How to Paint a Vintage Fire Bucket

DIY Vintage Fire Bucket 

  In Colonial days everyone had a fire bucket. Fire buckets, which could be filled with either water or sand, were used to, obviously, put out fires. They would pass the bucket of water from person to person, empty the buckets and then send the empty ones back to be filled  again from the well. Later on, the hand pumper was invented and the buckets were filled much more easily.

Here is our version of the fire bucket. My nephew, Michael, came up with this. You can read more about him HERE in the ABOUT MY FAMILY part of the menu. He is a jack-of-all-trades and master at everything...

Mike saw an original old fire bucket and said, "We can do that". He made a stencil by hand - he drew the block letters on a piece of cardstock. I always make my stencils with cardstock paper. Then used an X-acto type blade and cut it out. I place the paper on a piece of glass and it's easy to just trim it right out. The word PAIL was also curved to match the curve of the bucket.

Mike taped the stencil onto the galvanized pail.

We just used some black paint that was hanging around... looks like a glossy black, but it wouldn't have to be glossy. A sea sponge is perfect for dabbing the paint onto the stencil.

Make sure the stencil is flat on the bucket as you dab the paint...

There it is, all stencilled.

And there you have it!!

It looks rustic enough and we did a little sanding around the letters to make it look a little older...

Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial on how to make a vintage fire bucket.

Happy Fall, everyone!!!


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I am the crafter extraordinaire (on this blog anyway.) I live with my husband, my son, David, in a cozy cape cod style house in Connecticut.

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