Rusting An MDF Chalkboard


I’m still beavering away in the studio making items to sell at the church Christmas Fayre. Yesterday I used what I had learnt at Andy Skinner’s workshop I attended last weekend to create a faux rusted enamel frame and stand for this MDF chalkboard. As it happens, I actually prefer the back – some of the paint had seeped under and the ‘chips’ appear much more organic against the gesso undercoat:


Here’s a quick how-to if you want to make your own…

You will need:
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics: Raw Umber / Quinacridone Gold
DecoArt Media Matte Medium
DecoArt Media Crackle Paint: White
DecoArt Media Ultra-matte Varnish
Tando Creative / Andy Skinner Industrial Elements
Frame (no need to undercoat – mine was already gesso’d)

Firstly, dilute some of the Raw Umber with water until you get a thin glaze, and dab over the frame to get a mottled appearance. Allow to dry, and repeat as necessary to get an even coverage whilst keeping the mottle.

This was the back of the frame after the first step – the paint had seeped under the edges, creating a realistic chipping effect. I darkened the paint spread with a stippled coat of dilute Raw Umber.

At this point, also stipple dilute Raw Umber onto four sets of assembled washer, nut and no-slot screw head from the Industrial Elements set.

Once you have allowed all the Raw Umber layers to dry completely, cover with a layer of Matte Medium – this helps make sure all the surface is sealed, and allows better adhesion of the Crackle Paint layer.
Apply the Crackle Paint to the front of the frame when the matte medium is dry Thicker areas will have larger cracks, thinner will have smaller. By undercoating the whole frame with the Raw Umber, any crackle will allow the base layer to be seen.
Next, stipple on undiluted Quinacridone Gold over the exposed Raw Umber on both the frame and the bolts. This transparent paint acts like a glaze, and stippling it will add texture as well as intensifying the colour.
A close up just to show the texture building up with the layers of stippled paint, particularly over the bolts.
For the next step, I wanted to get more rusty spots, and a weathered effect. I diluted the Quinacridone Gold to water until very thin, and then flicked it over the frame whilst it was lying flat. I then dried the flicked paint. And wiped up where it had seriously wandered off from the painting area. I then stood the frame up and added the thinned paint to the rusted areas, allowing it to collect and then dribble down the rest of the frame.

I did the same to the back once the front was dry, with less flicking and more finger dabbing, and no rust dribbles – I think I like the overall effect better.

Seal everything with the Ultra-Matte Varnish and allow to dry. I then assembled the chalkboard by gluing in the blackboard panel and fixing the nuts into the corners.

[Disclaimer: as part of the DecoArts Helping Artists Program,
I have been provided with samples of their products to use for projects]

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