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. Absolutely fabulous, when Pottery Barn sees it they’ll make a line of them in 10 different colors and 7 different finishes. What a stunner. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  2. It’s absolutely gorgeous…that’s thinking outside the box!

  3. Jamie says:

    WOW! I love this transformation!!!

  4. Christina says:

    I’m just in love with this project; it looks stunning!

    Take care,

  5. How wonderfully creative!

  6. This is a really cool project. I really do like what you have done with the brake drum. Creative and outside the box thinking!!

  7. Now that is amazing…I am definitely going to check this out, especially since you mentioned Oz, so things might be more relatable in your blog. I look forward to reading more.
    Simply Deluscious

  8. That is one of the best trash makeovers I have seen! It looks fantastic. Great work!

  9. create-me says:

    Hi Kristine,

    I am newbee on your blog.. and I am so in love with all your ideas.. however, this particular table was love at 1st sight…I just could not resist it. and so i mentioned it on my blog… http://nicksnacksbyme.blogspot.com/2011/12/from-scrapto-wow.html

    Keep this flowing.. !!!

  10. Thats such a great make over of a brake drum! It looks lovely.

  11. Jen Brown says:

    This is so inspiring! It reminds me to look at things in a new light! SO excited to get to work! xo


  12. Donna McEvoy says:

    I absolutely love this DIY idea. I liked it so much I featured it on my blog today….thanks Donna

  13. nádya says:

    Hi Kristine, you are so creative! I just loved this old drum transformed!!! Excellent job!!!

  14. laurene says:

    That is clever! YOU are clever!

  15. Odette Richards says:

    You are so clever. Great to see an Australian blogger. You are me to a T. I’m always decorating on a buget. Always trying to repurose things. Keep the inspirations coming. Love Odette

    • The Painted Hive says:

      Thanks so much Odette. Great to hear from an Australian reader :-)

  16. KARLA says:

    You are simply amazing with more creative juices than I will acquire in a lifetime. Thank you for everything you have shared. I have used your Magical Decal tutorial and am going to try to recreate a couple other posts. THANK YOU AGAIN FROM KARLA IN KANSAS!!

    • The Painted Hive says:

      Thanks so much Karla. It’s lovely of you to tell me.

  17. I love this! Found this post over at Looksi : )

  18. This is fantastic! I found you Looksi and am so glad I did!

  19. Jeanette says:

    You are my kinda creative gal! I absolutely love what you did and you’ve inspired me. Thank you!!!

  20. norma says:

    Hello creative lady!!!! I’m in Spain and many crafts products are hard to find and rather expensive.
    I loved this project and no matter what takes me to do it I’ll try.Your blog is very inspiering .congrats and keep that motor running.I’ll follow.Norma

  21. Anne says:

    This is really nice. I have you on my blogroll since ever and didn’t read this wonderful post.
    Congratulations, it’s really nice.


  22. Kat says:

    You’re brilliant!

  23. Claire says:

    Well done. I like how you think! What about a pic of this project with the lamp on it, as you intended?

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