Old Aquarium Gets Major Update!

Tawny Lee miller
by Tawny Lee miller
7 Materials
1 Hour
Like a lot of young couples my husband and I got a fish tank when we first got married, and filled it with a bunch of fish. After about 3 months we had too many fish for this small tank so we upgraded to a 30 gallon tank. So what to do with this old tank??? Make something New of course!
I Started out with this icky old fish tank. I cleaned out the nasty lime buildup with some generic CLR I got at the Dollar Tree (I love that store). So what should I do with this? I tried to find things on pinterest for Ideas and sadly didn't find much.
So now that the tank is all clean I wanted to figure out how to make it look less like just an empty fish tank..
I practiced my technique on this plastic switch plate. First I sprayed a puddle of silver spray paint on to my paper plate and used a small paintbrush to paint the entire thing silver. I used the paintbrush because, well, it was raining outside so I couldn't spray paint it outside and I thought the brush would give it more texture. Next I sprayed a big puddle of my brushed bronze spray paint on the paper plate and sponged it on randomly around over the silver. (I kind of messed up and sponged too much on so it looked hideous and I had to go back over it with a sponge and some silver paint) I used some Cinnamon to create the rusty look and pushed it into the tacky paint, then I went back over it again with a sponge and some more silver paint. Since I'm cheap I refused to buy a can of clear lacquer and painted over the whole thing with a dollar store bottle of clear nail polish. The picture above is the finished switch plate. Looks and feels like real rusted metal! So I decided to do this on the black frame on my fish tank...
I'm a little lazy and I hate masking things off so I just tucked a piece of wax paper under the Edge of the tank and got to work.
So its not 100% finished but I'm really happy with how it turned out! I'm still not 100% sure what I'm doing with it but I know its going to go in our bathroom, I thought maybe I'll fill it with some sand and do a terrarium, or put some candles in it and make it into a cool candle holder. I am also thinking of putting some short legs on it just to make it look more vintage. I'll be posting what I do with it either way!
Suggested materials:
  • Old 10 gallon Aquarium I got a few years ago   (Walmart)
  • Silver spray paint   (walmart)
  • Brushed bronze spray paint   (Walmart)
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4 of 6 comments
  • Gypsy Witch Hunter Gypsy Witch Hunter on Jun 10, 2016
    Cool! Looks very industrial/steam punk. You could carry it either way with your filler too. And you used what you had-I can relate to that! Nicely done.
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    • Gypsy Witch Hunter Gypsy Witch Hunter on Jun 12, 2016
      Exactly! I take great satisfaction from my cheap ingenuity & usually love the finished item far more than anything that costs cash! I was thinking if you chose to go further with the look, you could scour around the garage for gears & washers & other doo-dads to place near the top of your display-could even match the finish on some. Looking forward to seeing what you decide. Take care!
  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Jun 10, 2016
    Get more fish the addiction is real. LOL Like the finish.