Inherited Old Oil Can

A Slick Resto

Guess I'm feeling a bit punny (dad joke)!  Okay, let's face it - there's really nothing exciting about an oil can.  I mean, there are all kinds of these cans, pumpers with rigid or flexible spouts, oil cans that pour, spring bottom oil cans, and oil cans that I have no idea as to what they're called.  Nonetheless, there's really nothing exciting about them.  But sometimes, they get a moment in the sun - and this is one of those moments.

A Bit of Back Story

You'd think there wouldn't be much to say about a simple oil can, and really - you'd be right.  But this can is a little special in that it was an inheritance from the Moshers, who were the original owners of 173.  If you've ever bought a previously loved house, you likely found that the former owners left a few things behind.  That was the case here at 173.  There weren't a lot of things left behind, but there were a few - some of which have been incorporated in the current iteration of this home.  Items like this little chair...

At first that chair sat in the basement for a couple years.  It was yellow with orange accents, and there really wasn't a place for it.  Then with the porch remodels, it found a spot next to the porch door.  At first I had it painted red, but with the most recent remodel I changed it up to white and green.  And here's an understated little artifact that was left behind, but remains a treasured piece...

See that old catcher's mask? I was a catcher back in the day, so it just kinda wriggled its way into my heart.  Come to think of it, that hook was inherited too.  I know that because I have never bought one, and I put it on the ol' rustic book case when I built it.  I have a few more of them in the shop.  Anyway, here's my goofy proof of being a catcher:

That goofy kid wearing the tools of ignoranceMoi.  And that's dad in the back!  Anyway - I said all that to say, this old oil can was inherited from the Moshers too!

A few of my favorite Mosher-related posts:
173's First Christmas Mantel (Maybe) - December, 2017
∙ June, 2011 - $5 Potting Bench
Made at 173: Rustic Book Case - June, 2013
∙ June, 2013 - The Plant Stand
You might also like:  The Megaposts!

Cleaning Up

Having been an oil can for who knows how many decades, the oil can was, well, oily.  So before it could be restored, it really needed to be cleaned up.  I thought for awhile about the best way to clean it up (have I ever mentioned I have a tendency to overthink?).

Then it dawned on me - when there's those tragic oil spills, they clean the birds who got mixed up in all that petroleum with Dawn Dishwashing Liquid.  

As you can see by the water, it worked like a charm.  While the parts look a bit oily still, they weren't - it was just staining, which was simple enough to deal with using the wire wheel and sandpaper...

I considered polishing this up to a shiny oil can, but after a couple hours of sanding at various grits, it dawned on me that I simply didn't have the skill set for that - yet.  

Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil. - J. Paul Getty

Decision:  Paint

As much as I've never really been fond of painting, I seem to have been doing a lot of it lately.  In our last post I even kiddingly mentioned that Cherry Red was my signature color.  I say kiddingly because even though I've sprayed a few snips in this color, it was really just a matter of fate.

With a small crate full of spray paints, when I first chose a color for the Red Devil snips, the color seemed predestined.  It turned out that the Krylon Cherry Red was not only red, the spray can worked!  Somehow, that's just how things work out!

Well, the decision was made to paint the oil can and the time had come to choose a color.  Being a fan of yellow I strongly considered getting a can of some honey-colored paint.  But I struggled with yet another can of spray paint lying around.  And that - when I had a perfectly good can (or twenty) of paint already here at 173.  On top of that, I like the challenge of doing projects with little or no cost.  After way overthinking this for a few days, I found peace when I decided to go with Cherry Red.

Prepping the Can

But before I could get to painting, there was still some prep to do.  There were a number of tiny dings in the can, and of course that just wouldn't do.  So I got some Bondo body filler and went at it...

Of course, when you do that plenty of sanding follows.  In the end though, the old can just looked like it had a case of measles (or maybe small pox?).  

After the sanding and taping, a couple coats of primer with sanding in between coats, had the oil can looking a little different!

Here's a fun little picture, after taping the cap, I plugged the spout with tooth picks to keep paint from lining the spout - worked like a charm!

Time to Paint

The decision made and the prep work all done, it was time to paint!  As much as I don't like painting, I'm starting to like spray's over so quick!  Here's the first of three coats:

I sanded between each coat, I think with 2,000 grit.  And in what seemed like absolutely no time the painting was done!  I had polished the cap, but I wanted the spout to be the color of the can, I think it was a good decision!

The Beauty Shots

I crack me up!  A silly little oil can, but I was so tickled with it!  In fact, tickled enough that I posed the can - I'll spare you most of the pictures, but I can't resist the goofiness of showing a couple.  This one - randomly posed on the garden bench, which requires absolutely no oiling...

And on the shed's window sill.  While the shed clearly needs no oiling, at least there are things in the shed that do need an occasional drop or two!

Of course its new home is on the workbench, filled with some good ol' Valvoline just waiting for opportunities to lubricate - something!

And finally, a before and after!

And with that, the old, inherited spring bottom oil can at 173 looks brand new again!

Thanks for visiting!
Next Post Previous Post