After rusting the hardware for my last dresser project, I have been wanting to rust everything that I touch! I thought it would be cool to try this technique on some new clocks. I love the look of old rusty clocks and actually have several that I picked up from an antique market.
I found this little alarm clock and thought it would be a great clock to rust and knew it would fit perfectly with my little old clock collection.
I also found this larger clock. I wasn’t sure if either of them would turn out like I was envisioning, but it was worth a shot. They were only under $10 a piece.
I took the larger clock apart, hoping that the paper backing with the numbers would just come right out so that it would be easier to age. It was adhered to the clock, so I had to do my best to age it while it was set into the clock. I used this technique to age the paper, but this time, I used a blow dryer to dry it, instead of putting it in the oven to dry the the previous tutorial. I opened one of the tea bags and spread out the spices all over the clock, keeping the tea stained water at a minimum on the clock paper, and then dried it with the hair dryer. I didn’t want to get it too wet, thinking that it may not work if I had.
After it was dryed, I brushed off the spices. I used the same technique on the smaller clock, but I actually had to break the glass to get to the paper on the smaller clock. I just carefully tapped it with a hammer and then removed the broken glass. I didn’t mind because, some of the older clocks are missing the glass as well.
I wanted the glass part of the larger clock to look old too. I used some tan acrylic craft paint to age it. You can see, below, that the right side is finished. I used 80 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface of the glass and then used a small paint brush to spread the tan paint around on the glass. The sanded surface helped the paint to adhere better. I then wiped the paint off , leaving some of it on the glass to make it look foggy and aged.
Now the fun part, the rusting technique. I used the same “rusting kit” that I used to rust the hardware for my last dresser project. It’s a super easy three step process. Anything that can be painted, can be “rusted”, with this technique.
I had to be super careful when painting the hands on the small clock. Then before spraying the activator, I gently tucked some paper towel behind the hands of the clock so that I wouldn’t get the entire paper wet.
I’m in love with the way they turned out! The smaller one is my fave of the two, but they are both pretty amazing and rusty! It fits in perfectly with my old clocks, just as I had desired!
Every time I use this rusting technique, I’m just amazed with the authenticity that it gives. It looks like a clock that’s been sitting around for 100 years.
I even fooled my son, Kaden. I told him that I just bought this clock brand new yesterday and he said, “no way…how did it get all rusty like that?”
I think maybe I should put it back in the box, take it back to the store to customer service, and ask why my new clock rusted overnight. That would be fun!
The large one looks great too! Even the glass looks dirty and old, like an old clock. I decided not to rust the hands on this one, but I think they would look great rusted too.
Just a little tip for the process…make sure to be careful with the hands of the clock. Not that this is not an obvious tip, but I was trying to rush to get this done and broke the hour hand on the smaller clock. It still works but it may always be 6:00. Oh well, my old ones don’t work at all and 6:00 seems like a good time to be stuck at, right?
This is such a great way to give a vintage/aged look to a brand new clock. If you have wanted an old clock and have trouble finding them, like I sometimes do…now you can just make your own.
Do you think that this is something that you might try? The rusting solution goes a long way. I’ve already rusted 90 pieces of hardware, and now these clocks with those three little bottles. I did buy a large bottle of the activator solution, but the paint just keeps going and going. All that to say, you can rust a lot of things with a small amount. It’s well worth it! I hope this inspires you to bring some old into your new!
Some very talented friends of mine have joined in to share some of their DIYs as well. Tap on each name below to head over and meet my friends and see what they are sharing for their DIY projects!
- Shannon- Fox Hollow Cottage-How To Install Shiplap Above A Fireplace
- Rachel- Maison de Pax-DIY Painted Bunk Beds
- Liz- Love Grows Wild-Paper Mache Pressed Flower Art
- Sarah- Sarah Joy Blog-DIY “Antique” Books In Five Minutes
- Randi- Randi Garrett Design-Heart Pound Cake Recipe
- Bre- Rooms For Rent-DIY Planked Bathroom Ceiling
*Affiliate links are used in this post
Rachel Paxton says
What a fun idea, Natalie! I love how they turned out. 🙂
They are so cute Natalie! xoxo
They look amazing!! I love them Natalie!!
I love this! I have a thing for clocks. Well, clocks and light fixtures. I’m going to have to try this out. Thanks for sharing your DIY!
Shannon Fox says
Nat those came out so neat! They DO look 100 years old. Love them in a collection as well, they’ve got such presence.
I have a love for old clocks. I love what you have done. You have given inspiration to do this to mine.
Thank you Natalie
I love clocks and rust. Great project. At least your clock will be right twice a day!
Kathy M says
Like my English husband would say, ‘I’m gobsmacked!” These came out just amazing!
What?! This is AMAZING. I can’t get over how authentic these look. Well done!
Frazzled Mom says
That is too cool but stop showing projects with this neato rusting kit. I have it sitting in my Amazon basket waiting for payday tomorrow. Wait until I order it! Ha ha! Just kidding! I can’t wait to rust all the things!!
Love then SO much!
Natalie you have to!! And video yourself when you take them back! ????
Natalie you are a diy genius. Those clocks looks amazing!! Thank you for always being such an inspiration to us all.
Kelli Cash says
I love your style. LOVE! But mine would do not turn out that way! Can I just buy all your stuff? ????
What a fabulous DIY! I too have a thing for clocks, especially old clocks and I love how you made these look old!! Love how you grouped them together!!! Thank you for sharing this with us, now I’m off to look for the clocks I have tucked away in the garage!!!!????????
Girl! You are the DIY queen! So creative. You blow me away with every project.
Meredith Atkins says
These blew me away! Amazing job!!! ????
Karren Friedman says
Love how you displayed the awesome work you have done with the clocks!
Could be a weekend project for me! I have the perfect clock too! Thanks for sharing.
Lori Harmon says
You are the Master of Rust!
So what’s next! Just don’t rust Chester!
These turned out great! I showed my husband the after picture and he thought they were old clocks!! I’ve been so inspired by your blog lately. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and processes.
Wow, the clocks look amazing! You are one talented lady!!! 🙂
Dear DIY Goddess,
These turned out so good! But what else we we expect. ????
My Vintage Porch says
lol, you gave me a smile with this one! thank you for being so kind!
Amy McCauley says
this is really, really amazing! I’m totally trying this!! thank you!
My Vintage Porch says
Yay! I hope you do!