Experiments In Aging: Industrial Casters

Immediately after I bought (and briefly dated) this old chicken coop, I started scouring the internet for some big industrial vintage casters. Let me tell you this, vintage casters are commanding a premium these days… turns out I’m not the first person who tried to turn a chicken coop, old chest, or some pallets into a coffee table.

Fine.

The universe is always trying to make me do it myself. So instead of buying vintage industrial casters at $40 a pop, I bought brand new ones for half the price.

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I tested them out on the old and if we’re being completely honest here, still somewhat poop-covered chicken coop.

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Two things became immediately obvious. First, my coffee table is going to be awesome. (Picture less poop and all kinds of books stacked inside.) Second, those new casters stand out like a sore thumb. However, if there’s one thing I’m good at after living in a garage for a year, it’s premature aging.

I recommend the kind you can do with spray paint instead of the kind that you do by not sleeping for an extended period of time.

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I started by masking off the bracket so the wheels could be painted flat black. (Which I did under the Christmas tree so that it felt like I was making some headway on wrapping presents… which, actually, I may just have come up with the 245th way to use painters tape.)

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This was a vast improvement over the bright metal, but the brackets were still looking a little young.

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Good thing I was aces at construction-paper crafts when I was a kid.

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I started with a light coat of the dull gold. Since this was an experiment I went a little darker on one bracket than the other. I also added some bronze to the one on the left, but both brackets got a dusting of “rust”.

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I’m not sure which one I like better. I wish I could get the gold metallic paint without the actual metallic.. it’s got a little more sparkle than I was hoping for. I also considered using the torch to heat up and discolor the bracket metal, but I have no idea where that thing is at right now and if I wait until I find it, this table will enter the no-man’s land of unfinished projects.

Here’s the “darker” version…

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And the lighter version…

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I may try to do one strictly bronze as well, but either way I’ll be painting the bolts on the brackets flat black as well.

What do you think? Are they looking older than their age?

27 Responses

  1. Like the darker one better! You could always pick up a can of Oil Rubbed Bronze for the brackets…might look cool, too! Wishing you a joyous Christmas with much chocolate & beverage!

  2. If you really want that patina look to age them, consider one of those American Accents (Rustoleum) kits you can pick up at a craft store. They have a base spray coat and then you spray this other can on top (while the paint is still wet on the first coat) to age it. They have copper, pewter, and other kit types depending on the look you want.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KEU3BM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=theblogfortaw-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=B000KEU3BM

  3. “However, if there’s one thing I’m good at after living in a garage for a year, it’s premature aging.”

    Hilarious!

    I second the suggestion of oil rubbed bronze, but I’d only do it sparingly to let the bronze come through a bit. I did this with some light fixtures and the gold coming through worked beautifully to age it.

  4. At the risk of muddling up your choices even more, I would consider going entirely black with the wheels. But given everything you’ve done to date, whatever you choose is going to look fantastic.

  5. Love your DIY spirit( and sense of humor…).
    They sell “rusting” kits at craft stores you know…it’s basically powdered iron filings in an acrylic base you paint on first, let dry, and then paint on the rusting solution ( some kind of mild acid, like vinegar…comes with the kit). I did this to blend in a new piece of metal I had to add to repair an old bird bath…worked like a charm. 🙂

  6. Do you know how you are going to clean it? One thing would be to take it to a car wash. Just a thought. I love the whole project, found some wheels like these (same brand) on ebay.

  7. I know this is a super old post and this comment has absolutely nothing to do with the topic. But your title just got to me. Experiments in Aging just sounds like a euphemism for living life. Thanks for making me chuckle.

  8. How has the paint held up on the wheels? I have been considering doing the same thing, but was afraid the paint would wear off.

  9. Was trying to find those casters on your amazon link and those particular ones didnt come up. There are hound reds of pages. Do you have the brand?? Thanks, Meg

  10. I don’t know if you have heard of this method or even if it would work for you but in trying to find a way to “age” mason jar rings I discovered this. If you have a self-cleaning oven you can put your metal objects in the oven and run them through a cleaning cycle. My oven has 2and3 hour cycles. The temp gets so hot that it removes the shine from the rings and they first turn into a nice oil rubbed bronze color then later to a flat gray. I have used this for the shiny bells and other smaller metal objects. By breaking down the shiny surface they are then better able to absorb the chemicals from any rusting solution recipe you might have. It doesn’t work on everything however…. I recently tried to age some silver colored brackets and it didn’t do much for them, but nothing lost but a little time. DON’T ‘however, try it on anything that contains anything but metal. I tried it on fruit jar lids one time and stunk up the neighborhood when the little rubber gaskets started melting, not to mention the black smoke that came rolling out of my oven vents….. I’m thinking that some of the newer wheels might have hard rubber wheels that would melt. Good luck and be careful…. Don’t put anything in the oven and leave the house!

    1. Amazon (just search for 4″ metal caster, or whatever size you’re looking for.) But I’ve seen them in person at Tractor Supply too.

  11. Hi there, I’m looking to do something similar but I’m worried the paint will come off on my carpet! Has yours been ok?

  12. If you don’t want painted casters visit ETSY and search on “rnworks” for casters that are truly aged resulting in rusty, crusty, vintage style pieces.

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