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Metal letter stencil wall art tutorial…

I came across these metal stencils at Michaels a while ago…and I just knew they would make the coolest piece of wall art. For $1 a piece..I bought one of every letter they had and quickly started my aging process. Metal letter stencil aged and rusted wall art

Here is my supplies used to create the letters:

  • Metal letter stencils
  • Paint stripper
  • 5 Aluminum tins {Dollar Tree}
  • Fine steel wool
  • Spray paint
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 70% rubbing alcohol
  • Table salt
  • glass/porcelain dish

This is how they started out. They had a brown powder coating that I needed to remove…

…First, I put them in aluminum tins and covered them in paint stripper. I bought the strongest formula you could buy. This stuff  is lethal. Please, take caution and follow the instructions on the back when handling it. Absolutely…do not do this around kids…

…I let the letters sit in the paint stripper overnight…then, I removed them and lightly brushed them with a fine steel wool to remove any stuck on paint. You don’t want any scratch marks…so make sure it’s fine steel wool. I thought they looked great like this..but, I wanted them a little more rough looking…

…after drying the letters…I spray painted them in colors I had chosen…then I banged them up a bit. No rules here really. I clanked them together and dropped them on the driveway. Basically…I tumbled them around a bit. I didn’t want a uniform look…so I tumbled some more than others…

…after I was happy with my distressing…it was time to rust them up. There are a lot of rusting recipes out there. Many of them call for bleach…I can’t stand the smell of bleach…so I opted for this one.

  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/2 cup 70% rubbing alcohol
  • mix together in a glass bowl or dish {make sure it’s old…you can’t reuse for eating purposes}
  • sprinkle salt into the solution

Where the salt touches the metal…is where the rust will form. I sprinkled some more than others. I also let some letters sit in the solution longer. It’s really a matter of taste.

After I had successfully aged all my letters…I repurposed this fold away camping table as my canvas. Found at a  local thrift store…I had my husband cut it in half. I left all the hardware intact…as I wanted a real industrial looking piece. Next… I painted and aged it some…then I attached all my letters with roofing nails.

And this is the result of all that work. It’s pretty much what I envisioned when I saw the letters in the dollar section. I did improvise with the “c” and “w”…as I couldn’t find those two. So…I just painted them right on the wood. I actually like it better with them painted on. I’m absolutely thrilled with how this piece turned out!

Metal letter stencil aged and rusted wall art

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have…just leave me a comment!

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