Rust… as a Decorating Tool?

That’s right! Some people choose to embrace rusted metal as part of their design scheme. Now, that’s not as simple as it may sound – nobody is advocating leaving metal out to rust and then placing rusted pieces in strategic locations. Decorating with rust actually requires forethought and specialized materials.

One popular form of purposeful rusting is CorTen steel. CorTen is a steel alloy that, when left untreated and uncoated, develops a rusty patina over time, which in turn protects the steel from further corrosion. It’s used primarily in outdoor applications like fences, retaining walls, doors, and even roofing and cladding, but it is occasionally found indoors as well.

Landscape by R DESIGN Landscape Architecture P.C.
Landscape by BlueGreen Landscape Design
Landscape by Castanes Architects PS
Landscape by The Garden Design Studio
Landscape by sustainable garden design perth
Landscape by D-CRAIN Design and Construction
Exterior by Modal Design
Exterior by JLF & Associates, Inc.
Exterior by WA Design Architects
Hall by Copper Creek Homes, LLC
Bedroom by William Duff Architects, Inc.
WS Bath Collection Kali Metal Exterior Bathtub in CorTen Black

You can skip the actual rusted metal and get a copycat effect with awesome wall treatments, like the “rusty” tiles in this bathroom:

Powder Room by Hartmann Designs

This amazing feature wall was created by applying a rust activator to reactive metal paint. How cool!

Photo credit: Spacecrafting / Architectural Photography

The grungy-looking (and fairly authentic) rusted industrial “fence” in this powder room? It’s wallpaper!

Powder Room by Optimise Design

A truly talented faux painter can create a masterpiece like this one using paint and an incredible brush technique:

Staircase by DOWN to Earth Architects
Rust isn’t looking so bad anymore, is it?