Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Galvanized Bucket List

I have a soft spot for galvanized metal. I think because it reminds me of my childhood on the family farm.
We always had stacks of 10-quart galvanized pails that we kept in the vestibule connecting our milkhouse and our barn that were used mostly when feeding our calves. Our cows drank out of a galvanized tank when they were outside. Our chickens ate out of galvanized feeders. 
We even had an old galvanized wash tub that we'd get down out of the attic whenever we hosted a party. As a kid, I used to wonder why it was called a wash tub when all it was ever used for was to hold a barrel of beer and ice.
 Then my mom explained to me what the wash tub used to be used for... That's my oldest brother in the photo, taking a bath in what appears to be our living room, before our house had a bathtub. Or a bathroom.
When my then-18-year-old (not-yet) mom married my (future) dad in 1955, she moved from her parents' farmhouse, which had all the modern conveniences (i.e. an indoor toilet) to my dad's four-bedroom, zero-bathroom bachelor pad with an outhouse in the backyard. Obviously, the woman was in love.... But that's another story.

Back to the subject at hand.
When galvanized metal became popular in home decor, I happily started buying pieces and using them indoors and out.
 Mostly my galvanized containers are used to hold plants and gardening tools, and, following family tradition, the occasional barrel of beer.
Virtually all of the galvanized pieces I own were bought secondhand for a couple dollars or less.
galvanized metal containers
Some, like my watering can, are vintage.
 But most of the pieces I've picked up are relatively new.  
Sometimes the new pieces are a little too bright and shiny for my liking, so I was thrilled to learn that other bloggers had discovered a remedy for that: vinegar.
Following in my blogging brethrens'/sisters' footsteps, I decided to give the vinegar trick a try on some of my too-shiny pieces. I put vinegar in a spray bottle and misted it onto the metal. Then I tried to keep re-misting and rotating the pieces around for even coverage over the course of about 15 minutes.
When I was done, I rinsed everything with water. The process was a little stinky, but I have to say, it worked, as you can see by the before and after shots of my once-shiny new beverage tub.
It also knocked the shine off the top of this small bucket -- and cleaned up the white limescale buildup on the bottom of it.
Here's another "before" shot of a vase.
peonies
And here's the much-improved "after" (with some of my pretty pink peonies in it). 
Unfortunately, not all of my results were perfect. But that, too, is another story. And I'll save that one for a separate post.
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