The evocative power of corten texture in rust paint by Molteni Vernici.

published date: 
April 19, 2021
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During the post-industrial age, steel was the material that best represented the big economic and social changes occured in the previous age. The large metal arms of the cranes and the furnaces and chimneys’ rust evoked a glorious and revolutionary past, charged at the same time with a desire for redemption and change and admiration for what that material meant.

It is precisely that tangle of feelings, unique and fixed in the collective memory, that nowadays searches for who approaches and chooses the corten effect paint for the interior and exterior coatings, using the charm of elements worn by time to place them in a modern and trendy context.

In this context, Molteni Vernici has chosen to revisit the past and project it towards future design, forging new nanoceramics technologies and retro tastes to give life to his Materico Corten, the new revolutionary finish ideal to evoke in a modern environment the classic sets of the post-industrial age.

What corten steel is

Corten is a steel in the raw state very well known for its unique versatility but, above all, for his strength. As a metter of fact, the term is an acronym that comes from english “CORrosion resistance and TENsile strenght”, which are his main characteristics.

The good resistance of the corten sheet to atmospheric corrosion is due to the formation of a protective surface coat, which in addition to the corrosion resistance gives to the metal some particular chromatic characteristics: in fact, during the oxidation, the corten colour varies from an initial orange to a reddish-brown colouring.

All this has always made and still makes the iron corten particularly appreciated for durable architectural and artistic applications, such as road and railway bridges and load-bearing structures of buildings. The first important application as structural steel in construction dates back to 1964, when the John Deere and Co. executive center in Illinois designed by architect Eero Saarinen, had been realized.

During the last years, iron corten has also been used to realize modern sculptures, indoor and outdoor design, thanks not only to its particular resistance to atmospheric agents but also to the pleasantness of the material to touch and sight.


The Corten Materic finishing gives to every surface the lively, material, tactile appearance of real Corten steel.

Corten effect painting

Even if it is an extraordinary resistant material, the environmental conditions to which corten material is exposed may significantly affect its performances. The particular consequences that exposure and oxidation of this material have over time give rise to a real bleeding and leaching of the material on the underlying surfaces

It is precisely this effect that gives birth to the Molteni Vernici’s rust corten finishing, which is able to perfectly reproduce the numerous chiaroscuro shades and the natural materiality of which they are protagonists, representing a reproduction method particularly appreciated by internationally recognized brands, architects and designers.

How to create a corten effect finishing

Thanks to a new technology patented by Molteni Vernici’s laboratories, the realization of the oxidized finishing in question does not take place through elaborate or complex manual processing, but in an automatic and natural way through a spray application of the product on the surface to be treated.

That’s why the material effects can be considered a real industrial series of finishes for architecture, design and contract, suitable for both small-scale and large-scale products, with both interior and outdoor uses.

They are applicable by pneumatic or electrostatic spray, they are highly resistant to ageing, wear, chemical and atmospheric agents and salt spray, according to the most requested international standards, thanks to the use of specific nanoceramic protection to close the entire application cycle.

Materico Corten is a covering painting cycle applicable exclusively by spraying, with a complete air drying at 20°C for a minimum of 24 hours, by oven at 60°C for one hour and 120°C for thirty minutes.

Corten treatment quality

The Corten Materic finishing gives to every surface the lively, material, tactile appearance of real Corten steel, overcoming the chemical-physical limits of natural steel (the Corten Materic effect does not release iron oxide powder).

It is producted with a very high adhesion, non-yellowing, attractive and uneven visual appearance, the enamel is highly resistant to wear, aging, cleaning products, chemicals, food, thermal shocks and salt corrosion. Its material structure and its great resistance allow to treat any type of support, even in complex atmospheric conditions.

An extreme ease of application on any support or structure, low costs and a wide application performance are the most important features that allow the Materico Corten to be considered a must all over the world.

Corten kit Molteni Vernici

Thanks to the new kits available on Molteni Vernici’s website, it is possible to let your trusted craftsman apply directly the corten effect paint.

The metal/plastic/wood kit cortens (which vary depending on the material where you choose to apply it:metal, plastic and wood), are specific kits differentiated according to the type of surface to be treated. Each of them is composed of six or seven exclusive products made by Molteni Vernici to obtain the best results both under the aesthetic point of view and in terms of durability over time.

The kit’s size is 40 cm x 25 cm x 23 cm for a weight of 6 kg. For what concerns the different types of corten color, the Materico Corten finish is on the international market through the possibility to choose between three variants:

• colour A, for a more orange nuance

• colour B, for a classic and extremely natural coloring

• colour C, to reach the brownest tones of oxidation of Corten steel at its last stage

The price for each corten kit is 300 euro.


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Molteni Vernici


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