Old buckets are very popular in decorating these days and I sell a lot of old buckets. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to pick them up at yard sales for a dollar or two, but usually at the flea markets even the smaller ones are $7.
So when someone told me they found some large buckets at The 99 Cent Store for $1.99, I bought a whole bunch of them. The problem was they were shiny and new looking. The size was great though at 12 inches high and 11 inches across the top. Even better was that they had handles with the wooden grip on them.
I looked on Pinterest for how to make new galvanized metal look old and I found a tutorial for using Lysol toilet bowl cleaner. I followed the directions which said to leave the Lysol on the metal for 30 minutes and rinse off, but at 30 minutes I found no change.
Here's how I aged my buckets. I scuffed them up with 100 grit sandpaper just to scratch up the shiny surface. Then I took a scrubby sponge and used the rough side to spread the Lysol all over the inside and out of the buckets. Don't forget the lip and the handle.
After 30 minutes there was no change so I left them to sit. I came back over an hour later and I could see something was definitely happening so I went on about my day and after about four hours, I was getting some nice patina. The problem was there were still some shiny parts, probably where I missed a spot when wiping on the Lysol. I did not clean the buckets at this point, but rather put the Lysol on my sponge and reapplied it to the buckets inside and out. The following morning I went outside to check, and the buckets were nicely aged. At this point I put them in the utility sink and rinsed them well and dried them. If you're working outside near any landscaping, I would not recommend hosing the buckets because you could get run off that would damage the nearby plant life.
This was an easy project that required a little more patience than I had anticipated but it was worth it.
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