Spray paint intended for metal is your best bet. :)
spray paint on the outside of can would work best
Use Rustoleum type paints, spray would give the best coverage with light coats with no drips or brush marks. You will probably have to give the canister a light sanding to make sure the paint adheres well.
If it were me, I would spray paint it with a paint made for metal. You can buy them at most places they sell paint. Be sure to do it outside or in a garage or someplace where you can get good air ventilation. Good luck with this Renee
Hi Renee: Your best bet, as the others have stated, is a spray paint made especially for metal. But, one hint I'd like to give you is to get a bottle, or vase or something, that is a couple inches longer than your project. Then, put paper down, the vase (I like them better than bottles because they have big bottoms and big openings and are sturdier) and place your canister upside down on top of this. This way, you can paint all around your canister by moving the paper, and, without the lip or edge of your canister getting stuck on the paper. You may even put Vaseline on the inside edge of your canister about 2" up so that the paint doesn't go inside of the canister. If it does, you can just wipe it out once the canister dries.k Good luck
That sounds easy enough but...I have a vintage canister set that I'd like to repurpose (mainly to store food items that are in packages, nothing that will actually rest against the surface of the canister) but it has some rust in places. Is there an easy way to paint them or cover them with some type of contact paper, etc. - even though there's a few rusty spots? I've seen pictures of some cute ones but no instructions on how they did it? Thanks so much! I love reading your tips and suggestions!