Sunday, January 27, 2013

Galvanizing the Kitchen with Buckets, Tubs & Other Such Things


Galvanized buckets and tubs were stacked high in our garage, waiting for their yearly scrubbing and disinfecting. . . .During the summer, they're in use outdoors in and around the farm. . . .Every winter, we try to give them a good cleaning. . . .That's been my chosen task for the past few days. . . . Rubbing and scrubbing. . . .



Most of our galvanized pieces are vintage and well used. . . .Some have been here at the farm since the 1930s. . . .I love the patina that develops over the years. . . .


I was surprised to read that the galvanizing process dates all the way back to 1837. It was discovered that a coating of zinc would make iron and steel more rust resistant.  By the 20th century, this process had made wooden buckets and tubs pretty much obsolete. . . .but not without some resistance. . . .



From the New York Times, July 25, 1915. . . .

"The old oaken bucket and the familiar washtub have been almost displaced by the galvanized steel articles that are much cheaper though not nearly so serviceable or lasting."

I think they lasted a lot longer than expected!


Personally, I can't imagine running a farm without galvanized buckets, tubs, feeders, wire crates--well, the list could go on an on. . . .They are as much a part of the farm as tractors and other equipment. . . .



Once I had everything scrubbed clean and lined up on the table, it occurred to me how charming a few of them would be gathered in the kitchen. . . .I was ready for a change and was sure I could find many uses for them. . . .such as setting the buckets on top of the cupboards for extra storage--yet keeping the look clean and simple.


I cleared out the dishes in the tub on the 1930s hutch and filled it with tablecloths, runners, and napkins. . . .An old fryer basket became a bowl for apples. . . .a nice look with the blue and white transferware. . . .

I grabbed a few pewter plates for a backdrop in the open space of the side cupboard. . . .



. . . .and added an aluminum water pitcher, too. . . .


By this time, I was getting the hang of it. . . .











You don't have to live on a farm to enjoy the age and beauty of old farm stuff. . . .Unadorned and simply finished, they fit in well with many styles of decor--Shabby Chic, cottage, rustic, modern--just about any decorating style. . . .

Seems to me, every home could benefit from a little galvanized patina. . . .They create a look that's fresh and interesting. . . .plain and simple. . . .


Don't have any pieces of your own? Then get out there and scour thrift stores, flea markets and antique malls. Or, check out Etsy. . . .or, Ebay. . . .

 Vintage Rustic Tool Box   Vintage Wire Gym Locker Basket Galvanized Blue Band Gas Can 

(above: from Old Time Pickers on Etsy)

I'm sure many Etsy shops carry galvanized items. . . .Feel free to share your favorites with all our "farmhouse" friends in a comment below. . . .

Now that I have this project finished, I can get back to my rag rugging without feeling guilty. . . .I haven't forgotten my promise for a daytime Farmhouse Bath Reveal or the Tips on Rag Rugs. . . .They're coming soon--just need to put on some finishing touches!

. . . from my farmhouse to yours. . .

 


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