White Farmhouse

June 3, 2020

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How to Age Galvanized Metal

Sometimes we can't always find those perfect aged and Vintage items to suit our project! This easy DIY project shows you how to age Galvanized Metal Containers in a mater of minutes. 

Britt found a Vintage Galvanized Tub that she built into her laundry room and it has functioned extremely well. However, when dealing with galvanized metal it can rust and corrode quite easily, thus allowing water to leak.

galvanized sink in laundry room

For her garden area Britt wanted something with a bit of character for her water trough, but she knew it had to be practical and actually hold water!

Wanting to incorporate metal into the garden space, she tried finding a galvanized tub but knew finding the exact size in decent shape would be nearly impossible!

So follow along with this simple DIY project to create an aged galvanized container for your space!

how to age galvanized metal

Tools and Supplies

  • Galvanized Metal Container
  • Muriatic Acid
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Gunmetal or Grey Spray Paint
  • High Quality Mask
  • Thick Acid Proof Gloves
  • Clothes


stock tank before aging the metal


DIY Aged galvanized metal water tank

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Step by Step Tutorial

1. Make sure you wear a proper industrial mask and some lined plastic gloves that can handle being exposed to acid. Also do not attempt this project indoors!

2. Take Muriatic Acid and either add it to a spray bottle or dump directly onto the galvanized metal. It will eat away at the shiny coating very fast.

acid for aging metal

Britt dumped some on initially and couldn't believe how fast it corroded. If you go too far through the layers of coating then this will cause rusting. Which may be okay depending on your project. 

3. Use a rag to wipe around the Muriatic Acid. You will see the metal loosing it's shine quite quickly. 

4. Use a combination of black and grey spray paints. Lightly spray the container from approximately 18 inches away so that you are only lightly applying colour to the galvanized metal container. 

spray paints used to age galvanize

You do not need to cover the entire container. The spray paints just add to the depth and variation of the colours.

5. You can either be done at this point or you can go over the container again with a bit more muriatic acid. If you got too much paint in areas then you can remove it with the Muriatic Acid as well. 

6. Clean the container with mild soap and water to stop the acid from reacting.

DIY Aged galvanized metal water tank
Antiquing Galvanized Metal Tips
  • Make sure you are wearing the proper PPE equipment for handling Muriatic Acid. It is highly corrosive. (You can find Muriatic Acid at Home Hardware Stores)
  • Don't be afraid of having it not turn out. Authentic metal containers have tones of imperfections. 
  • Does your container need to hold water? If it does then don't apply as much Muriatic Acid because when you remove all of the layers of coating the container will rust within a few hours. Britt removed too many layers on her water trough and has rust spots. She may have to replace it in a few years ... learning lesson!

Now that Britt's galvanized stock tank is aged to perfect, she's ready to fill it with plenty of little green plants. Find out how we plan our gardens with this FREE Downloadable Garden Check list and planning chart!

    • The acid isn’t watered down, if that is what you are asking. That may cause a reaction. Hope that helps! Have fun!

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