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Upcycle A Coffee Can: Painted Vase For Spring Flowers

Upcycle a coffee can into a pretty vase to display Spring flowers. Paint just part of the can so you have a two-tone finish. That makes it special.

metal coffee can recycle project

The JTS and I drink coffee every morning and we have a lot of recycled coffee cans in the workshop. This coffee can held a stash of furniture knobs. It’s moving on to bigger and better things.

brushing on paint with chalk brush

I applied the paint using a small chalk paintbrush.

first coat of paint

The paint covered really well with one coat but I applied a second coat just for fun. The second coat was really just to cover areas I didn’t cover completely the first time. Those ripples in the can are not as easy to cover as a flat surface.

Folkart Chalk Paint color Mustard

The paint I chose for the project is FolkArt® Home Decor Chalk Paint (find here on Amazon), color Mustard. The paint adheres to all sorts of things including metal and I don’t have to rough up (sand) or prime my project piece. The paint has a flat matte finish which makes it easy to distress, wax, layer, etc. No messy cleanup either because the paint is water-based.

The first coat of paint dried in less than an hour. The instructions recommend two hours of dry time before applying a second coat of paint. You guys know I have no patience.

FolkArt Home Decor White Wax

To achieve a soft dreamy finish I applied FolkArt® Home Decor Wax, color white.

brush on white wax

The wax is simple to use. Just brush it on….

wipe wax off with soft rag

….and wipe it off. Wipe the wax back with a soft lint-free cloth leaving some of the wax in the details. Once it dries take a clean lint-free cloth and shine it up. The wax gives the matte chalk paint just a bit of sheen, not too shiny.

coffee can flower vase painted yellow and waxed with white

I like how the white wax softens the paint color. Just the look I was going for.

recycle a coffee can and make a pretty flower vase using paint and white wax

I filled the now glam coffee can with faux flower stems from my stash. I don’t buy new stuff if I have good junk stuff to work with.

Upcycled Coffee can flower vase idea
Upcycled Coffee can flower vase idea

The new flower vase is sitting on a silver-plated serving tray (junk treasure) on our dining room table. The pretty vase with flowers brings a smile to my face every time I walk by the table.

make a flower vase from a recycled coffee can
Make a flower vase from a recycled coffee can.

Leave a note if you have time telling me what you think of the project. As always, thanks for being here, Kathy

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Love the coffee can! Reminds me of “Decoration Day” at the cemetery when I was a child. Mom and Granny would save the coffee cans, cover them in aluminum foil, and place fresh flowers in them. Arrangements were made for all the kinfolk. I don’t remember if the hydrangeas were blooming at that point (it has been 60 years!), but I saw an awful lot of peonies go into the cans. Thanks for awakening that wonderful memory of long ago. Your posts always inspire!

  2. It is difficult to find metal coffee cans, I liked the idea, but would have liked another color on the top half for contrast, I am however happy to find out about Folk-art chalk paint.