Saturday, April 14, 2007

Handpainted Buckets

During rainy months there's more time to spend in our cabin snuggling up to our wood burning stove. At these times, I enjoy crafting. One of the first projects I tried was painting a galvanized pail to hold newspaper. I used our cabin as the picture on this one. I then made one for our friend John using his cabin as the picture. My most recent pail depicts the view from our front room sofa. You can see the fire blazing and Goat Island through the front door. This is the view Wayne sees while working on his computer to write his Coastal BC Stories.

Ten steps to beautiful handpainted buckets:

  1. I start with a galvanized pail. The ones I buy at Canadian Tire have a large label, so I remove it with soap and hot water, and a little "Goo Gone" if necessary.
  2. I sand the area I plan to paint. This gives the metal surface better gripping power for the paint to come. Clean the surface of any dust.
  3. Cover the parts of the pail that you do not want to paint with newspaper and tape.
  4. For my undercoat, I use two coats of Krylon spray-on primer paint. This prepares the metal surface to receive and hold the decorative paint. Remove the paper and tape when dry.
  5. I draw the picture to scale on a sheet of paper. I include much of the detail, but I keep the original photo handy as a reference throughout the painting process.
  6. I transfer the picture to the bucket lightly with pencil. Sometimes I cut sections from picture and trace them onto bucket. If you make a mistake, you can erase if you are careful. You could also use carbon paper.
  7. I use Liquitex acrylic artist paints that come in tubes. They are available almost everywhere and have good coverage.
  8. I start with a base coat of acrylic paint over the entire area to be painted. I dry brush some acrylic paint over the galvanized metal to reduce the harsh edge created by the primer.
  9. I paint the picture a section at a time, allowing for drying in between. The biggest danger is smearing wet paint onto a previously painted section. But with acrylic paint, you can remove most mistakes with a little water and a paper towel.
  10. After I finish the painted picture, I spray over it with Krylon polyurethane. This protects the painted acrylic picture from chipping during display or use.








Painting is fun. A galvanized pail is inexpensive and a few basic colors of acrylic can be mixed into a rainbow's worth to meet all of your painting needs. Give it a try if you are looking for something to do on a rainy day. -- Margy

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