How to make bondo look like worn metal


New Member
Hi there, I'm a shiney new member to this here forum and I would like to ask some questions relating to getting something to look like worn metal. I'm making a helmet using the whole pep, fibreglass, bondo technique and I would like to know if it is possible to add a weathered metal texture to the bondo?

Also, tips on painting would be pretty pro too ;)
that is useful to know, but my helmet is going to be metal coloured, probably a bronze type, its a greek style helmet you see, using the 300 style helmets as a base.
Post a pic of what you are trying to achieve. If it's a dented copper helmet, try to put those dents in the sculpting of the helmet. Get it really smoothly sanded and then a copper spray paint with a clear coat and then a wash of some type. Trying to recreate a patina on the copper. :)
What you need to do is work the bondo while it is curing. There is a phase when it is not a liquid and not hard and this is your window of opportunity. You can cut it with a knife to put the Spartan 300 sword damage or hit it with a round object to make it look like it was worked with a hammer during the metal making process. The window of opportunity depends on how much hardner you use and ambient temperature but experiment a bit and you will get the hang of it. Then paint it with a bronz color and then wash it in black. Also using an airbrush gives you the ability to color black any areas that you want to show wear. Just have fun and remember you can always repaint it if you don't like the look. Good luck.

will the sanding not get rid of the texture I put in during the curing process?

This is what I am making to some extent, I will be tweaking the design somewhat. I want it to look realistic though, so I wond be going for the bold yellow, red and blues, it will be much more muted.
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I figured out a way to make plexiglass look like metal, especially old metal, but putting down rustoleum hammered black spray paint first, 2or three coats, and then a mirror Finnish latex paint (I chose copper), and at the end it looked like pour forge copper plates from a foundry. I was quite happy!
As an addition to what T2SF said, a great way to get a really natural, chipped away metal look is with plain ol' yellow mustard. You paint whatever you want weathered silver/metallic, apply yellow mustard (fairly liberally) to where you want the "damage", then spray paint your final colour over that. When it's dry, just wipe away the mustard and the outer layer of paint, revealing the silver underneath. It creates a really authentic look, and you don't risk sanding away the metallic paint as well.
Honestly, I didn't think it would work, and I was on a time frame, but I did try the chip away effect, and messed it up. Although, I do want to try again at some point because I saw the awesome potential, so um, word!

Just a note that worn does not always mean damaged. Eventually you can have worn smooth shiny areas also. The areas of greatest use see the most change. For a helmet it would be where you would hold it while putting it on.

Even if you hate Halo, check out some of the amazing tutorials on youtube or over at the 405th. Some of those guys do amazing paint work on bondo to achieve the worn metal look.


My method is to use "hammered Metal' spraypaint, which has texture already in it. Then I do a wash over it with black acrylic. It's messy but everyone who sees it thinks it's actual metal.
If you trying to add texture to bondo you can take a hand full of gravel or other smaller rocks and just press it into the still wet bondo. When it has dried you take them out of the bondo. Alternativ is to use a bigger rock with a nice texture as a "stamp" that you press into the bondo, dry and maybe repeat. Then you weather the hell out of it with diffrent paint styles.
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