Toyota technical by Meng, final gallery

How to: paint rust with oils

There’s an enormous range of effects we can achieve with oil paints. Rust, fading, dust, grime, rain marks, smoke… You name it.  I’m pretty sure you can weather a whole model only using these paints.

In this tutorial I’d like to show you a way to paint rust effects with only 3 oil colours: orange, dark red and brown. You’ll also need white spirit or another thinner for blending.

This is a part of my Toyota technical project. Check out the link for the complete SBS:

Step 1:

Create some paint chips using hairspray technique or any other method you like.

The chips are an important effect by themselves but here they’re going to give us some additional texture as well.

Chipping rusty door, Toyota technical by Meng

Step 2:

Start with the lightest orangey shade. Dilute the paint with white spirit and try to trace all the chips by painting over them. You can also create some irregular stains, especially at the bottom of the part.

I used Cadmium Orange from the Talens van Gogh palette.

Painting rust with oils, Toyota technical by Meng

Step 3:

Blend the spots with a brush moisten in white spirit. Make sure you clean the brush from time to time and don’t use too much thinner for blending.

Then create some speckles with the same orange colour.

The little dots will recreate fresh rust spots. But they will also help in blending the oil colour with the base.

Notice I also did some streaks by just dragging down fresh paint.

Painting rust with oils, Toyota technical by Meng

The speckling is a powerful technique by itself. By using different shades you can achieve a complex effect like on the rusty metal plate below. Check out my ZSU-57-2 project for more details.

Step 4:

Add another colour to the palette, sort of rusty dark red. Mix it with the orange in 1:1 ratio. Then repeat the steps above but this time cover a smaller area. Each spot of the darker paint should be surrounded by the previous orange colour.

I used Light Oxide Red as the second paint.

Painting rust with oils, Toyota technical by Meng

Step 5:

Repeat the sequence once again but this time mix the red colour with dark brown oil paint. And again, narrow down the area where you apply the paint.

I used Raw Umber as the darkest colour.

Painting rust with oils, Toyota technical by Meng

Step 6:

Attach the part to your model and use any other technique to make sure it blends nicely. And it’s done!

This is just a small sample of rust effects you can achieve with oil paints so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Toyota technical by Meng, final gallery


    • ScaleDracula

      24 August 2020 at 23:30

      The varnish is not necessary if that’s what you’re asking. But you can let the subsequent colours dry for 24h if you’re not in a hurry – it’s easier that way. Otherwise, it’s just skill and experience with the paint. You need to learn how to move the brush to get what you want without destroying the previous layers. But I can tell you, with some training it’s definitely possible to paint it in one go.


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