I definitely believe in the saying, "One man's trash, is another man's treasure" and I am sure the former owners of our 1931 schoolhouse thought these old grates (I found three tucked in a corner of the basement) were junk.
I, of course, saw "grate" potential (pun intended) and used one of them to make a rustic industrial side table.
I made a base out of pallet 2"x 4" boards for the apron and pallet 4" x 4"s for the legs.
A barn wood shelf was added to the bottom.
I painted the grate with Fusion Mineral Paint, using the color Little Speckled Frog first. I let it dry for just a few minutes and then painted Azure over the top.
When it was still wet, I sprayed it with vinegar and clear coat. I am not sure why I do this, except I think it helps to pull some of the paint up in a more natural looking way. I sprinkled some cinnamon on it in a few spots and dabbed the cinnamon spots with a t-shirt rag. A final clear coat finished this faux rusting technique.
I stained the base with a walnut stain and attached the metal grate to the top, using the holes that were in the corners of the grate.
This is a nice and heavy table, and the bottom shelf provides lots of extra storage.