Recently I bought an Olive Basket from Walmart… yes, Walmart!

Actually, I bought 2. They were only $9.88… a steal considering the real deal can cost well over $100.00.

The Walmart olive basket really is a great substitute, but it did not have the same “aged appeal” as authentic ones.

Not to worry… I have an easy-peasy DIY for aging galvanized metal.

Here’s how the olive basket looked before…

Very nice and sturdy and well made… but way too shiny!

And here is how the olive basket looks now…

It really looks old!

Here’s a simple way to make new metal, like galvanized metal, look old and have lots of crusty character!

Galvanized metal is usually zink or iron with a coating of steal sealed over it to prevent it from rusting.

To make a piece of galvanized metal look old and rusty and chippy and have a wonderful patina takes years of outdoor wear. Here’s a way to speed the natural process of the steal coating wearing off.

StoneGable’s Aging Galvanized DIY
toilet bowl cleaner
steel wool
a safe place to apply the toilet bowl cleaner outdoors
rubber gloves

* put on rubber gloves before you begin!

1. Put a new galvanized olive basket in a tub. We used a tub we mix cement in that held both of the basket easily.

2. I used Lysol toilet bowl cleaner. I looked for Zep Acid Toilet Bowl Cleaner, which is my corrosion agent of choice, but 4 local stores I went to were out of it!

Lysol worked pretty good… it just took a little longer.

3. Squirt the toilet bowl cleaner LIBERALLY all over the olive basket and scrub it in with the steel wool.

4. Let it sit for 30 minutes. It will start to darken and corrode. If it needs more time let it sit longer!

5. When you are happy with the finish, rinse thoroughly inside the tub. We disposed of the toilet bowl cleaner water down our septic system. Let the olive basket air dry!

This process can be repeated if you want it to be more rusty and crusty!

Each of the galvanized pieces I have “aged” this way have all turned out a little different.

The first piece I ever did was a big tub to put our Christmas tree in.

Here’s how that turned out…

Very different… it had a really pleasing white finish… very realistic!

I plan to leave the olive baskets out on a couple of rainy days… I bet I’ll get some great rust!

To get all the Walmart Olive Basket info click HERE.

I can’t wait to show you what I am aging next!!!!

Remember to


I’m partying with…



  1. says

    Love this Yvonne! I got some buckets with mums in them from Walmart last fall. They’re finally starting to develop a bit of patina, but I’m happy to know how to speed up the process :)

  2. says

    What a great idea! I love how the aged look turned out. Who would have ever thought toilet bowl cleaner would have worked & it’s so simple!

  3. says

    Great tutorial–I tried this recently and the results weren’t as good as yours, but I didn’t use steel wool. So I’m gonna try again. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  4. says

    Your original how to age galvanized metal post was how I originally found you a few years ago! And, I used your technique successfully to age a tin bucket I had. I’ve been following along ever since! I just checked my closest Walmart for the olive buckets and they are currently out, but I’ll keep checking!

  5. says

    Toilet bowl cleaner — brilliant. I’ve never seen that ZEP brand, but I’ll be on the lookout. Amy Howard at Home also sells some zinc aging solution that I’ve used with some success to add patina to newer metals.

  6. says

    Whooo Hooo! I just bought one of these, I have been looking forever to find one that I could afford! Thanks to your tip now I own my very own one! Well I will as soon as it comes in the mail. :) I am going to try using your DIY patina method! So excited I now (almost) own my very own antique-ish (shhh don’t tell) Olive bucket! Ooh la la

  7. Nancy says

    Thank you for the hint. I love all things rustic. I am , however, aging easier than the olive bucket. No scrubbing needed!

  8. says

    I cerate a lots of unique artwork.. I would love to get into more “rust” related art… I would love to make new galvanized buckets look old and beat up and weathered …. I don’t like the toilet cleaner look.. Is there any more severe look..

    Thanks.. Tony

    • says

      Great question Stacey,
      I did not seal it and so far so good. I do not rub it or have it in a high wear areas. Actually, I had it outside all winter and it even looks better!

  9. Pamela says

    That is such a cool tip, I love it. Can’t wait to try it. Your olive buckets look really great. Thanks.
    Have a Blessed day

  10. Tricia says

    I tried looking for them on line at Walmart. Com and couldn’t find them. Does anyone have the exact name or the number so I could order some. My Walmart is small and doesn’t carry much.
    Thanks !

  11. Kelly says

    I have 2 old milk cans that are painted and I want them rustic with no paint left on them. What should I do? Appreciate any help!

  12. Heather Haddad says

    My tubs for my daughter’s wedding are sitting outside as I write with toilet bowl cleaner all over them. Do you need to really scrub hard or just lather them all over and let sit for 30 minutes?

  13. says

    i just found this on Pinterest Yvonne! This is fabulous!!! I saw these buckets recently at target, but didn’t buy them because of their “new” look:( Great tutorial! Thank you!!!!

  14. Kristen says

    Just used your method to age a hog pan to use as a cake stand. Thanks! A suggestion for Kelly for a simple way to remove paint from a milk can is oven cleaner. Spray on the can let it sit for about 30 minutes then spray off. This works especially well for detailed metal..

    Thanks for sharing your talent!

  15. Deb says

    I want to put sheet 45″X10′ of galvanized metal on my farmhouse bathroom wall and the 12′ above the shower wall. Do you have a suggestion how I should spread the cleaner around on it to get a nice somewhat aged/rusty look? Guess I should take it off one of the barns but I want the flat sheet look not bumpy. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *