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How to Rust Tin Cans

If you're trying to rust tin cans, or change the surface to iron oxide, you're probably working on a craft project. Rusting metal gives any project an old, country look that's appealing. The elements can rust metal naturally. The problem is that it takes a long time to wait on nature to corrode metal.

Things You Will Need

  • Table salt
  • Spray bottle

If you're trying to rust tin cans, or change the surface to iron oxide, you're probably working on a craft project.  Rusting metal gives any project an old, country look that's appealing.

The elements can rust metal naturally.  The problem is that it takes a long time to wait on nature to corrode metal.

Give nature a helping hand and rust tin cans on your own. 

  1. Pour 4 tablespoons of table salt into a spray bottle. Add 2 pints of warm water and shake it to dissolve the salt. This will make a fairly strong salt water solution.
  2. Collect the tin cans and the salt water solution outside. Choose a location that's away from plants and grass. Spray the cans liberally with the salt water, then set them out in the sun.
  3. Spray the tin cans with the salt solution every day until they get as rusty as you desire.
  4. Tip

    If the tin cans are painted, you can accelerate the process of rusting by sanding them first.

    Warning

    Salt water will kill grass and plants, so stay away from these when you spray the tin cans.

Things You Will Need

  • Table salt
  • Spray bottle

About the Author

Kayar Sprang has been a professional freelance writer and researcher since 1999. She has had articles published by clients like Kraft Foods, "Woman's Day" magazine and Mom Junction. Sprang specializes in subjects she has expertise in, including gardening and home improvement. She lives on and maintains a multi-acre farm.