You know the saying? One man’s washing machine drum is another man’s retro-chic firepit? Well, close enough. While renovating their home in San Francisco, Joe and Sarah weren’t happy with all the generic-looking fire pits available at the big box stores when it came to decorating the patio – and anything cool and unique was out of their budget.
With $10 and an angle grinder, they put their newly-acquired home improvement skills to work by turning a discarded washer drum into a resort-style fire pit that put a lot of the store-bought ones to shame. It turns out that the drum is a perfect container because the small holes not only allow oxygen to flow more easily but it makes a beautiful pattern of light on the wall.
What You’ll Need
- Washing machine drum (you can pick up a used one from an appliance store for around $10)
- Angle grinder
- Wire brush, cut-off wheel and sanding disc
- Angle-stock and flat-stock steel (optional – for making feet)
- High-heat paint
- Safety glasses
Strip the drum of all its meltable components including the plastic rim and base. Grind or sand off any remaining sealer. Joe and Sarah also removed the center spindle but that’s optional.
Cutting off the metal lip that was previously covered by the plastic rim will give your pit a more polished look and erase all traces of what it did in its previous life. Smooth out sharp cuts or jagged edges with a grinder.
Finish prepping the drum by taking a wire brush to all those years of built up soap scum around the outside. If you plan on painting your drum, scuff the entire surface inside and out with sandpaper to create a fresh surface for the new paint to adhere to.
Joe fabricated some steel legs and welded them to the base so it was off the ground a bit but this isn’t necessary depending on the surface the fire pit will sit on. Spray the drum with high-heat paint in multiple light coats allowing each coat to dry until you achieve an even color. Although it’s tempting to use thick coats on such a large object, using thin coats on a contoured surface will give you a more even finish and minimize drips.
Now throw some logs and lighter fluid in it and roast those s’mores!
$10 DIY One Hour Upcycled Firepit | House & Fig