metal bucket question

novice_2009(zone 6b)June 21, 2009

I got a metal bucket for free. It's rusted, and I'd like to remove the rust and apply something to keep it from rusting again (don't want to paint it). Is there an affordable and easy way to do this?

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Hmmmm, I believe there is a product you can buy that removes rust, but you would have to seal the bucket to prevent it from rusting again, and I don't know how effective that would be. BTW- I LOVE metal buckets- ESPECIALLY rusty ones!!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:00PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

I was just gonna say the rest us us are trying to get our stuff to rust!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:13PM
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Remove rust? =:O
Oh the humanity!

Cleaning it up would require some elbow grease as well as a rust removing chemical. Then, as tasymo suggested, you would need a sealer. But the rust will come back eventually.
I got some nifty old saw blades cheap at a garage sale last week. Can't wait till they rust! :D

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:42PM
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Navel Jelly...I never used it but I saw it the other at our farm store. It says it removes rust...

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 10:37PM
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You don't have to paint it to prevent it from rusting. There is another way.

Google "Sacrificial anode".

This is how they prevent ships from rusting away.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 11:59PM
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I used 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water to remove the worst of the rust on a couple of shovels. Let it set in this mixture about 4-8 hours (whenever you have time-LOL) and then use an old stainless steel scrubing pad. It will still be a little rusty but you can wash it in soap and water and get more of it off. Then spray it wath a clear spray to prevent further rusting. My brother buys and sells (and collects) cast iron, and when he does this,and treats them, the pots and skillets look brand new, and can cook in them. I didn't want my shovels to look new--just all the cruddy rust removed. I primed and painted them--one bright yellow and one bright pink. Don't have a design painted on them yet. Might leave the other one rusty.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 8:49AM
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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

If it's really rusty you might damage the bucket to the point of making holes in it if you try to remove all the rust. I suggest you gently remove all the loose rust with a wire brush, please wear gloves, and then paint it with a rust stabilizing primer. Rustoleum makes a good one. Wear gloves, grubby clothes and protect the work surface because the paint sticks and stains! That's the voice of experience speaking.
It's not a one or two hour fix-it paint job but it'll be worth the effort. After the primer completely dries you can paint it however you like.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:45AM
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Betsy Rheaume

I bought a product that you spray on, called Rust Kutter and it turns the surface black. I think you can paint over it, I just left mine black. I was refinishing an old loom and this saved me hours of elbow grease.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 2:19PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)'s not too rusty. I might try the wire brush thing, see how it looks, and then let it be. I like the look of rust on something painted, not a metal bucket....but, maybe I'll change my mind on that. I'm not sure. Thanks for all the suggestions!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 3:41PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

You ladies have inspired me, once again. I took a good look at the bucket, decided I liked it just the way it was, and put it on the porch next to some potted plants. Looks very cool for now, and if it starts to get to rusty from our humidity and the weather, I'll paint it. Thanks again everybody, this forum is full of friendly, creative people!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 12:16PM
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tennesseetrash(7 east tenn)

I love rusty. Rust looks so natural in the garden to me. When I stop at a yard sale and they ask what I'm looking for, and I say something like "Do y'all have any old rusted minnow buckets?" and they usually look at me kind of strange ..... LOL ..... then I explain that I try to have fun with my gardening and use unexpected containers when possible. ~tenderlee

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 1:40PM
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I like to use a wire brush to clean rust off my car. So you could try that.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 5:35PM
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I bought a LARGE stock tank to use as a container
for an aquatic flower garden, and WANT to have some
rust on it? What's the best way to do this?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Do you have to line the bucket before putting a plant in it? I acquired some metal buckets today- I am hoping will rust soon :-) Just wasn't sure about putting the plants directly in the buckets. I plan to put some new gorgeous garden mums in mine :-)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 9:51PM
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