I've refinished a few projects that needed some good rusty hardware for the final touch. After scouring the internet on how to do this, I gave up and came up with my own version. It's much easier than anything I could find out there.
So, here's what I started with. I had painted them previously, but didn't like how they turned out.
First I sprayed them with Rustoleum Multicolor Textured paint.
I let them dry for about 15 minutes. I didn't want the paint to be completely set because I like to mess up the texture a little.
Normally I use black, red, and orange paint but I was out of orange so I improvised.
Next, dab some color onto your project in random spots.
I wear gloves and just dab at the hardware with my fingers until all the colors are blended. I usually add a little more black as I'm going. There seriously isn't a science to it. Just go to town blending.
Not the best picture, but here it is on a thrift store shelf I refinished. It's a wedding gift that has a personal touch, but didn't break the bank!