Painting Metal Items and Adding Images

I found some really cool old metal items this summer while junk it shopping. They were cheap and fun. I love all the fun graphics out there and wanted to try waterslide decal paper. These were cheap items for figuring out a new technique.

First I scrubbed all the items and even used stainless steel wool in the rust areas on the items, washed all the dust off, wiped off with 1/2 rubbing alcohol/ white vinegar solution until clean.

Next I painted with rustoleum rust primer (possibly affiliate link), I actually put a piece of foil in the bottom of my paint tray, poured some paint in there and I used one of the small whizz type rollers and a small foam brush to paint all the items in an even coat. I did it outside as it is smelly paint. I painted a couple thin layers over the bad rusty areas.


Then I used my Critter paint Sprayer and I sprayed all the items solid black, I used Sherwin Williams Enamel paint in Tricorn Black. I then lightly sprayed all of my items lightly with white paint.

I used this waterslide decal paper (affiliate link), and follow the directions. I printed most of my images in microsoft power point from the Graphic’s Fairy . She has many beautiful free images but for my projects I wanted typography type images and she has tons of those. Make sure to sign up for her email and receive free images. I altered the colors and size. The images do not need to be flipped for this type of paper. I don’t know about other waterslide decal paper, make sure to read the instructions on whatever paper you decide and pay attention to buy proper paper for your particular printer. I also used as much of the space as possible to take full advantage of the page.

After printing I let mine dry for a day, then I trimmed my images very close to the image itself. Just FYI you will see the edge of your waterslide paper on your finished project.

I used a large shallow dish and filled with warm water. I soaked my image, it curls immediately. I have to be honest, there is a fine line when the image separates from the paper sliding off smoothly and beautifully vs disintegrating and rolling on itself. It took me a bit to get used to it. When I got nervous and removed it too quickly is when you can see the edge more on your final project. There’s a couple things that I did that I can barely see the edge. Its a fussy thing but probably one of the nicest end project using image transferring.

I also printed my samples out on cheap paper first just to see how they transfer. Make sure to use copy right free images because they are crisp and show up better.

Once your image starts separating from the paper , quickly take out of the water and line up with your project and slide it off the paper on to the project. Again this is a touchy little thing and takes a bit to do. Once you get it to separate and understand what I’m talking about it will be an Aha moment!

To distract from seeing the edge I fly specked black paint with an old toothbrush and some of my black paint thinned with a little water. I sprayed some Krylon polyurethane on my items and in some instances it turned yellow instantly so I would not recommend doing that!

I painted a bunch of jars, a couple old file carriers, old bread box, old rusty milk storage. They were all cheap garage sale finds

Hope this inspires you to try something different on a cheap medium!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.