How to Restore a Wheelbarrow

Has your old wheelbarrow seen better days? Restoring an old wheelbarrow is easier than you think. Follow these steps to the fountain of youth.
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Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Photo By: Photo by Mark Wolfe

Restore Your Wheelbarrow to Good as New

What is the wheelbarrow’s current condition? If it’s not rusted through, you are in luck! You can restore it to near new condition. 

Supplies Needed

You will need: rust preventative spray paint, boiled linseed oil, sandpaper (coarse grit and medium grit), axle grease, steel brush, socket set and or wrenches. If needed, purchase replacement handles, wheel or bolts from the local home improvement store. If you want to upgrade to a flat-free tire, now is the time.

Brush Off Debris

Thoroughly clean the tray to prepare it for paint. Remove loose rust with a steel brush. Wipe off any residue or dust with a damp rag.

Disassemble

Disassemble the old wheelbarrow.

Paint

Paint the tray inside and out, and all other metal parts (except nuts and bolts). Apply at least two coats of paint.

Sand the Handles

Sand the handles and, if they’re wooden, the risers (wedges) with the coarse grit sandpaper to remove splinters and rough spots. Sand the handle grips again with medium grit sandpaper to get a finer finish. Wipe off dust with a damp rag to prepare for oil application.

Sand the Handles

Sand the handles and, if they’re wooden, the risers (wedges) with the coarse grit sandpaper to remove splinters and rough spots. Sand the handle grips again with medium grit sandpaper to get a finer finish. Wipe off dust with a damp rag to prepare for oil application.

Inspect and Clean the Bolts

 If bolts are rusted, apply penetrating lubricant and let it stand for a few minutes or so before attempting to remove.

Grease the Axle

If there is a grease fitting on the wheel, attach a grease gun and pump grease into the bearings. If there is no fitting, lubricate the axle directly.

Grease the Bearings

If there is a grease fitting on the wheel, attach a grease gun and pump grease into the bearings. If there is no fitting, lubricate the axle directly.

Grease the Bolts

When reassembling the wheelbarrow, apply a small amount of grease on the bolts to ease assembly and minimize corrosion for future maintenance.

Reassemble the Wheelbarrow

After the paint is dry and oil has absorbed into the wood, reassemble the wheelbarrow.

Good As New

Store the wheelbarrow out of the elements when not in use to maximize its life.