Have you ever set out to make a certain thing, then found yourself with something else entirely? That’s exactly what happened with my Distressed Metal Heart Pail. My intention was to paint a rustic heart on the 5″ galvinized bucket above. After I painted the gray background, and the rustic heart, I decided to lightly sand the heart, to give it a time-worn look. Well, since I used a gloss craft paint (for the heart) over regular craft paint (for the galvinized pail), the heart pealed off completely, exposing a heart-shaped portion of the pail. I’ve been painting galvinized buckets and pails with craft paint for decades, and I’ve never had anything like this happen. Oh well, the exposed hearts reflect light like mirrors, so they blend in perfectly with my winter decor.
I added greenery and Spanish moss from outside, which helped the pails to blend in even more.
If you want to make your own Distressed Metal Heart Pails, this is how it’s (accidently) done:
- 5″ tall galvinized pail
- Apple Barrel 2620E Pewter Gray, 2605E Crimson, 20408E White
- paint brushes- 1″ sponge, 3/8 angle, 0/0 liner
- 120 medium sand paper
- Aleene’s acrylic gloss sealer
- 3 1/4″ paper heart pattern (you’ll need paper and scissors, if you don’t have a printed heart pattern)
First of all, prep your surface. I always sand the surface of my galvanized pail, then clean it with vinegar. You don’t really need vinegar though, you can use wet paper towels if that’s all you have on hand. Just make sure you dry the pail after you clean it.
Paint the galvinized bucket with the 1″ sponge brush and several coats of Pewter Gray. You can use a blow dryer to hurry things along. Sometimes I use the blow dryer, and sometimes I do chores while I’m waiting for things to dry. I always paint the front of my pails, and leave the galvinized metal unpainted in the back. One side of the pail has a centered seam to guide you. On the side without a seam, use the middle of the metal piece below the handle as your center.
If you don’t have a heart pattern that you can print, Fold a piece of paper in half then cut out a half-heart. It’s easier than it sounds.
Use the 3/8 angle brush and white to fill in the heart. I painted several coats, then used gray streaks to make the heart look more rustic. The red ruffle was painted with the liner brush and Crimson. I also painted Victorian Green over the heart, to give it an aged copper look. The gray streaks and Victorian Green were unnecessary, because the heart peeled off PERFECTLY once I began to sand it. I was going to do so much more to this little heart! I hadn’t even shaded or highlighted it yet.
When the heart began to peel, I thought all the paint was going to come off. Maybe the finish on this particular galvinized pail was damaged, I reasoned to myself. NOPE. Only the heart came off, and it happened exactly the same way on both buckets. So, I used the liner brush and white to make another ruffle around the heart.
For my last step, I took the pails outside and sprayed them with acrylic gloss sealer. Acrylic paint is generally “flat” with no sheen (unless you buy the gloss kind, like the white paint I used for the heart). It needs acrylic gloss spray to bring it to life. If you want to go matte, just use chalk paint-don’t leave your acrylics naked and unprotected. The acrylic sealer also protects your projects from weathering, and surface damage. If you absolutely want to go flat with your acrylic paints, then at least buy a flat/matte acrylic sealer.
You’re all done! I hope you enjoyed my Distressed Metal Heart Pail tutorial.
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