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Rust Effect Garden Pot

Rust Effect Garden Pot

Create an eye-catching statement piece in your garden by upcycling a pre-loved garden pot with Porter’s Liquid Iron & Instant Rust to create an instantly aged and weather-beaten look. This is a fun project that’s easier than it looks!

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Step 1: Preparation

Before you start any preparation on your garden pot, you’ll want to prep the area you’ll be painting in. If possible, try and complete your upcycling project in a covered are like a garage or carport to protect the pot from weather, as unexpected rain can change the final look of the pot. Lay a large canvas dropsheet on the ground to catch any leeching or product run-off.

Our pre-loved pot is a pre-painted fibreglass, so all that was needed was a thorough hose down to make sure it was clean and free of dirt and dust. Sand back any flaking or peeling paint from the original coating. If needed, fill any cracks or holes in the pot with a suitable fuller before applying the prepcoat.

Step 2: Prime

Time to prime! Apply one coat of Porter’s Limeproof Undercoat Sealer to the entire pot in a criss-cross pattern using a 63mm sash cutter, making sure to evenly cover the entire surface. Using a haphazard criss-cross pattern throughout the whole project will ultimately allow the rust effect to appear in a random pattern. Leave the undercoat to dry for at least 6 hours before applying the next coat.

Clean up your brush in water and then let dry, ready to use for the next coats.

Step 3: Liquid Iron

Porter’s Liquid Iron is an acrylic paint containing iron filings, so you want to give it a really good stir with a large timber paint stirrer to ensure even distribution of the filings through the paint. Apply the first coat of Porter’s Liquid Iron using the 63mm sash cutter in the same criss-cross pattern all over the pot and leave to dry for a minimum of 12 hours.

Once the first coat has dried, you can apply your second coat of Liquid Iron.

Step 4: Instant Rust

Once the second coat of Porter’s Liquid Iron is applied, you’ll want to start getting ready to apply the Porter’s Instant Rust.

Put on your safety glasses and rubber gloves, give the bottle of Porter’s Instant Rust a bit of a shake and pour some of the acid solution into a container. Porter’s Instant Rust is water based but contains 1.65g/L of hydrochloric acid, so be careful you don’t get it in your eyes and on your skin.

You want to start applying Porter’s Instant Rust as soon as the Liquid Iron is touch dry – it can even be slightly tacky, so long as it's not wet. Brush a thin coat over the entire surface in a random, multi-directional pattern and wait an hour or two for the reaction to start. To speed up the rusting effect, you can lightly spray your pot with water.

After a minimum of three hours you can apply a second brushing of Instant Rust if you want a more stronger rust effect.

The rust will continue to develop over the next 24 hours and for up to a week. This is where you’ll be glad the pot is undercover so the rust can continue to develop over a week without being effected by the elements.

Step 5: Seal

Once the acid solution has dried, you will be left with real rust – it will come off on your fingers and clothes, and if outside in the rain it will leech onto whatever is beneath it. To stop the leeching, you’ll need to apply two coats of Porter’s Instant Clear Rust Sealer.

(If this isn’t a concern for you – skip this step and enjoy your handiwork!)

Leave your pot to neutralise for about three days before washing off the acid solution. Allow a minimum of 48 hours for the pot to completely dry before you start time applying the Porter’s Instant Clear Rust Sealer. The sealer will dry milky instead of clear if you apply the sealer to a wet pot or too thick. Save yourself the disappointment and don’t rush this last step.

Give the sealer a stir and brush on, allowing a minimum of 2 hours drying time between two coats. It is important that you get good coverage and there are no areas left un-sealed. After the second coat allow minimum 4 hours drying time. Recoat your pot every 12 months to keep the rust effect sealed.

The best thing about a rust effect post is that no two pots will ever look the same! Share some pics of your finished project on insta, and tag @insppaint.