Sheet metal is something used to make cars, airplanes, or the walls of industrial manufacturing plants, right? You wouldn’t think of using it as home décor. However, these ideas for decorative uses for sheet metal in your home might change your mind.
Make Candle Holders and Lamp Shades
Craft stores and big-box hardware stores carry decorative, perforated metal sheets like the kind used in old-fashioned radiator covers. With tin snippers and some glue made to create a permanent bond on a variety of surfaces, you can bend the metal into a cylinder, rectangle, or a sort of purse shape to make a candle holder or lampshade. You’ll need to clamp it together until the glue sets.
Use as a Backsplash
Stamped metal backsplashes that imitate the look of old tin ceilings look great in modern kitchens. You can also use sheet metal to create metal cabinet fronts. A bonus is that, depending on the alloy of metal, your cabinet fronts can serve as magnet board to hold photos or reminder notes.
Cover a Wall in Corrugated Metal
To make a dynamic statement, use corrugated metal as paneling, wainscoting, or as a wrap for a kitchen island or bar. You may need the help of a local metalworking shop to cut the pieces to size. Galvanized, corrugated sheet metal is lightweight, inexpensive, recyclable, and durable. It requires little maintenance if kept dry.
CAUTION: Be very careful when working with freshly-cut sheet metal. The edges can be razor sharp. Wear thick protective gloves. Frame your pieces with wood trim, or bend or crimp the edges to the back side that won’t be exposed, and hammer them flat with a mallet to avoid risk of injury.
Metalworking shops use a process called “deburring” to file off sharp edges or imperfections on cut or stamped sheet metal and metal parts. In professional metalworking shops, laser cutting can be very accurate and provide greater versatility with perforated designs, slits, or more elaborate cut designs. Yet the heat of laser cutting can leave behind little blobs or shards of metal that must be removed through deburring.
Do-it-yourselfers should be prepared with appropriate protective gear to deal with sharp edges when purchasing sheet metal and when cutting it to size with tin snips.
Architects and interior designers have begun incorporating sheet metal elements into homes. It can be attached to framing to create room separations without the need for drywall. It’s been used for shower surrounds, ceilings, and highly durable roofs. Sites like Pinterest, Zillow, or Houzz will give you many more ideas about how to incorporate sheet metal into your home’s décor.