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Distressing Zinc Hardware

The tabletop on the new console table for the foyer (reveal coming soon!) has decorative metal braces at each corner.  The original shiny zinc plated steel wasn't quite the look we were after, so we distressed them.

You can find these zinc plated braces in bags of 4 for about $4 - very budget friendly and they come complete with screws.

The zinc plated finish is super bright and shiny but we wanted a more distressed, darker metal - not quite as dark as oil rubbed bronze.

Of the many metal distressing methods shared online, soaking in vinegar was appealing as an environmentally friendly option.

To start the distressing process, I lightly sanded the braces with sandpaper and placed them and the screws in a clear plastic container and covered with distilled vinegar to soak overnight.

The next morning, the screws had turned dark brown, almost black.  But, unfortunately the braces were only slightly less shiny with very little change in color. 

After discovering that salt can also be added to vinegar during the soaking process, I added salt and left them for one more night.  They did turn darker in areas, but still not what I had in mind for this project. 

There would have been no harm in soaking them longer, but I was slightly impatient and moved on to Plan B!

I lightly sanded the braces again and then rubbed on a layer of Metallic Lustre in Iced Espresso.  This is such a neat product - it's a water-based, nontoxic metallic wax.  Just apply with a sponge or cloth (or your fingers!), let dry and buff.  So far, I've used it on wood and metal and it leaves the surface with a really nice metallic sheen.  You can also seal it with a coat of varnish if you like.

The result was a beautiful dark gold-brown metallic effect. 

Guess you're wondering what I did with those too dark brownish black screws?  All it took was a quick light sanding and they were good to go.

The corner hardware was the last step in our console table build and now that they're installed, it's truly totally complete!  It turned out great and we're super pleased with it.  Working on the post and pics to share with you soon.  :)

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I look forward to your thoughts and ideas!  I try to respond to comments via email as soon as I can. If your email address isn't available, I will comment here. Thanks so much for visiting! 

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Thoughts from Alice


  1. OH....I can't wait to see the reveal!!! Know it's gorgeous.
    Great job on the hardware..looks great

    1. Thank you Judy! The table reveal blog post was published today. I seriously think it takes me longer to do the posts than to actually do the projects! Haha! It's all great fun tho. I hope you enjoy the reveal. Please let me know what you think. Have a nice V Day!

  2. Oh, I haven't tried DecoArt's Metallics yet - need to get me some. This sneak peak of your console table has piqued my curiosity, can't wait to see the reveal!

    1. You will absolutely love it Marie. Goes on super smoothly and buffs to a shine. I bought Iced Espresso a Gold and they are both quite stunning.


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