Take your galvanized metal from shiny and new, to crusty and antiqued in no time with these simple steps! Ad charm to all your shiny new galvanized goods!
I have this obsession with old crusty metal buckets and watering cans. I know I’m not alone here, and that you too are in love with these things. Right? Unfortunately, they are not easy on my wallet, so I have to restrain myself when I see them in the wild. I mean, unless they are really amazing. Since my wallet doesn’t match my love of crusty buckets, we have a ton of the super-shiny-not-even-close-to-crusty galvanized metal containers, which I seem to hoard from various stores (I’m looking at you, Ikea and Target) with lofty plans of aging them on my own (but obviously, that never happened because, life).
Did I mention I also needed a tree skirt for our Christmas tree this year? I have been using the same ruffled skirt I made, which is on display in my Christmas Decor Tour from last year. There is also a horribly written and photographed post about actually making the skirt, and if you want to go hunt for that non-award-winning post, you can feel free. I shall save you the agony, and your eyes from the sight. That thing is about 6 years old, and I’m just tired of looking at it. First world problems, right?
I was torn between these skirt options from the Hearth and Hand line at the mothership (Target):
Ultimately I was hunting for the galvanized collar, which was just not meant to be as it was literally nowhere to be found online, or in any Target in my tai-state area. So, I was down to the green plaid or white with X‘s. The green plaid would match the Hearth and Hand ribbon on my pinecone ornaments (a fresh cinnamon batch of these ornaments from last year), and the other matches my dishtowels I scooped up!
The agony of choosing were more than I could bear, but my choices were made because my local Target was out of those too. Which, lead me to this shiny galvanized bucket (which used to hold a fairy garden) and my naked tree stand with tree.
If you’re a lover of farmhouse decor, a shiny new bright galvanized bucket might not be quite what you’re looking for. An awesome basket, box, or crate would be perfect, or the other two tree skirts that were sold out, or… an old crusty bucket.
See where I’m going with this!?
Let’s Age Galvanized Metal
Carefully pour the acid into the spray bottle, and spray the acid onto the bucket. We diluted it for the first application, but it didn’t do enough, so we went full strength and let it sit. Then rinse, and let it dry.
The acid will eat off the galvanized coating, and the longer it sits, the funkier it gets. The first spray down, Andrew washed it off after 10 minutes, but the second one, we ran errands while it sat. So let it go about an hour, then rinse it down.
After we let it dry, Andrew scrubbed in circles with the toilet cleaner, which helped to add the ever so subtle white haze.
Let it sit for a little while (I left him in charge of this step, so there’s no official time on this, but give it about 20-30 minutes), then rinse. I have been told, the longer it sits, the more crust forms. We had just cut our tree down, and it was relaxing in the living room, so we only let it sit for about 20 minutes.
If you’re using a big ol’ funky and crusty (formerly) galvanized metal bucket for your tree skirt, you are ready to just put the tree inside. There will most likely be the addition of some logs or blankets to the very inside of the bucket to help hide the tree stand. Our tree is about 8′ tall, so the stand inside fills up the entire circumference of the bottom of the pail. There is, however, room for a little bit o’ decor underneath.
Truth be told, I am in love with the bucket. Can I also draw attention to the unnatural amount of ornaments on that lower branch? Thanks kids! I can’t believe it took me this long to give this bucket some age, and make it glorious. The needles fall into the bucket, the water overage can be dried up easily, my kids don’t get all tangled in the skirt, and there’s no fluffing the skirt to begin with. Vacuuming the fallen needles and rogue flock is super easy, so this is probably my go-to for the next 5 years, until I’m sick of looking at this bucket.
Who am I kidding, that will be never.