Instant Rust

Just add glue

Instant Rust

Just add glue

Instant Rust

Just add glue

Scenic Charge (summer job between JMU Freshman and Sophomore years)
FOOTLOOSE!
Blake High School Summer Musical Theatre Institute 2017

Michel D. D’Anna, Producer
Matthew J. Bowerman, Director

Scenic Charge (summer job between JMU Freshman and Sophomore years)
FOOTLOOSE!
Blake High School Summer Musical Theatre Institute 2017
Michel D. D’Anna, Producer
Matthew J. Bowerman, Director



Scenic Charge (summer job between JMU Freshman and Sophomore years)
FOOTLOOSE!
Blake High School Summer Musical Theatre Institute 2017
Michel D. D’Anna, Producer
Matthew J. Bowerman, Director

Sometimes you need rusted tin in a hurry, but all you have are corrugated plastic, some paint, and that useless jug of Elmer’s left over from art class. What do you do?

This technique is great to use for getting an antique, distressed or weathered texture for elements of the set. A big thanks to Sarah Philips for teaching me this bit of illusion!

Here is a close-up of the finished product and two of it on the live set:


Here’s how to get your rusty tin without waiting decades on Mother Nature.

Materials List

  1. Corrugated plastic, or whatever you want rusted
  2. Colors you mixed from the rendering that was based on the type of material, severity of the rust, and how that rust would affect the material
  3. Elmer’s Glue
  4. Clear deck sealing paint
  5. Block Brushes

Synopsis

The rust layer goes on first, followed by a release agent (the glue), followed by a top coat the color of the metal surface before it started to rust. Peel away the top coat to expose patches of rust. Remember that the top coat will also be weathered from neglect, so no smooth red paint or pristine bare tin with rust eating through; it wouldn’t work like that in the wild. It’s all been beaten down by the elements, but the rusted places worse than the rest.

And away you go…

  1. Slap on some paint
    Apply a coat of the base colors that will become the rust—it may or may not be a scumble of sorts. I also chose to apply a splatter over top (Inspiration of splatters from John Ovington).

Applying rust base coat. Long brush handles are your friends.


Finished rust base coat

  1. Slap on some deck sealer
    After the base layer dries, apply a generous coat of sealer. This will help in the step of pealing off the top layer, while leaving the base layer intact.
  2. Slap on some glue
    After the sealer dries, add glops of glue to either the whole section or in the specific places that you will want the rust to show through the painted or bare metal surface. The thicker the glue layer, the more the paint layer you’ll place on top of the glue will “disappear” as the glue causes the paint layer to retract from specific areas.
  3. Slap on some more paint
    Immediately after the glue is applied, add the top layer of paint—be it a few more washes, or a whole bucket of concentrated paint. As the glue and top layer dry, they will wrinkle and the paint will fade so that the bottom rust layer will show through.
  4. Ruin your manicure while you dig for rust
    After most of the top coat has skinned over, and the thicker glue areas have caused the top coat over them to split, peel up the paint over those still-wet glue areas to expose the desired amount of rust.

Peeling for rust

Hints

  • Don’t be too neat when peeling; real rust buckles whatever it’s eating through, so leave those ragged edges.
  • Work quickly so that you can peel all of the thick areas, where you want the rust to show, before the glue dries.
  1. Experiment – and then experiment some more
    Like most Fx painting, patience and experimentation pay off. Don’t try this for the first time the day before open! Variables are the rust coat’s color, glue thickness, and drying time for glue and top cost before you begin to expose the rust. Make sure that the rust coat you laid down first is completely dry before moving to glue and top coat, or peeling will remove the rust, too, and expose the plastic panel. Prime first if you need to.

Repeat wherever your spidey sense tells you the piece would have fallen to the elements.

Now it’s time to turn your tin over to the carpenter and start on the floors.



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