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April 30, 2022

Faux Finishes for Your Haunt

Faux Finishes for Your Haunt

Rust, mold, slag, water damage, ooze – Brutal Rust provides faux finishes for your haunt. Established by haunters in 2011, Brutal Rust has grown its customer base and catalog tremendously over the years.

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Rust, mold, slag, water damage, ooze – Brutal Rust provides faux finishes for your haunt. Established by haunters in 2011, Brutal Rust has grown its customer base and catalog tremendously over the years. Today, we’ll learn more about their best sellers and new product lines. 

Additional Resouces

This is part of our vendor showcase series, in partnership with the Haunted Attraction Association; This interview was recorded during Transworld by Maximus Bryant. 


Philip: From rust to mold, flag to water damage, and even ooze, Brutal Rust provides faux finishes for your haunt. Established by haunters in 2011, Brutal Rust has grown its customer base, and its catalog, tremendously over the years. Max caught one of the founders, Shane Torrens, at Transworld, and I'm going to pass the rest of the interview over to him.

Max: Maximus on the Transworld floor, and I'm getting to speak with a vendor of a product that I actually use quite a lot myself in the haunt. I'm constantly touching things up throughout the year. So, what is Brutal Rust effects?

Shayne Torrans: So Brutal Rust is a two-step paint process. It's essentially a process that allows paint that has a high concentration of iron particles to be stippled, or sprayed, or brushed on any surface, such as wood PVC, Styrofoam, paint, or canvas, muslin, anything like that. Then you spray a reactor on the paint, and the reactor activates with the iron, creating anything to look like old, rusted metal. It's become the industry standard in the haunted house, special effects, and film industry. Over the last 12 years this product has been used by everybody from Disney to Universal Studios, to all the Six Flags, to Cedar Fair, every major haunt, probably, around the globe. This stuff has been shipped all over the world.

Max: So, you mean to tell me that this is not a metal beam right here to your left?

Shayne Torrans: This is not a metal beam. In fact, this is just a sheet of plywood, these are upholstery tacks, and those are resin cast nuts and bolts.

Max: Well, I mean, it looks amazing, and like I said, I actually use this a lot myself in the haunt because, you know, we're turning PVC pipes to look like plumbing, old rusty plumbing, you know? It's amazing that you can really make like things like PVC pipe and wood look heavy, metal, old, rusty. I mean, this is, personally I have to say, a fantastic product.

Shayne Torrans: Well, thank you so much. We really appreciate it. Our fans and everybody that uses the product makes our stuff look absolutely amazing. The products were first developed out of necessity. I am a carpenter, but I'm not a fabricator, so I don't know how to work with metal, but I can work pretty well with wood.

 So, I was needing something to give me a certain look. Once we started developing the products, we started figuring out how to make it more robust and to hold up to all types of weather, whether it's rain or snow or even UV. We started developing the product, initially, for home haunt use, and then I met up years ago with a good buddy of mine now, Kip Polley used this coattail, so to speak, to get into the business. From there, it just became like an industry standard.

Since then, we have started to develop other products such as our flex coat cement. That's a flexible cement application. It'll go on anything, again, just like Brutal Rust does, wood PVC, canvas, Styrofoam, canvas, muslin, whatever, and it will make anything look like concrete, distressed concrete. Those walls right there are actually three-quarter inch foam board that has been applied with our flex coat cement. Then the staining and the dilapidation that you're seeing over the top of that, those are our Brutal Decay line.

Brutal Decay comes in several different colors, one is like what we call gangrene, which is like an OD green color. We have a water damage, which is like a brown color, another is a black mold kind of color, and then we have our yellow oxide, which is like a nicotine stain looking color. And then we also have Verdigris. An example of Verdigris is the light fixture that's up there. That is actually a bird bath that's flipped upside down, we drilled the holes.

Max: I can see the little ingrains on the top now I now see it.

Shayne Torrans: So, what we did is I just spray painted that with a copper paint, like a spray paint, and then we use the Verdigris in order to get the staining, so it looks like it's copper, and it turns out to look like that verdigris oxidation, like of the Statue of Liberty.

Max: And for those that can't see it, this this light fixture it's attached to a wall, and the wall looks straight like concrete because you also have a pieces of rebar sticking out of the top, and then you have like rotted decay that's coming down from it, as if it's been raining and the rain has caught some of the rust and it's gone down to the concrete. I mean, you can really make this stuff look fantastic. Personally. I think, you can also make things look more like brick too.

Shayne Torrans: Yeah. One of the newer products that we've brought is our Lemp Brick series. We have a two-step application for that, which is Lemp Brick and Lemp Mortar, and it's actually featured based upon the Lemp Brewery here in St. Louis, Missouri. One of the things, being from Houston, Texas, we don't see a lot of brick architecture work. So, the first time when we come to the show, we just absolutely fell in love with the way that St. Louis just actually looked with all the masonry and stuff like that. So, that was kind of an effect that we wanted to be able to recreate.

So, we created a foam hard coat that looks just like brick and mortar, and it will go on extruded foam, it will go on one pound or two-pound foam. In fact, you're seeing a piece of three-quarter inch blue foam, that's extruded foam, for the floor that's been coded in this product, and it's so hard that you can actually walk on it.

 So, that's what we're trying to demonstrate is just how hard this is. Those bricks that's on the column were individual three-inch, two-pound foam bricks that were cut and dipped in the product. This wall right here was just out of three inch extruded, three-inch, two-pound foam, and the floor is a three quarter inch extruded foam. So, we're going extruded foam or pound foam.

Max: So, is there anything, a brand new for this year?

Shayne Torrans: Nothing really brand new other than just, I've got other products as well, like Spore. Spore is a product that we developed that looks, feels, and smells just like mold, moss, or mildew. It only smells like it if you want to. It's very flexible and it will actually go onto any of the other products or surface that you want to put it on. If you want it to have an odor, you can spray a scent on it and it actually looks, feels and smells just like mold, moss, or mildew.

We have revamped our Brutal Rust line. We've redesigned and engineered, not only the paint, but the metal that goes in it. So, if you want to chunky, normal, or fine we can deliver that. As well as a new paint formulation and new activator formulation, which is now what's giving us those blues, those whites, those oranges, those yellows, and dark reds. All of that is just from natural oxidation.

We have no idea where it's going to pop up or how it's going to turn, but you see next to the door, the blue, and right here on the pillar, and at the top of the letters, you can see that blue color. That is not additional stains or patinas, that is actually oxidation that's right out of the new metal.

Max: Beforehand, you weren't getting the blue or the white.

Shayne Torrans: We called it Brutal Rust 2.0, we have modified our base materials in order to get more color variation, because that was the feedback that the industry gave us, that they just wanted more of a contrast and pop. So, we started formulating, and you see those real bright high yellows to the deep reds and the blues and everything.

Max: You all have been really helpful to me, especially.

Shayne Torrans: Absolutely. No, we really appreciate that. We pride ourselves on our customer service. So, we try to, you know, be able to answer anybody's questions. We have our cell phone numbers, so a picture sometimes is worth a thousand words. So, you can send us a picture. We'll describe how we would go about doing it, or what products to maybe try to apply.

Max: What's the benefit for you to vend here at Transworld?

Shayne Torrans: I would say that 90% of our sales comes from the Transworld show on an annual basis in the haunted house industry. Practically every haunt and themed attraction that comes through here, probably orders this time of year for us. So, it's a really important show for us specifically because that's our roots, that's where we started was in the haunted house business. So, it's always a great show to attend and see all the people, and maintain all the relationships that we have, and see all the new products. We always try to deliver crowd-pleasing whatever, it's tanks or buildings or whatever, to where people can get just really good ideas and feed off of it.

Max: For you, what's the benefit of being involved with HAA and what's it do for you?

Shayne Torrans: I got involved with HAA after we got our Vendor Excellence Award in 2016. I sat on the board for a couple of years, and it was really, really cool to see just how all the things within the industry happened and how we can work with one another in order to really come up with all types of things. Whether it's funding for kids that want to learn, or if it's some legal issues that you might run into, if you're needing policies or procedures for certain things. It's just a really good way for you to get that information. I believe that's probably the empowerment that the HAA does, is it brings that collection of people together and gets us a forum to where we can really bond together.

Max: Going back, memory-wise, what was your first Halloween costume?

Shayne Torrans: It would have been Cat from Kiss. Growing up in the seventies, up in Casper, Wyoming, a really good friend of mine's older sister used to paint us up to look like Kiss, and we had run around literally with pillowcases and get gobs of candy. It was unbelievable. Yeah, that was probably my first costume.

Max: Did you have a wig?

Shayne Torrans: Yeah, the whole thing.

Max: That's awesome. Now, another question I've been asking everybody, what is your favorite cookie?

Shayne Torrans: My favorite cookie is probably chocolate chip.

I'm just kind of an old-fashioned guy. Like I like yellow cake with chocolate icing, and just, you know, chocolate chip cookies, things like that.

Max: Now, if you're hearing this after Transworld, where can they learn more about Brutal Rust?

Shayne Torrans: You can just Google Brutal Rust and we'll pop up.