it's a tad bit more involved, but very easy. YOU CAN DO IT, so let's go!

MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED

 
  • 2 Sheets of Galvanized Corrugated Metal, 24in wide and 8ft long *** (Approx $15 per sheet at Lowe's or Home Depot in the roofing department)
  • 3 Bottles of Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner *** (The STRONG stuff)
  • Scotch-Brite Pads *** (You'll need at least 3 of these 6in pads.)
  • Baking Soda or Carpet Deodorizing Powder
  • Small Paint Brush
  • Protective Gloves
  • 32 inches of Wood Trim *** (Your Preference. I used 3/4in cedar.)
  • Transparent Sealant Spray
  • (Optional) Sanding Block *** (You can use one of the Scotch-Brite pads in lieu of a sanding block, but, in my opinion, it won't get the job done as well or as fast.)
  • (Optional) HEKTAR Lights *** (IKEA - Link at bottom of tutorial.)

ALRIGHT THEN, if you're as confident and motivated to do this as I hoped you'd be, let's get started...

How to Make a Rustic Tin Wall Piece with Galvanized Corrugated Metal Roofing Sheets

1. PREP

Cut the Scotch-Brite pads into 3/4in to 1in wide strips and set aside. (If you do not have a sanding block, save one pad to use in the next step before cutting it.)

 

2. ROUGH IT UP

Now that you have your shiny new corrugated metal sheets, it's time to ruin them right? If you're not going for "aged rustic", you're, respectfully, looking for a different blog.

Lay the metal sheets flat on a (preferably) concrete surface and give them a quick spray with the hose. Then use a sanding block (or one of the Scotch-Brite pads) to sand down the shiny. This is a very superficial quick task as the chemicals will do quite a bit of de-shining themselves, but it helps to prep the metal this way. Just trust me.

3. CHEMICAL MIXTURE

Pour one bottle of Lysol into a (minimum half-gallon) container. Add about 1/3 cup powder and stir so mixture turns into a foaming paste.

 

4. FIRST CHEMICAL TREATMENT

Begin aging the tin with your chemical mixture by quickly pouring the mixture on the metal sheets (figure eights works well) and then rubbing it in with the sanding block or the uncut Scotch-Brite pad. (This should take under five minutes.) Do not rinse.

Make another batch of the chemical mixture.

5. SCOTCH-BRITE STAINING (GETTING GALVANIZED METAL TO RUST)

Take your Scotch-Brite strips and sporadically place them in the grooves of the sheet metal. The spots where you put the strips will turn darker and then rusty. There's no pattern to placing the strips. Just go nuts!

As you place the Scotch-Brite strips in the grooves, pour some of the chemical mixture over them and dab it into the spongy strips with your small paint brush. Make sure the liquid completely saturates the spongy Scotch-Brite strips, essentially keeping them in place.


Make more chemical mixture as needed. Once all the strips are in place and saturated, keep applying chemical mixture in the grooves and brushing it all over the metal. You should end up with a coated sheet of metal with pools of liquid in the grooves.

 

6. LEAVE ALONE

Let the metal sheets sit exposed to the outdoor elements, particularly sunlight. It doesn't have to be sun beaten. Clouds or overcast do the trick. Leave them outside for as long as you'd like this way. You can check the aging progress by checking under the Scotch-Brite strips. Just remember, the aging process will be seen pretty quickly. (You could call the project complete after just 30 minutes.) But the longer it sits with the chemicals penetrating the metal, the better the result. I would suggest 4-6 hours.

7. RINSE AND RUST

When your desired weathered look is achieved, remove the Scotch-Brite strips and lightly rinse off the chemicals. (DO NOT move the metal from their flat position and DO NOT blast with an abrasive hose nozzle setting.)

Let the wet metal sheets sit out in the elements AGAIN. This time for a matter of days, NOT hours. I'd give them 1 or 2 days at least. The longer they sit with water in the grooves, the better rusting affect you'll achieve.

8. SET

With the metal rustic and weathered, lightly wipe off any loose debris with a dry cloth before spraying on a coat of transparent sealant.

9. ASSEMBLE & HANG

Now, I had a handy-man frame up my tin sheets in cedar trim before it was hung on the wall. This way the piece can be removed and transported. If you want to recreate this same aesthetic and concept, you'll want to do the same. (Of course you'll need to arrange the pieces overlapping slightly in order to create one seamless piece of tin.)

 10. (OPTIONAL) LIGHTS

If you'd like to add lights to this wall piece, they are a nice touch. These HEKTAR Lights from IKEA ($15.99 @) were especially easy to rig up. After getting them synced with ALEXA, a voice command of, "ALEXA, turn on tin lights", illuminates the tin and emits soft back-lighting.


And that concludes this Rustic Tin Wall Piece tutorial. Let me know in the comments if you like it, try it or question it and I'd love to see your project. Happy DIY'ing!

 


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