Tarnished tin tiles can add many style choices to your decorating project. But what is the best way to tarnish tin? And how will the tin maintain its integrity once tarnished? Luckily, tin tarnishing techniques affect only the surface of the metal, meaning that the integrity of the material will remain intact in spite of its worn-looking exterior.
One of the best ways to make tarnished tin tiles is with the use of acid. This method can create an aged or mineral-worn look.
As with most refinishing projects, the first step of this one is to sand the surface. Sanding creates small crevices in the metal which the acid is able to settle into, creating a varied and natural effect that spans the entirety of the surface. Once the surface is sanded, in a well-ventilated area, take some acid toilet bowl cleaner and apply it to the tin using a gloved hand and a steel wool scrubbing pad.
Once the acid has been applied to the entire surface in an even layer, leave the tin sitting for half an hour to allow the acid to take effect. Once thirty minutes have passed, rinse the surface well and dry it thoroughly before use or application.
Finishing Metal with Paint
The application of paint to a metal surface can create a tarnished appearance and is great for projects that require an antique-looking finish. Begin the process by sanding the area to be painted with 80 grit sandpaper. Sanding will remove the metal’s initial shine and allow the paint to adhere to the piece. For your initial coat, choose a black acrylic paint and use a sponge brush and water for application. Apply the paint in small dabs and strokes, beginning with the piece’s cracks and crevices. Allow initial layer to dry overnight.
Once the base layer is painted, choose accent colors that will accomplish your style goals. For a tarnished look, use matte grey on this step. Use your wet brush to unevenly dab the top paint over the dried black base. Allow the paint to dry fully, and sand the edges to add a look of enhanced variation. Be sure to conduct all work in well-ventilated spaces with proper protective wear.
Whether you are looking to achieve an antique look through design or deliberate wear, these ideas can help you make your next metal working project achieve the perfect finish.