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Rusty Crusty Antique Milk Cans Refreshed

Around here sometimes yard junk goes to the woods to die.

You know, it's that out of sight out of mind thing.

And such is the case with some antique milk jugs I have had forever that were stashed behind the backyard garden shed where I didn't have to see their rusty crusty-ness.

I hauled them out with the intention of giving them a makeover, I just wasn't sure what sort of a makeover that would be, but it seemed a shame to leave antique milk cans rotting in the woods.

The cans were sporting spray paint in a salmon color with sun signs stenciled on in yellow, from I don't know... maybe 20 years ago.

I picked the cans up at a garage sale and I think they were used on the deck holding plants till they were decommissioned behind the shed to wait for their next makeover.

Antique Milk Can Old Sign Stencils

Under the salmon color I spied some blue that I have no recollection of ever painting on them so perhaps that was the color the previous owner used, but I fully remembered putting that little yellow sun stencil on.  I thought I was so clever.  Ha!

Antique Milk Can Old Sign Stencils

The first thing that had to be done was a good scrubbing as the cans had mud all over from their woodland home.  My husband was kind enough to do that for me.  I asked him not to cut himself on any of the rusty spots or I'd be hauling him in for a tetanus shot instead of using my time to paint.  This sort of old rusty farm type thing is exactly how a person could get lock jaw.

A light sanding took off any flaky pieces of paint that remained after the wash, then Fusion Mineral Paint and Old Sign Stencils could couple together for the makeover.

Antique Milk Can Old Sign Stencils

I chose the Fusion color Ash for the base which has the name as the exact shade - not solid black - but the color of ash.  It is one of my most used Fusion colors.

Antique Milk Can Old Sign Stencils Fusion Mineral Paint

I could have gotten away with one coat and then sanded it for a distressed look where some of the rust showed, but I opted for two coats with complete coverage.  Distressing would accentuate the dents and dings, and if I get a burst of energy that I want to devote to these old milk cans maybe I will do that.

The new gardening stencils from the Old Sign Stencil line would look great on these milk cans, but I don't have any of the garden themed ones so I picked two of my favorites, Antiques and Bakery.

But check out these cute crates made by Funky Junk Interiors showing off her new garden themed stencils.  Those crates started out as plain unfinished wood from Ikea and look at them now!

Old Sign Stencils Wood Crates Funky Junk Interiors

I've got a knock off post coming up with different Old Sign Stencils on larger wood crates that I needed to solve a big problem currently in my mudroom.  The big problem is named Abe, a shoe chewing beast.

Back to the milk cans.... the size of the Antiques and Bakery stencils fit excellent on the front of the milk cans, with the lettering from Fusion Mineral Paint in the color Brooke.

Antique Milk Can Old Sign Stencils Fusion Mineral Paint

After the stencil was removed I went back and hand shaded the main letters so they would have that 3-D look.

Antique Milk Can Old Sign Stencils Fusion Mineral Paint

When the cans were dry I hosed them down as I watered the plants on my porch, no need to worry that the Fusion paint is gonna wash off, but there is always a worry my plants will die if I don't remember to water them as soon as they need it.

Antique Milk Can Old Sign Stencils Fusion Mineral Paint

The milk cans may or may not stay on the porch.  I think they would be a nice addition to the backyard patio and would be easy to turn into little side tables for lounging, so I am considering that.

Below are stenciled and painted galvanized buckets hanging along a big otherwise empty garage wall that add a nice bit of color to the patio, and the milk cans would be ground level to add some interest to the sea of cement.

Galvanized Buckets Old Sign Stencils Fusion Mineral Paint

But for now the cans are on the newly refreshed front porch as I wait for those plants to cascade down the side of the white pots.

Antique Milk Can Old Sign Stencils Fusion Mineral Paint

Our front door recently received a new coat of Fusion paint in Bedford so my porch is looking nice and fresh this season.

There are four more old rusty antique milk cans looking at me from the woods begging for a makeover, and I've got Fusion Mineral Paint and Old Sign Stencils at the ready.

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  1. How you make rusty and crusty look so good, I'll never know!

  2. Such a transformation, Bliss...looks so good!

  3. Your milk cans turned out great. Can't wait to see the crates. Your fur baby must be enjoying himself but I am sure you want it to stop. Toss him a bone dressed as a shoe. Maybe that will do the trick.


  4. I could not love these projects more if I tried! I shall be on the lookout for short and cute milk cans because you've convinced me that they make the cutest signs EVER.

  5. Awesome porch update, and I love the color combo of the Ash and the Brooke.


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