Wednesday, September 26, 2012

History of Buckets & Wash Tubs

Buckets and wash tubs were a staple in pioneer days. They were used in almost every aspect of life, from carrying water from the well, washing clothing, harvesting food from the garden, and bigger wash tubs were even used for bathing.

Photo taken at Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center.
Galvanized buckets came on the scene in 1837. Galvanized buckets replaced leather buckets as the firefighters' bucket of choice. The galvanized tub above most likely would have been used with a washboard to do the family's laundry.

An old chore nursery rhyme summed up what a chore laundry could be:

Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday.

Doing the family's laundry would take an entire day just to wash, first the water would be heated, most likely on a wood stove or in the fire place. Once it came to a boil, shavings of soap would be added and the water stirred until they dissolved. Beginning with the whites the clothing would be dumped into the hot water and washed. After the whites, colored clothing would be washed, and then the dirtiest of the work clothes. Clothing was allowed to boil for 10 minutes, then it was taken out, rubbed with homemade soap and scrubbed across the washboard. Fresh water was added to the tub in order to rinse the soap out of the freshly cleaned clothing. Then the clothes would be hung out on a clothesline in order to dry.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Paint Galvanized Metal Buckets

There are so many uses for buckets, and we've been over many of those uses in past blogs. But sometimes you want to add a bit of color to your bucket that you are using, what better way to do than to paint your galvanized bucket?

Keep in mind that some of the instructions can be altered for your specific bucket painting needs.
  1.  Using a degreaser wash your bucket well. Since you are using a galavanized bucket steel wool is good fore cleaning this ultra-durable surface.
  2. Rinse your bucket off, be sure to remove all the soap so that your paint is able to stick to your bucket well. 
  3. Allow the bucket to dry for at least an hour.
  4. Take your bucket to the area that you are going to be painting it (be sure area is well ventilated and that you have a drop cloth to protect surface of floor/furniture that you do not want to accidentally get paint on).
  5. Prime your bucket. Etching spray primer is recommended. Allow your bucket to dry for 3 hours.
  6. Now you can paint your bucket, enamel paint is recommended as it is more durable. Use stencils or free hand if you want designs or letters on your bucket. 
  7. Optional: Use a clear coat spray paint to help set your design.