How to Make a Metal Sign Look Old

Written by kelly sundstrom
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How to Make a Metal Sign Look Old
Old-looking signs can make your business look eclectic and established. (weathered sign image by PeteG from

If you are making a sign to advertise your business or fund-raising event, you can draw more people by making the sign look older than it is. Older, weathered-looking signs can make a business look as though it has been around for a while, or it can make a fund-raising event seem like an old-fashioned community event. You can make metal signs look older by using a few techniques that will distress the metal.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wire brush
  • Primer paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Acrylic paint
  • Sponge
  • Lettering stencil

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  1. 1

    Paint the surface of the metal sign with grey primer paint. Allow the paint to dry.

  2. 2

    Paint the sign with metallic acrylic paint. Allow the paint to dry.

  3. 3

    Rub a wire brush in circular motions around the edges of the metal sign. Focus the majority of the rubbing around the corners of the sign.

  4. 4

    Sponge reddish-brown acrylic paint onto the sign, focusing on the edges and corners. This will make the sign look rusted and old.

  5. 5

    Place a lettering stencil onto the front of the sign, lining up the letters you want to use.

  6. 6

    Sponge acrylic paint lightly over the stencil, leaving places unpainted to make the lettering look worn from age. Remove the stencil and allow the paint to dry completely before displaying the sign.

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