The Second Life of a Bucket




~~~ What to do with some leftover mastic ~~~
 ~~~ From Yuck to Yay ~~~

Step 1: Nota Bene

This is an experiment.  It remains to be seen how well this material will hold up to the weather outside.  I'm hoping that a good coat of exterior grade paint should be all the protection it needs.  I won't know till next year whether this is a really great idea or not.

Step 2: The Necessaries

some leftover mastic
an ugly bucket
putty knife
4 oz of exterior grade paint (Home depot sells this in a myriad of customizable colors $3 for 8oz)
hot knife
vapour mask
plastic sheet or other surface for mess making

optional: small 3/4" square tiles

Step 3: Remove the Handle

First, remove the handle of the bucket.  You might have to wrestle with it a bit, but it will come out as shown with a little persuasion.

Step 4: Apply the Mastic Like Frosting on a Cake

Using a putty knife or other implement, apply the mastic onto the surface of the bucket.  You can get as creative as you want here, impressing stones or other objects into it - or just leaving it in an abstract impasto pattern.

My bucket had strong ridges along the top which voids I elected to fill with mastic.  Note however that if you apply too thick a layer of the stuff, it will shrink and crackle as illustrated in the photos.  If this happens, just apply a new thin layer over the top of the crackles and allow it to dry.

Step 5: Embellish to Your Liking

I opted to add a row of small square tiles along the top of this one.

Step 6: Other Ideas

Step 7: Allow to Cure

Depending on the weather and how thickly you applied the mastic, it may take a few hours to a day or more to fully harden. 

On a fine summer day like today, the thinly applied mastic was ready for paint by late afternoon.

Step 8: Paint!

Once the mastic has fully cured, apply some exterior grade paint in a color of your choosing.

This particular bucket required half of an 8 oz sample from Home Depot to fully cover it with one coat

Step 9: Make Holes in the Bottom

Wearing the vapour mask, use the hot knife to cut away a few holes in the bottom for drainage.

Step 10: Repot a Deserving Plant!

I have several sturdy survivors which have earned their right to a bigger pot.  I think they will be much happier with the extra leg room.



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    10 Discussions


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    No prob! Also, wearing gloves of course, you could just skip the putty knife altogether and just smash the mastic on the bucket using your hands, actually. That could also work with joint compound as well.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    me too I have so many of these various sturdy buckets collected - one can only use so many though really. Can't believe I didn't think of it before


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is so timely! Construction workers left a big bucket of joint compound (why not try that too) and a bunch of leftover stones from the shower floor - this is exactly what I am going to do! Will send a photo when it's done. Oh, and grout, they left buckets of grout too.

    2 replies