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Friday, October 21, 2011


Another new trend in home use and decoration is any vintage galvanized item.
Most sheet metal galvanized pieces were produced for practical commercial uses, mainly because of its durability and flexibility. Later it was also found as useful for home uses such as buckets,farm equipment,and of course watering cans.

I was a fan long before it became a trend again. I always saw a glow and warmth in the metal after applying paste wax and buffing. If you have not tried that I highly recommend.

Here is some brief history;
Since its conception in the early 1900's, galvanized metal has offered a durability other steels and metals do not, a durability that lasts for decades.
Galvanized metal was named after the Italian scientist, Luigi Galvani. In 1783 he had a dissected frog on the same table he was using while conducting an experiment on static electricity. When he touched the sciatic nerve of the dead frog with his metal scalpel, the frog's leg moved. He called it "animal electricity," but his fellow scientists referred to it as galvanizing. It was in 1923 that the first piece of galvanized metal was used by the Baldwin brothers. They constructed the Gleaner Combine Harvester, the first harvester to be self-propelled. It was also the first time galvanized metal was used in construction.

It has been shown that galvanized metal can be recycled and re-used, even after sixty years or more of prior use.

Galvanized metal goes through a processing which involves a piece of steel or metal being submerged in melted zinc. It is during this process of galvanizing that the zinc chemically reacts to the molecules in the metal, permanently bonding it to the metal. The zinc provides protection against rust and corrosion that the natural elements. Galvanized metal comes in many forms: Sheet metal examples are what are shown in photos and being used in homes as decor today.

Galvanized metal can be painted, but it requires a primer made especially for it. You need to be sure that the surface of the metal is free of alkaline build-up and then add the metal primer. You can then paint it with latex paint. Any oil or alkyd based paints should not be used; they do not mix well with the chemicals found in galvanized metal. Also, any product containing galvanized metal should not be used for any form of food preparation or storage. The acids found in food could dissolve in the zinc, making the person eating the food extremely ill.

Folks are now seeing both practical uses and decorating properties. These items look great mixed with a country,modern,or architectural home decor style.


  1. Would you look at that? Galvanized steel is definitely a useful item for our daily living, and not only that, it is durable enough to last for a lifetime. So if you have chairs and tables that were galvanized, you don't need to replace them as long as you want to use it. That being said, it'll save you more money in the long run.

    Carl Patten

    1. Thanks for sharing Carl and you are right!