Once used as roofing for farm buildings, watering troughs and feed buckets, galvanized metal has risen from its humble beginnings on the farm to become one of today’s top decorating materials.
Transforming low-end materials into high-end pieces for the home is nothing new. Over the past decade we have seen barn wood made into furniture, tailgates have become garden benches and rusty steel work benches are now considered beautiful kitchen islands. Repurposers and DIY enthusiasts seem to know no boundaries when it comes to turning trash into treasure and this year they are adding, (almost) anything galvanized to the top of their “gotta have it” list.
One reason for the quick rise to fame of galvanized metals may be their adaptability to a number of decorating themes. From the rustic charm of primitives and farm house decor to the edgy industrial look, they add a depth and texture without the formality that comes with the use of more pretentious metals like brass and silver-plate.
Half the fun is the shopping. True, the home decor shops have some wonderful pieces, but for the look at a fraction of the price, check out hardware and farm supply stores. Spring is fast approaching and with it comes the yard sales. Set your alarm an hour earlier this sale season and head to the countryside. Last year I was traveling US 40 on my way to Greenfield when I noticed a sale sign that took me off the beaten path and landed me at a farm sale full of old galvanized buckets, tubs and pieces of an old corrugated roof. Prices at farm sales will usually be quite reasonable and you know you are getting the real deal.
Love the selection of new galvanized home decor, but not crazy about the shine? There is a simple way to bring that “aged by the passage of time” patina to your new finds. There are a number of products on the market you can use, or you can reach into the cabinet and pull down that can of Lysol cleaner! Start by sanding the surface of the item with fine sandpaper. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth, then spray with an even coat of Lysol. Set the piece to dry overnight and then wash thoroughly. This method will give your metal the appearance that it has been out in the elements for years.
For something truly unique that is ready to use in your home, visit one of Indiana’s pop-up shops or markets. Two of my favorites are The Southside Vintage Market Place (www.thesouthsidevintagemarketplace.com) and Indie Arts and Vintage Marketplace (www.indyartsvintage.com). There you will find dozens of local artisans and repurposers offering their latest metal creations. Lampshades, candle holders, wall art and one-of-a-kind sculptures are common finds, as well as furniture designs incorporating galvanized and corrugated metal.
Should art and home accents not prove sufficient to satisfy your galvanized craving there are many ways to update your home with corrugated metal. Now used as an alternative for wainscotting and dry wall on ceilings, staircases and entire walls, this flexible and durable option comes in a wide selection of finishes that work well with primitive, rustic or industrial styles. You will also find these metal sheets easy to paint so you can incorporate both color and the look of metal into your room. If you are not quite ready to do an entire room or even a wall, try a kitchen backsplash or replace the insets on your cabinets with galvanized panels.
Still not sure how to get started? Pinterest is currently listing over 1,000 ideas for every room of your home and some great spring projects for your yard and garden. Check them out at www.pinterest.com/explore/corrugated-metal. Until next time…Linda
Linda Kennett is a professional liquidation consultant specializing in down-sizing for seniors and the liquidation of estates and may be reached at 317-258-7835 or firstname.lastname@example.org