weathered effect paintingThe rustic, weathered, vintage look is very popular these days and seem to sell well. One can see it in furniture, crafts and painting. Just take a look at some of the most popular (and most sold) artworks on sites such as Fine Art America and Society6. There is something about a vintage styled painting that brings us back to a time past.

I’ve been wondering how some artists achieve the appearance of crackling and rust in their paintings so easily.


Whenever I’m wondering something like this, I wander on over to Youtube or Google Search to learn more.

These are some tutorials I’ve found on achieving a vintage and grungy effect with acrylic paint.

  1. How to Weather and Crackle Acrylic Paint

    Paint Jackson’s Art Supplies shares a very informative and interesting video on how to apply various viscosities, layering effects, and textures using different acrylic mediums. Patty Brady demonstrates the use these mediums in this video.

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    These are the steps in her demonstration:

    - Apply a layer of molding paste, which dries white.
    - Mix in a rust or dull color, such as yellow ochre or paynes grey.
    - Use a palette knife to spread the mixture over the canvas and let dry.
    - Patty uses a stencil to create an embossed design with the remaining molding paste mixture.
    - Add crackle paste. Applied thinly will result in small cracks; spread thickly causes large crackling. Let this dry.
    - Dampen the entire surface of the painting. Next, mix green and black, and water it down to create a stain. Cover the entire surface with this stain.
    - Apply a thin layer of glass bead gel.
    - Experiment with different viscosities of paint, mix them together, and pour the mixture over the painting.

    If you are interested in these effects, it is recommended to go through this entire demonstration yourself. Obviously, you can delete certain steps or reorder them according to your desired painting effect.

  2. How to Add a Rust Effect to Acrylic Paintings

    There are many ways of making an appearance of real rust with acrylic paint. Shoshi Platypus gives a demonstration concerning creating rust with acrylic paint. The materials she uses are liquid acrylic paints, Winsor & Newton copper acrylic paint, black gesso and Golden course pumice acrylic gel medium. She goes through several steps, until she achieves the look of rust in the end. Take a look.

    Here are the steps:

    - Cover the canvas or art card with black gesso, then let dry (or use an hair dryer as she uses).
    -  Spread a layer of blue paint and dry this.
    - Use a palette knife to spread on acrylic gel medium thinly, and let this dry also.
    - Paint a thin layer with burnt seanna or  an approximate color. Dab this with a paper towel or cloth to remove excess paint. Dry this.
    - Create yet another layer with a lighter color (orange).
    - Use the copper acrylic paint for a final thin layer.

    As you can see, she achieves a good appearance of rust using this method. There are obviously several ways of doing this. If you create rust a different way, care to share it with us?

  3. Paint the Effect of Weathering and Rust

    Some artists have become real pros at achieving a rustic effect very easily, simply by using watercolor or acrylic. Take a look at some of Paul Buford’s paintings in his spotlight at Artpromotivate.

    He paints watercolor images of antique and weathered cars, trucks, motorcycles and more.

    His paintings are incredibly realistic and lifelike, and the rust on the vehicles is very prominent.

    Rusty 50's Bel Air - teal rusty chevy bel air © Paul Buford 

    chev6-pearl-rogersAustralian artist Pearl Rogers paints weathered images and rustic scenes. Take a look at her painting Chev 6, an image of a rust covered old vehicle.


Have you tried any of these rustic and weathered painting effects yourself? Do you have your own personal technique for creating a vintage texture?

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  1. Love this! thanks for the demo of the layering paints and gels.


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