How to age galvanized metal

Written by paul nelson
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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.

Skill level:

Things you need

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

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

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

Tips and warnings

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

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