Hey friends! It's been a while since I've popped onto the blog. Today I am happy to be back and share with you all how I made an attractive table centrepiece that looks just like an old rusty tin trough! Even if you were to get up close and take a good look at it, I bet you would be duped into thinking it's an authentically old unique piece sitting on my table. It all started with creating some large wooden initials for above my kids new homeschool classroom I made for them in our basement. I made a wooden "I" and "E" and painted them to have the rustic metal look. They turned out so cute that I new I would want to paint this same technique on something else.
First though I must give credit where credit is due! I originally saw this paint technique on a YouTube video by the Yami from The Latina Next Door. She has a great YouTube channel and does amazing high end dupes as well, my kinda girl!
Alright so lets get started on how I created this cutie for my table!
First thing I did was use some leftover shiplap that I had on hand. Faux shiplap is 4mm presanded plywood. We buy it in 4x8ft sheets at Home Depot and seem to always have leftover ripped down strips from previous projects. kicking around in our garage. Now if you don't have this type of wood, you can always use any kinds of scrap wood you may have, but I think the thinner the better! I wanted this to look like thin tin or metal sheeting, so that's why I opted for the shiplap.
Below are the measurements I went with to cut down my plywood.
I like to use a miter saw when I need to make simple cuts like this, but if you don't have any power tools you can also use a simple hand saw. Just be sure you clamp down your wood to a table when you are using a hand saw so the wood doesn't wiggle around.
After I finished making my plywood cuts, I decided to make some support pieces for the inside of the box to connect all the sides together. I had some 1"x1" wood dowels on hand and cut 4 of them down to 4.25" in length.
Now it's time to start making this easy box! Having a drill would be beneficial for this project and make your life easier, but is not absolutely necessary. You could also use wood glue and small finishing nails to bring it all together.
So the first thing I did was take one end piece and one of my 1" dowels. I made sure the 1" dowel was butted up against one end of the 6" end piece. Then I predrilled a hole through the plywood and into the dowel.
It's important to pre drill holes often as it prevents your screws from feeding through the wood and cracking/splitting the wood. In the image below (ignore the messed up far right upper corner) I wanted to show you guys how I attached the dowels. I also did end up switching out these screws to a flat head screw. I thought it went better with the look of the box. You can also see here that I inset my screws a bit from the edges a bit.
After I affixed my 4 dowels to each corner of my end pieces I then attached my side walls. In the bottom picture (I took it before I set in tall the screws), but it does show you where the side wall set up against the dowel. I then took 2 of the same screws as before and simple took on of my side walls and set them inside the area of the other 2 screws from the end pieces. I didn't want them to over lap and hit each other.
After I had all the sides attached then I only had to turn the 4 walls upside now and place the floor on top. This time I used some 1 " screws and just went through the floor and into the dowels. I did this to all 4 corners. To make sure the floor was attached along the side walls as well I had some side brackets on hand I figured would work well to bring it together and make it stronger. The corner brackets I used I had on hand, and don't have a clue where I got them from, but here are some similar that you can use. I like the fun industrial look it also added to the box.
I then brought the box inside after I gave it a quick sanding down and got it all set up and ready to paint. I knew the look I was wanting for this table centrepiece to be. I wanted it to look like sheet metal or rusty worn metal. I originally did a fun paint technique when I made some fun wooden letters for my kids to go above their home school desk. I took these letters from a boring wood tone to a unique metallic look. I knew once those turned out so cute that I would want to try out the paint technique again and again, and this long trough was the perfect chance to do just that! Check out how cute the letters turned out! I think they look like those expensive industrial initials you see in home decor stores!
Ok so lets get to the fun part! Here are the paints I used to achieve this look...
Folk Art, Castle - Michaels
DecoArt Dazzling Metallics, Shimmering Silver - Michaels
Folk Art Brushed Metal, Brushed Dark Grey - Home Depot
Folk Art Brushed Metal, Brushed Bronze - Home Depot
DecoArt, Cinnamon Brown - Dollarama
Now I went out looking for these colours because that's what Yami mostly used when she made her plastic dollar tree chargers look like galvanized metal. You can see her fun and creative blog post here. I would suggest getting the metallic ones for sure as the concentration of the shimmer is so impressive and is what gives that true metal look. The Folk Art Castle is not necessary as this is the base colour, you could really use and warm grey, or grey tone, or make a warm grey with some white, black and brown craft paint if you have some on hand.
So the first step you do is feather on your Castle colour. I just cut up a dish sponge and used that to apply the paint. I dabbed the sponge onto the entire box trying to make sure the majority of the box was covered. It does NOT have to be perfect, as it's only the base colour. Try to connect your spongey marks together as much as possible as well. In the video below I am applying the castle. I did choose to go over all the nails and brackets with all of my layered colours, so no need to be careful around your hardware if you are just going to be painting them anyways at the end.
After my Castle colour was dried, I did the same technique with the Brushed Dark Grey next, and after that was dried I finished with a last sponge application of the Shimmering Silver. Here is what it looks like after I sponged on all three colours. I think it already looks like metal...
The fun part is the last part, and that's adding as little or as much rust as you would like. I just mixed some of my Brushed Bronze with my Cinnamon colour and dabbed it onto all the edges and then sponged it on to areas more than others. I think using any brown craft paint would work just fine for this step, you don't have to buy the shimmery bronze for this if you don't want to. I found the dollar store DecoArt Cinnamon colour added the most rusty look. There's definitely no way you can mess this step up either, or if you feel like you did add too much brown somewhere, just go back over it with the silver again. You don't have to be an artist to do this at all! I referred to a few images online of some rusty home decor pieces and used that as a guide to see where the rust looks most natural and sort of copied those.
I had so much fun doing this part and found it's what truly makes it look authentic and not like a bad paint job on some cheap wood. Sorry for the bad lighting. I did this at night, but here is what it looked like after I was happy with the rusty look....
I found some old metal handles from another vase I had on hand from a thrift store. I just pulled them off that vase and then glued them on the sides of the box. You could use any old drawer pulls and just paint them to look like the rest of your box, or if you don't have any pulls, maybe use some rope to give it an extra added fun detail!
Now you can decorate the inside of the box anyway you like. I had craft blocks from the dollar store and stuck them inside the box. Then I found an old tulip wreath I had on hand and cut the flowers off to tuck them inside the craft foam. Get creative here, go to the dollar store, or Michales and see what florals you like the most and just play around with it. This is also a fun seasonal piece to have on hand, you can add florals according to the season if you like to keep it interesting! Also you could add some slim glass milk bottles or vases in the box and add some candles inside or even tall slimmer stems or florals too, the options are endless!