When it came time to complete our cabinets and drawers, we knew we needed to add some additional texture/color. At this point, the entire finish of the van was wood, which we loved, but it needed a bit more depth.
With some research (aka lots of Pinterest, Houzz and Google image searches) we decided to add corrugated metal inlays on all doors (this included the upper cabinets and big door under the kitchen sink). We wanted the corrugated metal to have an aged look that was not so polarizing on the matte wood.
After a bit of online shopping, we realized that it was difficult to find the right aged look in the size/dimensions needed for our doors. Since there are various degrees to aging from a slight dullness and patina to super dull and rusty (we wanted a slight dull/patina look), we quickly decided -CRAFT PROJECT!
We started out by purchasing 6 2’x3' corrugated galvanized steel sheets (we used 5 of the sheets for this project). Next, we did some more research on how to age them. Like everything else, there are TONS of options for aging. People suggest things like toilet bowl cleaner, bleach, white vinegar, torching, hydrogen peroxide, and more. The most important thing for us was to keep it simple and luckily, our decision paid off and worked like a charm. We decided to work with white vinegar because 1) it was inexpensive and 2) while smelly, it’s not as full of chemicals as some of the others.
Here’s the process:
Items Needed (links take you to Amazon)
1) Lay out your drop cloths or tarps on the floor of your home or garage (wherever you can leave them for 8+ hours)
2) Place the galvanized metal sheets on top of the drop cloths/tarps so they are not overlapping
3) Rub your steel wool over the top of each metal sheet in small circular motions. You may not be able to see much happening, but trust us, it’s working.
4) Fill a large plastic or glass bowl with 1-2 quarts of white vinegar and then soak the cleaning rags in it. You may need to soak a few rags at a time.
5) Once your rags are soaked in the white vinegar, lay them over the metal sheets so that the metal is completely covered
6) Let them stay like this for 8-10 hours (we found 9-hours to be enough for ours)
7) Check the progress by lifting a couple of rags. If you don’t see enough aging yet, let them sit a few more hours or until it’s where you want it.
8) When they look good, remove all of the vinegar soaked rags. Use a clean/dry rag to wipe them down to remove any excess vinegar . *Note- you may notice a slight white powder residue when you touch them at first. This is from the aging process.
That’s it! You can now put up your metal wherever you’ve planned to use it!
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