There’s Gold In them thar…..Barrels!

I have two compost bins.  My hub made them for me.  They work great, they hold a ton and they are easy to use.  You just load them up on the top and then give them a couple of spins and all that kitchen and garden waste gets mixed up and starts to work its magic.

IMG_1082My Compost Bins

One barrel for scrapes

Scraps go in

Within two weeks I already had what looked like some good old fashioned “Black Gold”.  Perfect!!!!!

Gots me some Black Gold!

Black Gold comes out

There is one slight problem…. If you haven’t noticed they are Blue.  Big, Bright and Blue.  Now I love the color blue.  Yes  I do.  It has always been one of my favorites.  I have four boys remember, so I’ve lived with blue, everywhere. I just don’t like it in my gardens. At least not this Much of it!  I can’t hide my compost.  It sticks out like a sore thumb for all to see, the minute they enter my garden.  So what to do, what to do.


Decorate Them!!!

 I decided I would at least try to dress them up a little, but none of my clothes would fit on them (What? that’s a joke folks! Ok I’ll stick to the story).  Notice there are two identical barrels here. That can cause some confusion as to which barrel gets the scraps and which one is already full and working like the hot little momma it is.  So to fix this problem I thought I would just make a sign that tells me which one is still hungry.  Signs are super easy to make and can be done with whatever you have laying around.



What? No scrap pile? Well I suggest you get yourself one.  They are the Best!!!!

Sand it down.  We don't want sharp edges!

Sand it down. We don’t want sharp edges!

Beat it up!

Beat it up!

I know, I know.  That little piece of wood never did anything to you so why would you want to beat it?  Well it makes it look older, distressed.  It’s a great way to take out your frustrations.  Grab a hammer, chains, nails for making worm holes and just go to town.  Now it’s time to get creative.  I wanted this sign to match The Hippie Chick-Inn so I chose Barn Red for my base coat.  My lettering will be black and then the whole thing will get a white wash and stain.

I use Acrylic paint.  It's fine for this.

I use Acrylic paint. It’s fine for this.

water down your base color

water down your base color

Paint it on, no need for perfection here

Paint it on, no need for perfection here

What I do to make my lettering is very simple.  I go to our computer and just print out whatever word I want using whatever lettering I like, and adjust the font size to fit my board.  Here I used the Chalkboard font and I blew it up to #288.  It’s a good fit don’tcha think?

IMG_0694I then tape the letters in place and with a pen or sharp pencil I trace right over them leaving an impression in the wood underneath.  I suppose you could use tracing paper but I don’t have any and I never think to get some so this works for me.  Just press hard.


Can you see the letters? Well I can and you will be able to also.  That's all that matters.

Can you see the letters? Well I can and you will be able to also. That’s all that matters.

Now I grabbed my finest brush, I think it came with one of the grandkids coloring books, and just paint inside the lines!   It’s that easy.  And if you mess it up who cares?  You can always sand over it a bit to give it that rustic feeling.  It adds character!!!

IMG_0697You have to let this dry before you white wash.  It won’t take long when you work with acrylics.  Like 10 mins.  In the mean time you can mix up your white paint and water.  Lots of water because you just really want a white stain on top so your lettering can show through.

Use a sponge brush or whatever and paint on that white wash you just made

Use a sponge brush or whatever and paint on that white wash you just made

You really want this to dry well before you go onto the next step so while it is drying I thought I’d tackle that basket of socks I’ve got growing in the laundry room.  Ya know the ones that need to be matched and sorted.

Just a few socks!  All boys remember!!

Just a few socks! All boys remember!!

How nice.  Dutch came to help!!

How nice. Dutch came to help!!

Now that it is dry you can lightly sand over everything. I like to give the edges a good sanding right down to the bare wood.

Paint on  Sand Off!

Paint on Sand Off!

 Next you may want to stain it.  I made my own stain using White Vinegar and steel wool with a few coffee grounds for color.  I use it on everything.  I love the stuff.

Good stuff right here

Good stuff right here

After it’s stained and its had time to dry you can give this a nice finish with a little MinWax Paste.  I just rub it right on with a rag.  In this case I’m using a sock because I  happen to have 12 leftover with no mates.  Will somebody please tell me HOW that happens????

See how that Minwax makes it just pop!

See how that Minwax makes it just pop! No? Trust me it does.

Your sign is finished!  I want to hang mine so I looked around and this is what happened.  I thought I would just screw some Eye-Hooks into the top and string some twine through but….. I can’t find the Eye-Hooks. Hubs isn’t home and I can’t wait.  I’m impatient like that. I know we have some.  Maybe they are with the missing socks?

I took that twine I had, braided it and then just stapled it onto the back.  Works for me!

I took that twine I had, braided it and then just stapled it onto the back. Works for me!

There.  All done.  It only took me about 1 hour start to finish. Now I won’t throw my scraps into the wrong barrel and it looks kinda cute.



My compost bins are still Big and Blue but it’s a start.  Maybe I can plant some flowers around them?  I will probably paint them at some point.  But for now I think they look Happy!! 🙂


3 thoughts on “There’s Gold In them thar…..Barrels!

  1. You are too funny! But, really love your tutorial, makes this project look doable for sure! Love your compost barrels!!

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