Galvanized Bucket Upcycle DIY Tutorial

6 Materials
2 Days

It makes me feel good when I can give new life to something that was headed to the landfill or scrapyard. Check out how new life was given to a little, bent up, galvanized bucket. It's cuter than the dickens!

I’ve just fallen in love with this project, and it was so easy. Being an avid crafter, I had all I needed on hand .... two sample sized colors of exterior water based paint, hide glue or crackle medium, J-B Weld, a small metal flower, one button, and a fan (opt). I’m impatient, the fan speeds up drying times.

Just a little note about crackle mediums before we get started. They are readily available in just about all home improvement and craft stores, and easy to use. Hide glue is my choice for crackling. You can find it in hardware stores for around $9. Always painting something, I usually have some mixed and ready to use.

For a crackle medium, mix 1/2 C hide glue with 1/3 C of very hot water, stirring well. Store unused medium in an airtight container. As a rule, the thinner the crackle medium, the thinner the cracks. If bigger cracks are wanted, use less hot water. Regardless, the mixture will be watery thin, and splatter easily. Make sure your floor and work area are protected well. Crackling is a lot of fun, but can be touchy. It doesn’t like to be re-brushed as you put it on, single strokes are needed. If you’ve never tried it before, you may want to play around with it on scrap wood first to get the feel for it, or catch a video on YouTube.

After giving the bucket a good wash, it was wiped down with a little rubbing alcohol to remove any oils left on it’s surface. 

I began with a base coat of red, let dry.

Next, the crackle glue. Let the crackle glue dry until it is still slightly sticky to the touch, approximately 45 minutes, sooner with a fan. Top with light blue paint, let dry completely.

Sprigs of metal flowers are something I keep my eye out for at garage sales and flea markets. Their flowers and leaves are easily snipped off to incorporate in crafting projects.

Lightly burnish the metal flower with steel wool before painting. I used the light blue as a base color, and the red as the top coat, with crackle in between.

J-B Weld is a two part epoxy, and a wonderful product. Please read and follow the manufacturer’s directions on the package. Per directions, the surfaces to be glued must be free of paint.

After deciding the placement of the flower, I scratched a small circle of paint off of the bucket, and also made sure the bottom of the flower was paint free. I used a wooden skewer to stir a small amount of epoxy together on wax paper, and let it rest about five minutes to set up a little.

With the bucket on it’s side, I laid a small mound of epoxy over the cleared area, then sit the flower on, propping it in place to dry for 24 hours.

After the epoxy was completely dry, a metal button was added to the center of the flower with a small dab of E6000. I finished with a spray of clear sealer, which is optional.

What do you think? I had garden art in mind as it was being made, but now, I think it would look great lined with a red and white checkered napkin and holding tableware at a barbecue!

Want to see more? Click on my blog link to see this and more diy inspiration. Have a Good Day!

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Vicky Kloppenborg
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Frequently asked questions

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  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jul 10, 2019

    Great project and it makes me want to crackle! Question: couldn't you also just use E6000 to glue to flower on? If not, why not? Thank you!


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