DIYdiy projects

diy project: retro cannisters

by Grace Bonney

canisters_after1.jpgderek and lauren‘s diy wednesday post is coming up at 2 today but i had to share this fantastic project sent in by d*s reader heather smith-prisco. inspired by a gorgeous set of vintage canisters she saw on modish, heather decided to make her own diy version. taking design cues from the canisters she saw online, she masked, sprayed (and sprayed some more) and then hand painted a “new” vintage set of baking supply storage. for a photo walk through with instructions, click here. thanks, heather!

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  • These canisters are gorgeous! Could Heather share what type of paint and primer to buy? I couldn’t tell from Flickr. I really would like to do this project on some beat up apple canisters that I own but I’m not sure what primer and what type of spraypaint to buy. Thanks!

  • meg – I wouldn’t usually consider messing with vintage either, but this particular style is ubiquitous among antique shops so I wasn’t all that attached to keeping them original.

    Lauren – The primer and black paint are enamel sprays from Testors – a hobby paint company. I purchased the paint, along with masking tape and a brush from http://www.hobbylinc.com/

    Because Testors didn’t have the exact shade of blue I wanted, I chose AttaBoy blue from the Disney collection (weird I know) and had it custom mixed in a high-gloss enamel from Benjamin Moore (it was then thinned and sprayed using a Preval Spray Gun Kit (at home depot).

    Black touch ups to the label area and the white letter were done by hand with Rustoleum white and black enamels (again, at HD).

    To keep the finish as smooth as possible, a very fine grit wet sanding paper was used between all coats of paint and too rough up the surface of the metal. You’ll also need pant thinner for cleaning as all the paints are oil based.

    It took about a week to complete. Make sure you have some kind of mask to help protect your lungs and keep pets away from the area at all times.

  • I have these canisters . . . what a great idea! They look lovely. I’m going to do yellow and black someday soon.

  • Those are so pretty – also one of my favorite color families. I had some old cannisters (copper), but my problem was that the sizes were smaller than today’s and so they couldn’t hold the item named on them. :( These look about the right size, though.

  • WOW – what a great idea – I have had some old canister laying around that are not in very good shap — or at least not something I would put out However reading this — I can breathe new life into them. Fantastic idea!


  • Hi,

    The link to the instructions doesn’t seem to be working anymore; it says the flickr page is private.


  • Love this idea! I generally don’t mess w. vintage items either but these are so easy to replace. I may try to paint mine black to match the rest of my kitchen. Thanks for the great idea.

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