Quarantine, am I right?

I’m sure a lot of other people are in the same situation: stuck at home, with little/nothing to do. Of course, I’m working on a few projects with all this time, but the days get repetitive. Lately, I’ve been watching car restoration videos (I’m into car customization). Of course, I don’t have a modded Nissan GTR to work with, and the closest thing I’ve done to restoration is dusting off my collectables. Then it hit me: why not restore the wheelbarrow? It was full of rust, and it’s close enough to a car for me to pretend that I’m a mechanic.

Let me introduce you to the ‘barrow: (also, can I make “ ‘barrow ” a trend?)

This is what I worked with, and at times, it was a tedious job. I began by watching a few tutorials, ranging in quality and use of equipment, which was helpful. After watching, I learned exactly what to do.

The first task I had to do was to buff both sides of the body and supports to eliminate rust. This is so that when I eventually spray painted it, the coat would be more even and would last longer. To do this, I used a drill with a bit that could hold cloth grinding discs or sandpaper discs.

Initially, my plan was to use the sandpaper disc to grind the entire body down to the bare metal, but this proved to be way too time-consuming. I settled for the cloth grinding discs, which were way more efficient. For the excessively rusty parts, I used sandpaper. The cloth grinding discs worked better for the outside than the inside, since there was less rust. If I had the proper tools, I would have done the job more effectively, but I was content enough with the result. Let’s face it, I’m not exactly Mr. Clean.

The next step I took was to remove the supports/stands off of the ‘barrow.

Halfway through the stripping process

I did this so that I could spray paint each part more effectively, with less risk of getting paint on the wheel or handles.

Finally, it was time to spray paint. 🎨

I chose the colour green because it is my favourite colour, and my dad and I agree that it looks good on a wheelbarrow. I started by spray painting the outside of the body since it was an easy surface. Once I got the hang of it, I moved on to the supports.

In case anyone was wondering, this was the brand of spray paint I used was Premier Gloss Spray Paint (Meadow Green). Since it’s primer and paint in one, the entire process was easier.

Unfortunately, after taking off the supports, I found out that one of the handles had split and was only being held by a bolt. With the limited materials I had, this was my fix:

Nothing that a little duct tape and wood glue can’t fix, right?

Next, I decided to paint the handles black. I got a can of paint from Canadian Tire and three different sized brushes: One for large areas, and two smaller ones for more detailed painting.

I was able to paint pretty easily, and the handles imperfections were mostly covered.

Then, rather than buying a new tire, I decided to paint the rim to give it an upgrade. The tire was pretty worn, but they don’t make them like they used to, so I kept it on. I used masking tape to prevent spray paint from getting on to the tire.

The black line of tape is there for me to know where I can peel the tape off in one piece so that I could use it for the other side. The painted rim looked exactly as I pictured it:


Lastly, I spray painted the inside of the body. It was a bit rough because of all the rust, but the final result looked good to me.

In retrospect, I could have taken more steps to make the final result look better (remove rust from screws and bolts, reshape the body, get a new wheel, etc.), but I didn’t want to risk taking apart the wheelbarrow and then not being able to put it back together. This was the first time I did something like this, and I enjoyed it. If you have any questions or suggestions for the next project, feel free to comment.

Student | TKS Alumni