Janice Anderssen
Janice Anderssen
  • Hometalker
  • South Africa

Recycled Paint Can Stools


If you are doing any painting projects this year, here's a great way to recycle plastic paint containers into comfortable stools. I made stools for outdoors, but you can make them for any room and particularly for a child's bedroom or playroom. Pop some comfortable cushions to fit into the top of the plastic containers and you have instant seating. When not in use you can take the cushions indoors. Or spray them with Rust-Oleum Never Wet Fabric Spray.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
All you need to make these comfortable stools are some empty plastic paint containers. I recently touched up my home exterior and also painted paving, the latter to feature soon on the website. so had a couple of containers on hand.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
1. Before you start, cut off the handles as neatly as possible. I used my Dremel MultiTool and cutting disk to cut off the handles.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
2. For the spray paint to adhere properly to the plastic containers you need to apply a tough all-purpose primer like Zinsser Bulls Eye. This primer is excellent as a primer for most surfaces. Follow the instructions on the can to ensure proper application.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
3. After allowing the specified drying time you can start applying the Rust-Oleum 2X in your choice of colour. I used satin Lagoon to tie in with the fabric colour for the cushions.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
4. For the cushions I used a template the same size as the lid (270mm). I marked the shape onto a 70mm thick piece of medium-density foam.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
5. A serrated-edge knife is great for cutting foam, especially curved pieces. Remove as much of the excess foam as you can and then cut the detailed curves.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
6. With the foam circles cut out you can then cut the fabric. You need 4 circles that are 40mm larger than the foam, and 2 strips for the sides that are about 40mm longer than the actual perimeter of each piece of foam.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
7. I used sprayable adhesive (sprayed onto the foam and fabric) to secure the top and bottom pieces of fabric onto the foam.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
GOOD TO KNOW: Snip the edges of the excess fabric and fold these over the edge as shown.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
GOOD TO KNOW: I left everything overnight, but for good measure added some masking tape around the sides to make sure that the fabric stuck down.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
8. With the top and bottom glued down, I folded over the sides and edges and sewed these onto the foam circles. My sewing skills are not excellent, but I did manage to do a decent running stitch.
recycled paint can stools, crafts, outdoor furniture, repurposing upcycling, storage ideas
Rather than toss out these plastic paint bins, giving them a coat or two of Rust-Oleum 2X spray paint is an easy way to turn them into fun seating for indoors or outdoors.

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Janice Anderssen

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Bobbi Jones
    on Dec 11, 2016

    What keeps the cushion from falling in when u sit on it?

    • Teresa B. Boggs
      on Aug 4, 2017

      I made something similar but covered the lid with a couple of layers of batting and then a piece of decorative fabric. You can sit on it and then remove the lid and have extra storage. I even used extra fabric to make a skirt to go around the outside that coordinates with the lid.

Join the conversation

2 of 38 comments
  • Phy4831314
    on Aug 27, 2017

    These are the greatest, what a nice job, love the color , nice and bright.
    They would be great for around the pool too.
  • Peggy Gnatkowski Leach
    on Mar 30, 2019

    Love how you made the cushions. Thanks for sharing . I am going to try this and make for christmas for my granddaughters it will be great for storage in there bedrooms for all the little things.

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