How To Rust Galvanized Metal Roofing?

Metal roofs are a popular modern choice for owners because of their durability and longevity. They protect homes from harsh environmental conditions.

You might have considered getting metal roofs for your home, but perhaps you don’t like the blue, white or red paint typical of metal roofs. Maybe you want a roof with a sophisticated rust look to the metal panels? This can be done by speeding up the aging process, which will increase the aesthetic value of your house.


You can easily give a rusty look to various decorative pieces or fences on your house which consist of metal. This involves a few simple procedures and some products which are readily available in the market. This article discusses how to rust galvanized metal in detail.

Why Do People Want to Rust Galvanized Metal?

The most popular metals for metal roofing are aluminum, tin, steel, and copper. The steel metal sheets are the most economical of all materials. Their lifespan is greater than 30 years, but they rust after several years because the steel metal sheets contain iron which comes in contact with water and oxygen. This combination forms iron oxide which causes your steel metal roof to rust.

That’s why manufacturers use zinc coating on the steel sheets (also called galvanized metal sheets) to prevent rusting. It does offer 100% protection, however. After a few years, the reflective efficiency decreases.

rusty roof

Some people like to have the rustic or vintage look of their galvanized metal roofing right from the beginning. They’ll use some homemade techniques and apply them on the metal roofs, which rust them within one day. This will give your house a unique modern look. In this article, we will discuss how to rust galvanized metal roofing by using a simple procedure.

How To Rust Galvanized Roofing?

If you want to give a rustic and vintage look to your galvanized roofing sheets, then the question on your mind will be how to rust galvanized metal roofing? Don’t worry, it’s a straightforward process and you can do it alone at your home. You only need a few products readily available at home, and using them properly can easily rust your sheets.

Read on to learn about a few easy methods to make galvanized metal roofing rust.

#1. Rusting With Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Aging galvanized metal roofing with toilet bowl cleaner is a straightforward process, and there are no harsh chemicals involved. You’ll require a toilet bowl cleaner, steel wool, gloves, an old towel, hand snips, and of course, your roofing sheets to give a vintage look to your galvanized metal sheets.

Put the gloves on, take steel wool and gently rub the galvanized metal sheets. You know very well that there is a protective layer on your metal sheets that protects your roof from various environmental conditions. It protects your sheet so that it will not rust easily. If we’re looking for a nice rustic look, we will need to scrub the entire sheet with the steel wool to remove the protective layer.

Toilet bowl cleaner is an essential staple in almost every house. Just grab this product from your bathroom and spread it all over the metal sheets. The more toilet cleaner you use, the better the results. Now take some more steel wool and rub the toilet bowl cleaner on every corner of your metal sheet. Tear some pieces of steel wool and put the wet steel wool pieces on your metal sheet and let it dry.

Leave the metal sheet with wet steel wool for 24 hours. If it is a sunny day, then you don’t have to wait for 24 hours. We’ll consider the maximum time, so after 24 hours you can wipe your entire sheet with a wet cloth to remove all the toilet cleaner and steel wool.

Your shiny galvanized metal sheets are now converted into rustic metal sheets. You will see some dark spots on your metal sheets because you have left the wet steel wool on some spaces of your metal sheet. Using tin snips, cut your metal sheets and install them on your roof.

#2. Rusting Metal Sheets With Vinegar

Vinegar is usually available in any kitchen. You may be wondering, will vinegar rust galvanized metal? It really will! Vinegar contains acetic acid and water, which can quickly rust your metal sheets. It’s a straightforward process, and you can do it on your home and transform your shiny galvanized metal sheets into a rustic look.

rusted roof

Remove the protective layer of your galvanized metal sheet with steel wool, sandpaper, or any other abrasive. Then put some vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on the entire metal sheet. If you don’t have a spray bottle, then you can use paper towels. Just dip the paper towels in vinegar and spread them on your metal sheet. Your vinegar may dry after a short while, so you may need to repeat the process for the best results.

If you aren’t satisfied with the results, use the abrasive again to scrub your metal sheets and repeat the process.

After 24 hours, you will notice that the vinegar on galvanized metal has turned a shiny metal into rusty metal sheets. You need to spray an acrylic sealer on your metal sheet to preserve the rust for years to come. The acrylic sealer is readily available in the market and will help beautify your metal sheets. Once you spray the sheets they will be ready after a few hours. Now cut the sheets with tin snips and install them on your roof to give a new look to your house.

#3. Rusting Metal Sheets With Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid is also called hydrochloric acid. You are likely wondering how to rust galvanized metal with muriatic acid? It’s quite easy. Muriatic acid is available in most shops that carry chemical products. You will also need hydrogen peroxide while applying muriatic acid on the metal sheets. While purchasing the acid, make sure you also buy the hydrogen peroxide.

Take your galvanized metal sheets and place them on a workbench. The place where you will carry out the rusting process should be well-ventilated. Try to do the rusting process on a sunny day because you will see results faster. Muriatic acid is dangerous for your skin and eyes, so you need to wear gloves and goggles before handling it.

Try to remove the coating of the galvanized metal by rubbing it with steel wool or any other abrasive. Now take two spray bottles and pour the hydrogen peroxide in one bottle and pour the acid in the other. Start spraying the sheet with muriatic acid followed by hydrogen peroxide. When it dries out, spray it again. After 24 hours, you will observe that the metal sheets have gone entirely rusty, and to preserve the rust you can apply acrylic sealer on your galvanized metal sheets.

#4. Rusting Metal Sheets With Hydrogen Peroxide, Salt, And Vinegar

You can use this method if you want to rust your metal sheets instantly. Just take a bucket and add hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and some salt.

Swirl for a few seconds and then apply the solution on your metal sheets. You will see the result instantly. If you don’t feel satisfied with the first coating, apply a second coat to get a better result.

How To Instantly Rust A Corrugated Metal Fence?

If you want to have a rusted corrugated metal fence for your house, you need to purchase a few things like vinegar, salt, hydrogen peroxide, a spray bottle and a degreaser. Now lay your non-galvanized corrugated metal sheets on a workbench in a well-ventilated area.

painting the roof

Directly spray degreaser on your sheet to remove all the dust and dirt from the corrugated metal. Once it dries, spray vinegar on the metal sheet. The acetic acid in the vinegar will immediately start the oxidation process. This part of the process is essential. Vinegar is relatively cheap and readily available in grocery stores. Don’t be stingy when it comes to this part of the process!

Now the next step is the rusting process. For every eight parts of hydrogen peroxide, add one part of vinegar and one tablespoon of salt. Try to spray it on the metal sheet and when it dries out, spray it again. You will get a rusty look after you repeat this process a few times.

If you find there are still a few patches that need rust, then repeat the procedure. Once the rust is uniform across the corrugated metal, you’ll need to spray the acrylic sealer on your corrugated metal sheets to preserve the rust for years to come.

For rusted metal corrugated panels, you need to repeat the same procedure. Your rusty metal panels will be ready quickly, and you can use them to decorate your house. A rusty vintage metal panel will give a new look to your dwelling.

How To Paint Rusted Galvanized Metal Roof?

If the galvanized metal sheets on your roof have begun rusting, then you must be thinking about how to paint a rusted galvanized metal roof. You don’t have to worry about it, as it’s a simple process.

Almost all metal sheets have galvanized coating. This coating acts as a protective layer and prevents your house from leaks and various harsh environmental conditions. The coating reflects the rays of the sun. It’s also a fact that the protective layer wears down after a few years because of exposure to sunlight and water.

You must repair your metal roofs and remove the rust. It would be best if you repaint your metal roofs every four to five years. You can follow a few simple steps as described below to repair and paint your roofing sheets.

#1. Try To Paint In Spring

Your metal sheets have undergone rust so you’ll need to paint them correctly. Try to paint your metal sheets in the spring season because you will be outside all day. If you paint in the summer, there may be a chance of developing heatstroke. If you paint during the rainy season, the rain may wash your paint away.

newly painted roof

#2. Try To Remove The Rust

You need to remove the rust with sandpaper. If your screws have begun to rust, then try to replace them with new ones. If there is any hole or crack, repair it at this point by applying roofing cement. After removing the rust or repairing the metal panels, clean the entire metal sheets with water to remove dust and dirt. Allow the metal sheets to dry completely. It may take up to an hour.

#3. Apply Primer

Now try to coat the entire metal panel with a primer using a roller. A primer is quite crucial because it protects your metal roofs from harsh weather.

#4. Apply Paint

Apply acrylic paint on your metal roof in the same way as you have applied primer. Allow it to dry completely.


In this fast-paced modern era, people don’t like to wait for nature to give a vintage look to their roofing panels. Now you can use some quick and easy methods to give that classic rust look to your roof panels instantly.

If you were curious about how to rust galvanized roofing, I hope this article answers your question.

If you have any questions or suggestions for this article, I would love to hear from you. Please share your photos if you decide to convert your shiny metal roofs into a vintage look with the help of the steps I shared above. I would love to see those pictures. Happy rusting!

Founder & Editor

Hi, I’m Jim. I was a roofing constructor for 20 years, before deciding to start and gather the best content about roofing. I love woodworking and construction and it was only natural for me to start this passion project of mine. Thank you for visitng.