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How to Dull Shiny Metal? The 7 Steps Guide

A sharp and shiny metal surface is something that most of us use to desire for mostly any usage. But that’s about ‘most’ of us, not all of them, right? 

Yeah, we’re talking about instances where you might need a dull and vintage looking metal surface anyway. It can be for the sake of decorating your living room, or literally anything else. 

Summing it up, we need to know how to dull shiny metal or at least make it look like one. And in today’s article, we’ll learn steps on exactly this process. It’s a 7 step guideline with a list of tools and ingredients required. 

Got a few minutes to check out the list? Let’s check out!

Why You Would Like to Dull A Shiny Metal?

That’s the very basic question that everyone would come up with who’ll encounter with the strange title of our content. But to whom it’s a concern, the answer is pretty straight forward. 

First of all, we have no offense with a shiny, sharp piece of a metallic object. But for the sake of decoration (mostly), we’d rather prefer a rustic, silvery piece of it. And that would add way more value to your garden or lawn’s decor, in case you have a love for vintage, bringing culture. 

Apart from giving your garden or lawn or even your living space a retro look, there can be a handful of other reasons after why you’re looking for the steps of how to dull shiny galvanized metal. Anyways, let’s proceed to the heart of the contents right now: 

Tools You Need to Dull Shiny Metal

No wonder that we’re going to need a handful of tools and ingredients to execute the whole transformation of a metallic object.

Before starting the steps, here goes the list of items you need: 

The Ingredients

We should break down the metal rust effect kit for you, in case you’re buying it for the very first time. It includes a metal effect primer, iron reactive paint, rust activator, a couple of stir stickers and a couple of brushes as well. 

The Tools

Steps of How to Dull Shiny Metal

Just like any other metal surface processing, there are some definite steps of this process of how to dull a shiny metal finish as well. 

Here we go: 

Step 1: Apply the primer, coat by coat

Before starting the process of how to dull down shiny metal, prepare your surface with a good quality primer. There are metal primers available in the market that comes with a tinted gray accent. 

To apply the coat, you need to use a brush from the metal effect kit. Once applying coat by coat, you have to give it a break to dry up the initial layer of primer. 

Once done with the primer, let it dry for 12 hours

Step 2: Apply the glazing cream

Now, there will be a tinted effect take place on the coated surface. To protect it from any scratch or bump, there are things like natural glazing creams that will help you to apply. 

This cream will also create a texture on the shiny metal, which will eventually result in a quite retro and vintage look at the end of the process. The color of the metal will, therefore, show a bit chipped off. 

The amount is anyhow, dependent on the surface area that you have to deal with. 

Step 3: Apply wall stencil

A time-saving idea is to use a wall stencil to cover the design on your metal piece entirely. Once done, you don’t have to wait for the pattern to dry up before you step up for the next step. 

If you decide to apply the stencil material, you need to cut the stencil according to the size of your metal surface. 

Step 4: Apply Silver (or any other color) Metallic paint

Now, it’s time to give our shiny metal a look of external color that we prefer. And that’s done by applying something like a silver metallic paint. However, the color is always optional. But the silver one seems to be quite vintage looking. 

Once you are done with periodic application of 2 or 3 coats of the color, you have to let it dry. Remember, overdoing this color might ruin the design or pattern that you have on the metal surface. 

Step 5: Apply the iron paint

Now, it’s time to apply the iron paint. The iron paint has to be first applied on the tin foil and then on the surface. Once you are done, you need to apply it to the recessed areas as well. 

For applying it to the recessed areas, you need to use a chip brush that’s brittle enough. With the chip brush, a couple of coats of the iron paint should be sufficient. 

Like any other coating, let the surfaces dry once the work is done with the iron paint. 

Step 6: Use Sponge to pull off some areas

To give the metal a perfect vintage look, you need to pull off some parts of it and call a discrete accent on the surface of the metal itself. That can be done with a sea sponge that we’ve mentioned in our list of tools required. 

You can do this trick and induce a retro look on the metal surface in any way. There is no rule of thumb anyway. 

Step 7: Decorate it if you want

The last step of the process of how to dull shiny corrugated metal is quite an optional choice of yours. In case you want to give the designed elements of the metal surface a different look than what it is right now, you can choose the silver color once again, and paint on the design elements of the surface. 

You can use dry-brushed paint anyway in case of elements like flowers, leaves, and stems, etc. 


So, that was our guide on how do you dull shiny metal using a few budget-friendly ingredients and tools. If you want to dull your rage broadhead after sharpening it, you can also follow this whole process.

In case you’re looking for not a decorative intended metal surface makeover, the process might deviate from what it is right now.