2 Great Ways to Upcycle Old Paint Cans

A couple of months ago, when I was cleaning out my workshop, I came across several cans of paint that were either dried up, virtually empty or I hadn’t used the color in 10 years. The paint that still had some life in it was taken to the ReStore but the other cans had definitely outlived their usefulness. Before I tossed them, was there anything they could be used for? So for now, the cans went back on the shelf and have been patiently waiting for me ever since. Well, it has been a couple of months and I finally had an idea…a planter. I’m so glad I’m not on a deadline, because I definitely would have been fired.
First thing I had to do was to peel off the labels from my cans of paint. Since when did a cans of paint start being made out of plastic? The black can is what I found under the label. The glue spots holding on the labels and any paint drips were easily scraped off with a razor blade.
The texture of the black can felt a little like a chalk board, which gave me a new idea. Could I write on it with chalk? Yes. Wouldn’t that be great to store kids toys? Why, yes again.
The chalk will rub right off. If you would like something a bit more permanent, paint on your lettering.
So, for the planters, I wanted a black and white striped pattern. So, first step is to tape off the stripes with painters tape then sprayed with white spray paint.
I wanted to embrace my paint cans history, so I added paint drips around the top of my cans. Purple, for the pansies I picked up at the store.
For more photos, more hints and lots more upcycling ideas I hope you get a chance to stop by.

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


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Barb
    on Jun 28, 2018

    What about the dried up paint inside the cans? How do you remove it to ensure a clean planting or play environment?

    • Barb
      on Jun 29, 2018

      Thank You ScavengerChic. I see now that you inserted a pot. I missed that and thought plants were potted in the paint can itself. Hence my concern about the paint. Thanks again. Barb

  • Lupeann N
    on Sep 21, 2019

    How did you take all the dry paint out of can, and did you just was the inside after that

    • ScavengerChic
      on Sep 22, 2019

      Once the paint was dry it just peeled off the plastic, I don't think it would be ad easy with a metal can.

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