Sunday, 12 May 2013


A while back, our friends had bought an older neglected house that they were fixing up. We came over to help on demo day and I had found this old boat rudder laying in the garden.

Our friend gave it to me even though I am sure he thought I was crazy. I wasn't sure what to do with it yet, but at least it wasn't going in the dumpster. 

I decided that since I really didn't want to alter the rudder with all of that character it had, 
so I would just mount it on a board or something. (Maybe I am crazy!?).
Anyhow, here's how I did it. 

First I had to clean it up. (It was laying in the garden after all).
I used a strong bleach & water mixture. This would kill any bugs or other contaminates left on it after I brushed it off. I couldn't see any bugs, but I had heard a horror story of someone who had found an old gate    in a field and dusted it off and put it in their home as decoration and but it was infested with  some kind of parasite which then infected their dog. How sad!
I wasn't taking any chances. 
This strong bleach wash did fade the paint a little but not that much (made it look a little older actually) and I knew it was clean, so it was worth it.
Then I gave it a coat of Hemp Oil, let that soak in, then sanded it with fine steel wool
.And gave it a second coat of oil, let it dry, and wiped off the excess.
Wrote my name with the oil so you could see the
difference it makes  (don't worry  I covered it up later)
Even the rusted hardware looks better with the oil.

Next I mixed up some "Paint Minerals" from with some grey/blue latex paint to make "Chalk Paint". I used a sample pot of paint because I didn't need a lot and this way it is so much more affordable. 
I am using an old table top I bought at my local salvage store to mount the rudder on. 
It had just enough detailing with the shape and routered edges and was the perfect size.
 I love how easily this "Chalk Paint" went on and the great coverage that it gives. It only took one coat and dried in minutes! And the best part is no prep work other than dusting it off. Yah!
Next I sanded it down along
the edges, but it still wasn't enough.
So I sanded some vertical lines to 
give the appearance of it being 
constructed of long, narrow boards
Then I sealed the paint with a couple of coats of furniture wax.
I added the hanging hardware to the back using some heavy duty hangers, as this would be a little heavy once the rudder was added to it.

Now to add the rope. I ended up using
electrical cable brackets to hold it in place.
I used a bit of tape wrapped on the
drill bit to prevent me from drilling
through to the other side of the board.
I also used a small nail here
and there to hold the rope to
the outline of the board.
I measured the rope, taped it off
just past the cut-off point and
then wrapped it with heavy duty
thread so it wouldn't unravel.

Then I cut it and put some white all purpose
glue on the end and affixed it under the starting bracket.

Next I added some eye hooks
to hold the rudder.
The brackets and eye hooks were much too shiny
and new for this project. So I added
some "Iron Paint" from "Modern Masters" to antique them. 
Then I added the "Rust Activator' Solution.
This started the rusting process.
As well as the brackets, I also aged the eye hooks. 
And sealed the rust finish with a coat of clear acrylic sealer.
Finally all there was left to do was to attach the rudder and hang it!


  1. Amazing depiction of the classic rudder. Great for the nautical enthusiast. well done

  2. I especially like the rope detail and might use that idea on something.