a little rusty bull.

You may have noticed the bull/steer/cow/whatever-you-want-to-call-it in my pile of goodies from the MacGrove garage sales.

bull before

He’s actually flat on the back side and intended for hanging on the wall.  He looks like he might be made out of metal, but he isn’t.  He’s really just made out of that polyresin sort of material and then painted to look like metal.  But I wasn’t very fond of the faux finish he came with, so I decided to give him a different faux finish.

modern masters

I’d first heard of these Modern Masters metal effects paints when my friend Sue used the ‘rust’ kit on a galvanized olive basket that she gave me for my birthday.  Then my reader, Victoria, also mentioned that her husband uses these products and swears by them.  I was intrigued.  I had to hunt around a little to find it, but I eventually found these small kits at Hobby Lobby.  I could have ordered them online as well, but I like instant gratification.  Plus I used a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby.

I started by painting my bull with the primer.

bull with primer

That was easy enough.  I’d say I used about half of the 2 oz. bottle of primer on this bull.

Once that dried I added a coat of the Oxidizing Iron Paint.  And let me warn you, that stuff is stinky!  I don’t think I’d want to be using that one indoors.


The first coat went on rather spotty and since the instructions called for two coats, I added a second coat.

Once that was dry, I spritzed it with the ‘rust activator’ which came with a pump spray nozzle for application.  After about 10 minutes, I spritzed it a second time.

Then I sat back and waited for the magic to happen.


And I got a little rusty bull.


Here’s how he looks hanging on the wall.


I haven’t yet decided the fate of the rusty bull.  I may keep him for a future new look in my kitchen.  Then again, I’m not entirely sure that this look is ‘me’.  I’ll have to make up my mind before October 8.

23 thoughts on “a little rusty bull.

  1. Linda, one of my facebook friends (Jonathon Marc Mendes – Painted Love) uses ground cinnamon to emulate rust. He has several videos on his fb site, in case you want a nontoxic alternative. Don’t you just love it when you can make those resin decor items look solid? Nice work.


    1. When I was searching around online for potential faux rust treatments, I did see a few tutorials using cinnamon. I wondered how well it stayed adhered over time though. Have you ever tried it yourself?


      1. I haven’t tried the cinnamon myself, but I think it stains the decoupage glue and/or varnish, so it should work. I have used a lot of mica powders in wax, and they seem pretty permanent, but they don’t dissolve. The cinnamon is likely to dissolve and then color (dye) the medium, but I am not sure about that.


  2. As a lover of all things rusty, I’d say you need to keep it — especially if you have plans to change things around in your kitchen. It’s mostly likely one of those pieces that you aren’t going to come across again anytime soon. Oh wait, if you have any friends with October birthdays, what a very thoughtful gift that would be for me, I mean, them.


    1. That’s a good question Jane. I’ve noticed that Modern Masters sells a sealer, here is what their website says about it “Permacoat Xtreme is a water base, clear, protective sealer and topcoat designed to work over Metal Effects Rust Activated-Iron Paint. This innovative clear coat chemically arrests the oxidized metal finish, minimizing any further corrosion, and then self-crosslinks to create a weather resistant barrier.” (gotta wonder what they mean by ‘self-crosslinks’??) I suspect that since I did not use the sealer, I could get additional rusting (which is OK by me), and I also don’t think my bull is weather proof (he’ll have to remain indoors). However, I didn’t notice any rust coming off on my hands when I handled him, and I did have to handle him a bit during his photo shoot. That being said, he won’t get a ton of handling in his lifetime once he’s hung on someone’s wall, so I think he’ll be OK without a sealer.


      1. I can offer my experience with the product. My husband has used this a lot. I have an urn he used it on probably 5 years ago. It is full of dried hydrangeas and I have moved it many times with no issues. It really doesn’t come off on my hands. He told me he never seals items that will remain indoors. He has aged some concrete lions for the front porch of a client and he used a matte sealer for that.


  3. Wow! Gotta love anything rusty! All sorts of potential projects are going through my mind. The finish looks like the real thing. I notice a Patina kit…another project to share with us, I hope!


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