How to age galvanized metal

Updated April 17, 2017

Galvanising is a chemical process that is used to coat iron and steel and that is usually accomplished with the use of zinc. The purpose of galvanising is to minimise corrosion; zinc prevents oxidation of the metal and protects it by forming a barrier. However, many people would like to distress or age galvanised steel to make it blend with other furniture. When steel is aged, it presents a more rugged or antique look that helps create an old-world charm and that is aesthetically appealing when compared to the shiny look of galvanised steel.

Sand the galvanised steel with the sandpaper to remove the outer zinc protective layer. This will allow the muriatic acid to react with the steel surface.

Apply the muriatic acid to the galvanised steel, ensuring that the entire surface is well covered.

Remove the muriatic acid using water, and dispose of the acid carefully.

Inspect the metal surface; if more ageing is required, repeat the sanding and apply muriatic acid again.


Wear gloves and glasses at all times when handling muriatic acid, as it is very corrosive.

Things You'll Need

  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • Muriatic acid
  • Safety glasses
  • Chemical safety gloves
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About the Author

Paul Nelson started writing in 2009. He has worked for "The Gaudie," a local campus newspaper, as well as Internet start-ups such as JustNom. Nelson is completing a Bachelor of Science in biomedical sciences at a university in Scotland.