I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but we own a convenience store in Costa Rica. This means that we get alot of free stuff from providers such as T-shirts with logos printed on the front, caps, keychains, lighters, beer mugs, coolers….you name it. Usually we just pass these on to our customers as freebies when they buy something but very often we end up with left over odds and ends. Among these odds and ends were about half a dozen tin buckets of varying sizes that we’d gotten from a beer distributor. We must have given away at least 50 of these but I still ended up with a handful of them stacked in the tool shed. I tried to find uses for them, from storing clothespins to toting planting soil but I didn’t really like them taking up space in my tiny patio. Then one day as I was browsing Ebay for an ash bucket to set on the hearth, I came across an adorable green tin bucket with polka dots painted on it. The seller suggested that they could be used to hold magazines. My first thought was…”Oh how cute! That looks just like those old buckets in my back yard”. And then the lightbulb lit up. AHA! That’s what I would do with those buckets! I’d paint them different colors and use them to store my daughter’s teeny-bopper magazine collections! I then realized that I could make some home-made ash buckets as well. I certainly had enough tin buckets. First I had to remove the hideous Coors Beer decals that were plastered on the front of them. That was difficult because some of the decals left a sticky gummy residue and no matter how much I scrubbed with soap and water it refused to come completely off. Finally I just gave up and figured that several coats of paint would probably cover up the bits of residue that remained. I was right.
Three coats of spray paint did the job. I sprayed the buckets inside and out, and even on the bottom. Good thing it was sunny and they dried fast. I thought the green Ebay bucket was quite cute so I decided to make one just like it. I used mint green paint.
After the spray paint was completely dry, I added the polka dots. I had bright colored acrylic paints left over from various crafts projects so I used them to paint on the dots. First I drew circles all over the buckets with a pencil, using a large coin as a guide. Then I filled in the circles with the acrylic paints, applying two coats.
After the buckets were covered in polka dots, I sprayed them with two coats of clear spray varnish, inside and out.
Ash buckets would probably look quite ridiculous with polka dots but I found the plain black color utterly boring so I painted on some flowers and then sprayed the buckets with two coats of clear varnish. For now, they’re sitting on the hearth holding wood chips because we have no ashes yet, I am ashamed to admit. We haven’t had a chance to light the fireplace because the weather has been pretty warm. But the buckets are ready and standing at attention…..just waiting to be called in for ash duty.