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A Minty Makeover for my Vintage Can

On my blogiversary, even though I could have laid low and said, “Oh, that project? You, uh, must have missed the reveal but don’t look for it,” I outed myself for letting some ideas and projects fizzle.  Although the antique chair makeover was a decade in the making, in the summer I made it my mission to wrap up as many DIY lose ends as I could (go me!), among them the garbage can makeover that had gone nowhere.  My Mom had originally bought the can at a yard sale (maybe seven years ago?), intending to decoupage it but she never got around to it, so I think I come by this procrastination honestly.  Or maybe the can doesn’t want to be made-over??  Spooky.  This should have been my Halloween post!

The (cursed) metal can was cute, but rusty and clashed with the office.

I got a little creative with the finish.  I wanted to get the same feathered effect on this vintage planter (that is shop bound when we re-open – you should see the goodies I have been stockpiling):

I started with an all purpose primer, which I sprayed on.  But even though it’s good for metal and wicker and all that jazz, some rust peeked through (the curse!).  Unwilling to let this project drag on any longer, I brushed on some leftover metal primer and then it was all good.  Next came some leftover minty paint, which I also brushed on.  I wish I’d sprayed the base colour, but I hate random cans of paint hanging around.

To get the vintage-y look, I lightly misted the top edge with some, you guessed it, leftover silver spray paint.  I sprayed pretty close to the can at the top edge, spraying in a circle around the can, and moving the spray can further away when I wanted the more feathered look.

I thought it was a perfect way to use up that teeny, tiny bit of paint leftover because it wouldn’t be a crying shame if it ran out mid-task.  In the end, there really was hardly any paint left in the can, so it isn’t quite the thick, perfectly feathered band I had hoped for (are you believing the curse yet?).  The feathering out of the paint turned out pretty, but a little uneven. 

I would definitely try to achieve this look again, though!  Overall I’m happy, because the can looks minty fun and suits the styling of the hacked Expedit.  I like how the silvery paint picks up the sheen of the silk curtains in the office and makes the can blend into that corner a little more.  I don’t really want to make my garbage a focal point but a boring can is no fun either.

This makeover has got me motivated to experiment a little more with paint.  No more one colour makeovers (well, probably still lots more of those).  But now I want to figure out how to mimic the glaze on these vintage planters I thrifted . . .

. . . and these Shane Norrie pottery pieces of mine.

Have you experimented at all with paint?  I feel a little dizzy with ideas.  Or maybe I’m dizzy because I’ve been staying up too late reading the highly addictive novel Juliet (that may or may not be feeding my curse theory). 



  1. erica | wicked bride
    December 4, 2012 / 1:57 pm

    This is good inspiration – I've been looking for a new trashcan for my studio, but the ones I'm finding are all so ugly. I'll have to lookout for one that has a good shape and just spray it!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 4, 2012 / 5:17 pm

      Just try to keep the project timeline under five years or so and you'll have me beat!! Trashcans are uninspiring. I actually have a large white ceramic vase I use in the bedroom in lieu of one – it was only $9.99 at HomeSense (like Home Goods for you). So maybe try that?

  2. Dana@Mid2Mod
    December 4, 2012 / 7:46 pm

    That technique might look really awesome on an office-style mesh trash can too.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 4, 2012 / 9:21 pm

      Oooo, good idea!! I thought you might like this, because the effect looks very vintage. Hopefully next time I can perfect it 😉

  3. Louize
    December 4, 2012 / 8:27 pm

    great makeover, it looks really lovely… I still need to learn so much about spray painting – I just finished making over a table I had been carrying around Europe for over a decade (, so 7 years seems a pretty fast turn around time to me 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 4, 2012 / 9:22 pm

      Thanks!! I have many spray painting projects in the DIY archives, under my head at the top, with tips and such. The best way is to read the can (the instructions really vary), pick a non-windy day and just go for it!! I'm clicking over to see this long-awaited makeover right now (I can't wait!)

  4. CaseyinTO
    December 4, 2012 / 8:45 pm

    Looks lovely! And dont feel bad about not finishing your DIYs- Ive been talking about a bathroom reno for 4 or 5 months and all Ive done is take down a towel bar!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 4, 2012 / 9:24 pm

      Thanks!! Last year I put "basement reno" on my 2012 to do list. We painted some walls, got started on the laundry room and finished(ish) one small corner. Guess what's going on my 2013 to list, lol?? Yup – "basement reno"! I think we are all just busy. But eventually it will get done! Good luck with your bathroom reno 🙂

  5. My Crafty Home Life
    December 4, 2012 / 11:18 pm

    I will paint anything no nailed down…ok, I'll paint that too. I just read your comment above this one. I didn't finish my 2012 list, either.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 5, 2012 / 8:56 am

      Haha! I love that comment. You made me laugh 🙂 And I am secretly happy to hear that other folks didn't cross everything off their 2012 list! So thanks 😉

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