How to Paint Something to Look Like Galvanized Metal


Galvanized metal has become quite popular in the last little while but it can be quite expensive to buy great pieces. Here is a quick tutorial on how to paint any surface to look like galvanized metal.

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I have developed a real love for what I like to call the "Farmdustrial" look ;) Farmhouse combined with industrial. I love the look of the old, worn chippy paint alongside functional, industrial pieces that would have been used in everyday life.

Since I live in a completely urban setting, and have only balconies at my house, they are my outdoor living space. I have been itching to give them a good redo for a couple of years now and finally started the process this summer. The main balcony is big enough that I can have plants on it as well as an area to work. Part of my plan, since it has to be a functional space as well as relaxing and pretty is to use metal and/or galvanized pots for the plants. These will help to give it a more cohesive and pulled-together look.

I have found a couple of pieces this summer that I love, but need more.

how to paint something to look like galvanized metal, chalk paint, gardening, home decor, how to, painting


Enter the green, metal bucket. We have had this bucket for years at our cottage and I think at one point it was used as a trash can. It is metal... but not exactly what I was looking for.

how to paint something to look like galvanized metal, chalk paint, gardening, home decor, how to, painting


Since the green pail was still usable, but not the galvanized metal I wanted, I decided to paint it to look like it was.

Galvanized metal is just steel with a coat of zinc oxide on it. The zinc oxide is what helps to give it that pretty layered look and depth. How hard could it be to paint that??

To undertake that task, I began by painting the entire pail with Fusion Mineral Paint in Ash. The Ash provided a nice, rich, grey background. (Sorry... I forgot to take a picture of the pail with just the Ash on it. Oops!)

how to paint something to look like galvanized metal, chalk paint, gardening, home decor, how to, painting


To get that same depth as you see on the real thing, but with paint, I used a mix of grey and a little black and white. I dabbed the black and white on with a chip brush first and then a mix of greys over top.

how to paint something to look like galvanized metal, chalk paint, gardening, home decor, how to, painting


When the layers of paint were dry, it looked a little choppy up close. From further back though it was perfect. Tip: Don't over-paint it... it is easy to do so keep taking a step back and take a look from a distance.

how to paint something to look like galvanized metal, chalk paint, gardening, home decor, how to, painting


To take it one step further, and really make the pail look authentic, I dabbed on the smallest amount of Fusion Mineral Paint Antiquing Glaze. Once it was dry, it looked like rust! I added the antiquing glaze only around the top and bottom rims and the side seem; places that would normally have a little rust if it was old. Faux rust... how cool is that??

Pop over to the blog to see how I added a stencil on the side to make it look even older and see what the pail looks like now...

Suggested materials:

  • Old metal pail
  • Fusion Mineral Paint in Ash  (Local Stockist)
  • Black Paint
See all materials
Recreated Designs

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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