Sunday, July 14, 2013

New Life for an Old Wagon

Like a startling number of things, it started with a pin: this one that came from an apartment therapy post. I told a few people to keep their eyes out for an old metal wagon I could have. My mom said, "You mean like the one back in the garage?"

Um, yes. Like that one.

Someone, my dad, probably, had painted it black at some point. I took a wire brush to it and was amused to see how much red paint was still under there. There was a lot of rust. This turned out to be a good thing. I was experiencing some guilt over taking a metal wagon and turning it into something other than Child Transport. I expressed these misgivings to a friend who said, "Honey, that thing is horrible. Nobody's going to want to put a baby in that. They'd need a tetanus shot."

Fair point.

Andrew helped me take off the wheels.

After running over everything with a wire brush to get the worst of the rust off, I started spray painting.

Let me take a moment to say that spray painting is like brush painting as motor oil is like chocolate. The learning curve is steep, and I'm not sure I did all that well. It was really tricky to cover.

A friend already owned metallic silver spray paint, so I used that on top of the red rustoleum I used on the wheels and handle. The tires required careful taping, but I ended up getting paint on them anyway.

There was much discussion about how best to treat the inside of the wagon. I planned to use it for plants, which meant that the wagon was going to get wet. I wanted to put off rust for as long as I could. Line it with plastic? Some special truck bed lining paint? Holes drilled to let water out?

The simplest solution was to spray paint an existing window box and plunk it in the wagon. I think it worked well, and it should help keep the wagon from rusting again due to water.

I filled it with impatiens. I know, I've been known to call impatiens "those horrible prissy flowers whose time has run out now that vincas exist." Still, there aren't very many good options for a full shade location. Here's hoping they impress me... and I remember that they need watered really frequently.

This was a pretty quick project. I didn't start until Friday after work, and everything was done by Saturday night, including all the drying time. I'm really happy with it!


  1. Oh my goodness gracious me, that is so adorable I can hardly stand it! Good job, you. A lot of work/elbow grease, and a great payoff!

  2. That is one happy wagon!