I wanted a way to punch up our boring beige TV niche in our living. I wanted something more than just paint. So, I set out to design something with an industrial Steampunk look and feel. I decided on rusted overlapping riveted panels of sheet metal.
I started with seven 3’ x 4’ sheets of thin cage metal. I laid the sheets out on a layer of plastic and sprayed them generously muriatic acid. It’s this acid that causes the sheets to rust. I then hung the panel up to allow the acid to dry. The rusting effect took several days to get to build up a patina that I was happy with.
Once the panels had the patina, I used an air spray gun to coat the panels with a high gloss oil based polyurethane. I applied three coats of the polyurethane, allowing for each to coat to dry before applying the next.
I didn’t want to damage the wall with all the little screws that I was going to be using, so I applied a layer of ¼” plywood to the wall before attaching the metal panels.
Because the panels were designed to be overlapped, the project required very little cuts. I tacked up the panels using a small nails. Once the panels were all tacked up I then went around each panel with a line of self tapping screws. I used screws to mimic the look of rivets.
I’m very happy with the end result. The next phase of this project is to build a floating media cabinet that will compliment the look of the wall.