April 16, 2011

Response Saturday: Faux Rust

Well, I have missed two weeks or Response Saturdays, sadly.  I have a LOT of things going on right now with filling orders, dealing with ceramic technical issues, getting work out to galleries, and preparing for several shows, both small ones and big ones on the horizon.  I did recently work with a new material in anticipation of a new venture I am working on for the summer which will involve setting up a mini-bead store on the weekends.  I'll tell you more about that soon, but for now I want to show you one of the displays I am working on for it.

I have had this old wooden display for a long time.  It is a vintage Johnson and Johnson display (it had the company logo burned into the front, under that dark wooden panel)  I have used it at shows before when my display was mostly dark and light woods. It was starting to look a little beat up, so I decided to paint it so that it looks really old and aged.  This will fit in with the theme of this artist market perfectly, as it is called Rustbelt Market.  In particular, I wanted a randomly rusted looking surface, so I used a two part iron paint and rust activator from Sophisticated Finishes.
After painting a sample test and falling in love with it, I dove in and painted the whole thing with the iron paint.  I did it outside and worked in the yard as it dried.  I tried to use the rust activator outside, too, but I learned that it was too windy and warm, and the activator does better when it dries slowly.  Fortunately, it doesn't smell bad, so I could bring it in and paint.
Here is the end result of the rusty finish!  I love the randomness of it, and it there were splotches that didn't rust as well, I just went in and painted more of the activator and it fixed it.  I think I need to add some random rusty hardware to it and give it some sort of a seal.  I am going to try a paste wax first, but might resort to a matte clear spray if needed.

This display will hold cording and chain, which I will sell by the foot, and little tins filled with metal findings.  I would also like to mount some sort of vertical display above it where I can hang more chain, ribbon, and cords.  The goal is to have a decent range of stringing materials and findings for my customers to make simple necklaces and jewelry with the ceramic pendants I will also have or sale.

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.


  1. I love how it turned out! It's always amazing to see what a difference paint can make.

  2. ooooh!! i want to do this to make a photo background! cool!!! thanks for sharing!