How to rust, distress and antique a lantern
In this easy DIY tutorial we will take a brand new lantern and use various techniques to make it look old, grungy, rusty and creepy. This do-it-yourself tutorial uses easy to find materials and even one that you surely keep in your kitchen. The techniques used in this tutorial and video can be applied to pretty much anything that you want to look rusty and old.
Full step by step video here:
Materials and Tools
A lantern – this can be new or old, or I recommend this cheap one here
Flat black spray paint (or airbrush with flat black paint)
Flickering tea-light (I don’t recommend open flame candles or votive lights for safety reasons)
If possible, remove the glass from the lantern. In a well ventilated place, gently spray the top third of the glass with the flat black paint. A dusting is all you need since we are simulating accumulated soot. Set aside to dry.
Using various shades of brown and a bit of blue (see video for better explanation) start dabbing the paint onto the outside of the lantern. Don’t brush, just dab. Make sure to vary the colors for a successful rusted appearance. Rust is usually mottled over the rusted surface. Once this first coat is applied set aside to dry.
Mix one tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of school glue and add to this 1 drop of red food coloring and 6-7 drops of yellow. Using a brush, coat the glass (from step 1) thoroughly. The glue will dry opaque and yellowish, giving the effect of old grungy heat stained glass. Apply more coats if needed to achieve the effect you want. Make sure to let each coat dry before applying the next one. Hint: place glass flat under a ceiling fan, or use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process. Set aside.
When first coat of paint is dry on the lantern, mix up 2-3 shades of orange and start (gently) dabbing on the lantern. Just dab areas that would rust faster like the base and any ridges. It’s easy to overdo this step, so dab sparingly. Let dry!
While the lantern and glass are drying, take your tea light and add “wax” drips all around using the glue gun (see video). Paint whole tea light (not the flame) with a burnt yellowing paint, to give the impression of an old candle. This doesn’t have to be prefect since the candle will be blurred by the distressed glass from step 3.
Using a clean brush dab school glue along all the ridges and edges of the lantern where the most orange paint went. Sprinkle cinnamon over the wet glue and let dry. Do one area at a time until you get the coverage you need. Let dry thoroughly and using a hair dryer blow cinnamon off the lantern. Your lantern should have a 3D flaky effect resembling blistering rust.
Re-assemble glass into lamp, turn tea light on, place in lantern and you are pretty much DONE! Use the glue gun and fake spiderwebs and make it even spookier. Enjoy this lantern in a witch’s cabinet, serial butcher shop or anywhere you imagination desires. Lantern should emit an eerie yellowish flickering glow that is sure to add to any Halloween, or horror movie ambiance! The faux finishes discussed here can be used on any prop, even a cardboard box can look like a rusted metal safe!
Here is the very detailed video for this tutorial:
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