I bought the fellow shown on the photo below in a charity shop at Stockbridge, Edinburgh and wondered what style it actually presented. The black steel frame looked a bit rustic but the glass top reminded me of a piece of office furniture rather, a total mismatch of styles. My first thoughts were: get rid of the top, give the structure a more rustic look and find some planks or driftwood for the top. I summoned the nature to help me and left the steel outside of my house to get it corroded to brown. After a week, the frame got rusted only a tiny bit therefore I ground it in some places to the bare metal.
Still nothing. I posted the issue on Reddit and someone advised me to use vinegar and salt to accelerate the corrosion. I made a mixture of both and applied a few times onto the steel which got nicely brown on the edges after another week. I decided to content myself with what I achieved and progressed to sealing.
I carefully applied one coat of water based clear varnish. After that I was still not satisfied, it looked not rustic enough, so I prepared a glaze dissolving brown oil art colour in white spirit and mixed it with oil based polyurethane varnish. Just in case I added a drop of a copper metallic spray I kept from one of my previous jobs. I glazed the frame three times until it adopted a brownish hue… I was still not happy, so I risked to randomly brush a few licks of the copper metallic paint.
It started to look good finally. I sealed everything with water based clear varnish to get a nice matt finish. The frame was now satisfactory rustic to me but I already had another idea in mind how to make it better in the future.