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How to Restore Old Milk Cans

Old milk cans are readily available and look great with many different types of decor. They can be used for decoration, as small end tables, or in many other ways. If you find a dirty and dusty old milk can in an antique shop, you can bring it home and restore it in no time. It only takes a little paint and elbow grease, and you'll have a great accessory for your home. Here's how.

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  1. Sand the milk can with some fine grit sand paper to smooth away any imperfections or stubborn bits of dirt that may have accumulated over the years.

  2. Wash the milk can down with some water and a little dish soap or detergent. Make sure to clean into all of the indentations to make sure you are beginning with a totally clean surface. Allow to dry.

  3. if the can has lettering on it, observe what it says. Most milk cans have company names stamped into the side. Write down what it says so that you will be able to restore the name with paint for an authentic look once you've repainted the can.

  4. Give the milk can a fresh coat of paint. Most milk cans are silver, black or white, but you could paint it any colour you wish. Allow it to dry at least two hours, and then give it another coat of paint and allow to dry again.

  5. Using a small paint brush to follow the indentations, repaint the company or dairy name onto the milk can. Use a colour contrasting with the milk can colour so that the lettering will stand out. Allow to dry.

  6. Give the entire milk can a thin coat of varnish so that it can stand up to daily wear and stay shiny and authentic. Allow to dry 24 hours before using.

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Things You'll Need

  • Milk can
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Cloth
  • Soap
  • Water

About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.

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