ThePipingMart Blog Metals How to Rust Stainless Steel – An Overview

How to Rust Stainless Steel – An Overview

How to Rust Stainless Steel

If you’re looking for a unique way to add character and style to your project, rusting stainless steel is a great option. It’s a surprisingly simple process that takes just a few steps and minimal supplies. With just a few simple materials, it’s possible to turn any piece of stainless steel into something truly special. Let’s take a look at how to rust stainless steel in five easy steps.

Step 1: Clean the Surface

Before you can begin rusting stainless steel, you must first clean the surface of any dirt or debris. This will help ensure that the end result is even and consistent. Use soap and water or an industrial cleaner to thoroughly scrub the area before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Apply Ablative Coating

Once the surface is clean, it’s important to apply an ablative coating like wax or petroleum jelly. This will help protect the surrounding areas from becoming rusted as well as create an uneven texture that will give your finished product more character. Make sure to cover all edges and corners with this coating, as they are often missed during this step but are key in creating a beautiful end result.

Step 3: Apply Salt Water Mixture

Step 4: Allow Time for Rusting Process

Step 5: Rinse & Wipe Off Ablative Coating.

After applying the salt water mixture, allow time for the chemical reaction between the salt and iron oxide (rust) to occur naturally – usually about two days, depending on humidity levels and temperature. Once you notice an orangey-brown hue starting to form on your stainless steel, it’s time for the final step! Lastly, rinse off your piece with warm water and then wipe off any remaining ablation coating with an old cloth or paper towel.


Rusting stainless steel is easier than you might think! By following these five easy steps – cleaning, protecting surrounding areas with an ablative coating, applying a saltwater mixture, allowing time for the rusting process, rinsing & wiping off ablation coating – you can create unique pieces of art out of ordinary stainless steel products! Whether you are looking for decorative accents or simply want to add some personality to your home décor projects, this is sure to be one technique you won’t regret trying out!

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