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How to Distress Iron Furniture

Rust is not generally considered a good thing, unless your goal is to achieve a distressed look on iron furniture. Encouraging the metal to rust is an efficient way to get an authentic antique look quickly. You could place the pieces outdoors and wait for nature to take its toll, but there is a much faster way. Treating the furniture with a few items found in most homes speeds up the process and allows you to control exactly how distressed the furniture appears.

Iron furniture rusts quickly when treated with a few common household items.

Step 1

Rinse the item with a garden hose to remove dirt, spider webs and other debris. 

Step 2

Allow the piece to air dry until no moisture remains. 

Step 3

Fill a spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide. 

Step 4

Spray the iron furniture generously with the peroxide, refilling the bottle as necessary. 

Step 5

Scatter table salt over the furniture.  Take care to apply the salt evenly. A rusty appearance will begin to appear within minutes of the application. 

Step 6

Make repeat applications as needed to achieve the preferred amount of rust. 

Things You Will Need

  • Garden hose
  • Spray bottle
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Table salt

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images