Faux Pressed Metal Brake Fluid Drum!

I was visiting my parents recently when I happened to glance over and see this beside their garage…

Hmmm, a cruddy old brake fluid drum, how fascinating, right? Well, yes, I mean, it is cruddy and old and whilst I had probably looked at it a hundred times before for some reason that day I really saw it for the first time.

You see, my nursery lamp (shown here temporarily sitting on picnic baskets)…

…is too tall for a regular side table yet too short to stand on the floor and I figure my brain was subconsciously scouring for a solution when the proportions of the drum jumped up and slapped me square across the face.

I took some quick measurements and sure enough, proportions…tick!

Appearance…ummm, not so tick.

Luckily that is easily fixed! The fact it was tin gave me some immediate inspiration so I followed my instinct and began an experiment to create a pressed metal look.

Firstly, I gathered my supplies….

One meter of plastic table runner lace (if you’re in Australia I got mine from Spotlight though it should be readily available from most haberdashery stores and is super cheap).

A can of gloss enamel spraypaint (I chose ivory for a vintage cream look).

Strong craft glue (I used PVA).

Something to use as feet (I decided on these vintage castors I already had).

And the process….

To begin with, I made sure the drum was empty and gave it a thorough all-over clean. Next, I turned it upside down because I wanted the bottom to become the top and played around with the positioning of the plastic lace. Because the lace in its original form was too wide for the drum I created one new decorative edge at the right width by trimming around the pattern in the existing design with scissors.

Next, I wrapped it around the drum to work out where it would meet and trimmed it so it would neatly overlap just a little. To adhere it to the drum I applied a reasonably generous amount of glue all over the drum’s sides (using a paint brush) then I rolled my lace into position. I applied some additional glue to the ends to ensure they were well bonded to the drum.

I also added lace to the top of the drum (to hide a number which was pressed into the tin. I would probably have left it plain otherwise).

In the above photo you can see a faint outline where there was a slightly raised sphere though it’s far less obvious in person.

Once the glue was thoroughly dry and I was satisfied the lace was well adhered I gave the entire drum three coats of gloss enamel spray paint.

This was the moment of truth – it was either gonna look okay or like someone had just stuck some plastic lace to a crappy old tin drum….

Well, whilst beauty is subjective I gotta say that to me it actually looked kinda cool!

Once the paint dried I flipped it over and simply liquid-nailed on my castor wheels.

This project was purely experimental so I was pretty pleased with the result. Obviously, it’s a reasonably unconventional (or, as I prefer to think, ‘innovative’) makeover, and certainly not to everyone’s taste though it was fun to push the boundaries a bit.

Plastic lace and a brake fluid drum hey? Who woulda thought….

  1. Kelley says:

    My! You’re some kind o’ creative, girl!

  2. sharon says:

    This is more than impressive – not only well done but , hey! you found the idea!!

  3. Thea says:

    That’s truly a beautiful transformation and I’m all for upcycling. x

  4. Very interesting. I like the texture. What you put ON the final product is as important as the object, IMO. Great job.


  5. Anonymous says:

    blown away – you ROCK – now my eyes are going to be peeled for something to cover in plastic lace!

    VERY creative


  6. I think it looks fantastic! It looks like a hat box, perfect for baby’s room. Great job!

  7. Pattie says:

    Love the way it turned out…

  8. LL from KS says:

    I love reading your blog but rarely comment, however this project just blew me away! I absolutely love what you did! Great vision and a fabulous end product! Love,love,love!

  9. Angela says:

    WOW! That is so pretty. Lace meets industrial…perfect.

  10. Marianne says:

    WOW, I’m in awe. Yes, who would have thought….it came out great. You are a super creative lady!
    Marianne :)

  11. You’re so clever!! I love repurposing stuff like this! Great job!

  12. Katie says:

    Wow–so clever and beautiful!

  13. Cynthia says:

    GENIUS! Love it. :)

  14. Melisa says:

    When I saw the post title in my google reader, I had to click on over, LOL. I think this is a great solution! Very unique. I love the casters.

  15. Shelby says:

    I’m kind of obsessed with this! Love how you thought outside the box on this one! I’m going to be keeping my eye out for an old can like that now!

  16. Olive Cooper says:

    You are smart and the casters on it are brilliant.

  17. Very cute piece. Super creative :)

  18. Shut up!!!! That is BER-ILL-IANT! Love, love, love it, you clever girl. Now I gotta find me an old tin drum ….

    Suzy xxx

  19. Bloody marvellous! I love it…inspiration overload

  20. Sarah says:

    What an adorable makeover! Amazing work!

  21. The Moerks says:

    Fantastic, excellent. This is very cool and so original. 11/10.

  22. NanaDiana says:

    Well, How cute is THAT! I love it…and if you get tired of it you can always make it into a rusty old can again! I’ll bet your family was surprised! xo Diana

  23. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know how you do it but you do. It looks great; thanks for sharing!

  24. Such a cool idea, it is fabulous – Lori

  25. SHERRY HART says:

    Pretty dang awesome! I want one….

  26. Oh.good.heavens. Just when I thought I’ve met the most creative crafters in blogland…I LOVE it!

  27. Cynthia says:

    This is just so neat! I totally never would have thought of that!

  28. Tanya says:

    OMG — This is CRAZY GOOD!!! Loving it!

  29. Revi says:

    I LOVE it, clever girl! And I’m genuinely impressed with all the wonderful things I click on that just so happen to come from Australia! Nice vision for an adorable solution of a table. :)

  30. Deborah says:

    WOW. Your inventiveness never ceases to amaze me, and your knowledge of what products to use. You should get a deal with MagnetMart! :0) xx

  31. Donna says:

    You are just amazing, and busy as a BEE! Liquid Nail…..I would NEVER have thought of that solution.


  32. Kathy says:

    This is an amazing upcycle – love love love it!

  33. GORGEOUS, really – GORGEOUS!

  34. Wow! I think it looks beautiful… even elegant… which is a hard look to get from an old brake fluid drum! :)


  35. Really fantastic project!! I think it looks so great.

  36. modern jane says:

    You totally just got the wheels turning in my head!

  37. This is amazing!! I would never, ever have thought to do this!! I’m featuring this project on my blog this coming Thursday! (10/27/11)

  38. What a beautiful makeover! You most certainly had vision for this one. :) I ADORE how you styled it as well!

    Shared on FJI Facebook for SNS 104:



  39. Gorgeous!!

  40. I pride myself on often being able to see the beauty in the ugly, but I didn’t see that, AMAZING. Well done
    Cheers Kylie x

  41. Wow, I don’t think I would of ever thought of this looking at an old fluid drum. Even though I liked the shape of the drum, I never would of put dollies on it. It looks amazing, great job, and really how creative. Would luv it if you shared on my Sunday’s Best party. My reader would luv it!

  42. This is very impressive, I love how unique it looks!

  43. awesome, kristine! i love the lacey design! way to think outside the tin! :)

  44. Aretusa says:

    Hello Kristine!
    I’m Aretusa from the blog !Petit Pooh Mon Amour”.
    I liked so very much this idea and made a oist about it in my blog. Here is the link:http://petitepoohmonamour.blogspot.com/2011/10/pizzi-e-liquido-per-freni.html
    Hope you’ll enjoy it!!!

  45. You are so clever. I really love this!


  46. J's mom says:

    I love this. Please link it to my linky party & anything else you have to share. Thanks, Peggy.

  47. Laurel says:

    LOVE this…wonderful vision you had :) Laurel@chippingwithcharm

  48. Kristine that is awesome!!!!! What a fantastic idea! I am so going to be looking for old metal drums now!
    And it’s really lovely finding a fellow Australian blogger.
    Love Bec

  49. MommaHen says:

    I’m speechless . wow. featured (again!) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Momma-Hen/123880607653210

Leave a Comment