Step 1: Clean the metal panel

brush off loose paint
Photo: Kristine Larsen
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Brush off loose rust and cracked paint. To protect against toxic lead, which can be released in paint dust, work outdoors and wear a respirator approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Also, pull on a pair of thick gloves so you don’t cut your hands on the sharp metal.
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    Tools List

    • hammer
      Hammer
    • mallet
      Rubber mallet
    • metal cutting snips
      Snips
    • mason's brush
      Wire brush
    • gloves
      Gloves
    • dual cartridge respirator
      Respirator

    Shopping List

    1. Vintage embossed metal ceiling panel
    (about $10 per square foot at salvage yards)

    2. ½-inch pressure-treated plywood

    3. Plastic planter insert

    4. 1 ½-inch finish nails

    5. Steel tacks