How to Antique a Metal Pail

If you have been following along with my monthly contributor posts, you will recall the post on the floating shelves Tyler made for my living room. I briefly mentioned how I made a shiny metal pail look old and dull, and today I want to explain how I achieved that look. 

I love old metal pails and had wanted to use one for an arrangement a few months ago. I wasn't having much luck finding it, so I bought a shiny pail from Hobby Lobby for about $2. I did some research on how to make it look old and found a very simple, easy fix. 

I ended up doing many more and now my house has metal arrangements scattered throughout the rooms. On my last post, I ended up taking the pail I was using for my floating shelves and planted purple flowers in it for my porch. I bought a new pail and decided to use it as a demonstration. 

All you need is Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, steel wool and a pair of gloves (not pictured.) 

I poured some cleaner on the steel wool, and in circular motions, scrubbed the pail. Make sure you have gloves because it will burn your hands if you come in contact with the toilet cleaner. I let it sit for about 30 minutes and used my hose outside to wash the cleaner off. 

Side note: I have done this in many different weather conditions, and you will get different looks depending on how long you leave the cleaner on the pail and what the temperature is like. When it's very cold outside, I have left the pail for several hours, but today was 80+ so it didn't take long for the metal finish to age. 

Here are a few more metal arrangements that I have used the same technique on:

I have two vases on either side of my mantle, and my favorite florist and very talented sister-in-law put the arrangements together.

This is a sneek peek of my little boy's dresser that I will share the process of refinishing it another time.

As you can see, each pail has it's own look and I really like that they aren't all the same. It's a very simple process and an easy way to add metal to each room. I hope you were inspired and will give it a try. As always, thanks for stopping by!

See you next month, 


"Hello! My name is Jodi from The Whispering Pines.  I love to decorate, refurbish old furniture, create small crafts and come up with unique party ideas. I also have a knack for organizing and enjoy experimenting with new recipes. My style is rustic with a touch of farmhouse. If you ask my husband, I could live in antique shops and home decor stores. I love being inspired by others and hope, you too, can gather a little inspiration for your home!" 

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