In Search of "Rust"

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I know, right?! I actually had to "look for rust". It involved leaving my house. Who'd have thought?!!

As you may recall, I am giving a "face lift" to the cabinet that's in the corner of my bedroom.  This old gal has been with me for over 20 years. I bought her at a garage sale. She's been my china cabinet, linen closet, library cabinet and, most recently, she's been in the basement, housing my sons' collection of War Hammer figurines.

Her joints aren't sturdy, her doors are askew, and her veneer is lifting but she's "perfect" for this corner (or, at least, she WILL be).

I started by washing off most of what I would normally tout, (loudly and proudly) as "patina" (known to most of my "non-junker" friends simply, as "grime" or "filth") with a solution of about 1/3 bucket of hot water and 3/4 cup of washing soda.   

She had YEARS of "patina" (And, I'm fairly certain, several thousand spider eggs under her front skirt. But we won't talk about that.) It took five buckets of solution before I gave up finished.
As I washed her, I ran through several different options for how she'd look when I get her "spruced up".  I considered Chalk paint and regular paint. Old Ivory, Duck Egg, Blue, Gray, and even Yellow. Brown Wax or Clear. White with a blue interior. Gray with a white interior. I just wasn't sure. I saw the FABULOUS post on Dollar Tree contact paper over at Maple and Magnolia blog ( this morning and thought that maybe I'd paper the inside or maybe use gift wrap or even scrap book paper.  I was still undecided.

But then, I remembered that I had seen THIS on French Country Cottage.

I LOVE the weathered look but I wanted it to be "natural" instead of painted. I found a tutorial on Pinterest for how to age new wood with Steel Wool and Vinegar. It was close to what I wanted but not quite right. I Googled "how to age wood" and found several discussion boards surrounding the use of those two ingredients and "rusty metal".  I thought to myself, "Heck, this is easy, I've got that stuff in the basement."    
The Recipe:
A couple of cups of vinegar
1 or 2 steel wool pads
Rusty nails, screws, metal of any kind.  REALLY!?! I "NEED" rust?!

After 20 minutes in the basement that yielded only 1 rusty screwdriver and some steel wool, I went to the local hardware store to see my friend, Scott, who (in addition to a look that was both mildly amused and slightly perplexed), gave me bolts, nails a huge piece of rusty metal and a plastic tray with rust in the bottom of it. Still not convinced that I had enough "rust",  I went to see my auto mechanic friend, (Also named Scott. Ah, small town living!) He laughed right out loud (I guess he knows me pretty well) and then suggested that I get it from the bottom of my 14 year old Toyota Camry.  At first, I thought that he meant it but I realized, after a minute or so, that he was probably just mocking me. (My good friends can do that and still live to talk about it *wink*)  He gave me some rusty washers, and a cup full of rusty metal shavings off of some machine. Here's the "haul".

I gathered my "rust" and covered it with vinegar.

It's on the counter. In the kitchen. Bubbling and turning dark. I'm going to wait a day or two and then wipe it onto the cabinet. I'll post more next week.

In "cleaner" news, I've also been doing a little sewing for the Vintage Market. A few pillows, table runners, and some flowers.

Have a wonderful weekend!



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