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Antiqued Gift Tub

Gather small presents or even holiday decorations in this personalized tub with a faux weathered finish and chalkboard nameplate.

Metal holiday gift bucket with presents

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Rubber gloves
  • 220-grit sandpaper or coarse steel wool
  • Plastic tray
  • Utility knife
  • Super glue
  • Painter’s tape


  • 5.5-gal galvanized metal tub, #3712
  • Acidic toilet bowl cleaner, #369824
  • 1/4-in x 100-ft natural fiber rope, #349212
  • Valspar chalkboard paint
  • Valspar spray paint, Cut Ruby

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Distress the Metal Finish

Step 1

Sand the galvanized tub.

Use 220-grit sandpaper or coarse steel wool to scratch the outside of the tub, including the recesses of the grooves and along the seams. (A smaller bucket is shown for photography.)

Step 2

Coat the tub with bowl cleaner.

Place the bucket in a shallow tray and pour acidic toilet bowl cleaner on the bucket, covering it entirely. Then set the tub aside to dry. If possible, let the coated tub sit in the sun to speed up the aging process. Recoat the tub a second time as needed for the acid to eat through the galvanized coating.

Step 3

Partially aged metal bucket

After the tub develops a white patina, rinse it thoroughly and let dry. The example here shows the difference between the treated surface on the right and untreated metal.

Good to Know

Lay wet rags on the tub overnight to form rust spots.

Add Tub Decorations

Step 1

Cut two lengths of rope long enough to wrap around the tub. Tape the ends to keep the rope from unraveling and apply super glue to the ends to hold the strands together.

Step 2

Spray-paint the ropes the desired color (Cut Ruby shown), and set aside to dry.

Step 3

Use painter’s tape to mask off a rectangle 9-1/2 inches wide and 3-1/4 inches tall at the top of the tub. Tape newspapers around the rest of the metal to protect against overspray. Apply at least three coats of chalkboard spray paint to the metal. Then remove the tape and paper and let dry overnight.

Step 4

Use super glue to attach the painted ropes around the middle of the tub.

Step 5

Gather presents in this bucket with an antiqued metal  finish, painted rope, and chalkboard label. --Lowe’s Creative Ideas

Using chalk, write the name or message of your choice on the chalkboard surface and add presents or decorations.