Older finds (Part 4)

A Shell oil barrel from the early 1960s being used as a flower urn


This is another online auction find from a couple of years ago.

I put a bid on this and ended up winning it, I was surprised as it was a last-minute bid and I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it.

It’s a Shell oil barrel from about 1960.  Spirax EP (Extreme Pressure) is some sort of pneumatic oil for farm equipment.


Someone had tried to touch up the paint on the barrel at some point, and while I Was cleaning it out, I washed it off since it apparently was a latex paint.  Anyway, I like it a bit more untouched.

Inside it was pretty rusty, and I’ve cleaned it out thoroughly and used some rust remover and rust inhibitor inside to try and protect the interior.  It’s a nice thick gauge metal so I’m not worried about rusting through, but it has cleaned up OK.

We happened to have a plastic planter that fits nearly perfectly inside the barrel; I am working on maybe either drilling some small drainage holes in the bottom and using a bit of waterproof caulking on the top lip to try and make it as water-resistant as possible.  For now I just have some rocks in the bottom and periodically open it up to check if there is standing water inside.

This year we bought some red and yellow begonias to pick up on the colours of the barrel.  This is right near the front of our house:



It may get repurposed into a trash can on the back deck, when that gets built.

What’d it cost: $6 and a drive to Nanticoke, and $10 on rust cleaning/inhibiting chemicals

What’d it take: 30 minutes of cleaning and prep

What’s it used for: Holding flowers during the warm weather

~ Ryan

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