How to Refurbish Old Canisters

4 Ways to Revamp and Personalize Canisters

Enamel containers
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A fun way to freshen up old canisters is by adding a personal touch with paint, stencils, decoupage, ​or glitter. With even the simplest of supplies, you can transform used canisters into beautiful and functional storage solutions for your kitchen, bathroom, office, garage or any other room in your home.

If you’re on a budget but want to refurbish your canisters, start by looking around for any of the following supplies you may already have:

  • Paint (spray, craft, chalkboard etc)
  • Fabric
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Craft glue
  • Stencils
  • Glitter

Think of what you want to store in your canisters and where you want to display them. After you reconcile what you already have and think about how you want to put your canisters to use, refurbish them to make them your own using the following techniques.


Whether your canisters are made of metal, glass or ceramic, slapping on a new coat of paint can take an old canister from yuck to wow. You can:

  • Apply a bright, fun color to create a staple item for your kitchen or bathroom.
  • Paint designs such as chevron, stripes, or shapes. Choose colors that accentuate existing décor.
  • Cover the canister with chalkboard paint to create a universal storage container for just about anything. Use chalk to write a description of the contents or to place a name on the canister. To change the label, simply wipe off with a wet rag and write something else in chalk.

You can achieve dramatic changes with paint alone. Be as creative as you’d like—you may even want to involve the whole family.

As a note, be careful what kind of paint you use if you intend to store any kind of food items in the canister. To be on the safe side, look for non-toxic paint or refrain from painting near the inside of the canister.


Using stencils can help you create even and articulate labels or distinct, artistic designs and patterns for your canister. For easy application, look for self-adhesive stencils that you can use with paint or etching cream. Stencils can help you create personalized canisters for family members or label per the contents of the container. Pattern and design stencils, such as flowers, shapes, and animals are other popular options for decoration.


Applying fabric or colored paper is an easy and fast way to transform old canisters. You can cover your canisters with leftover pieces of fabric, scrapbook paper, tissue paper or any other decorative medium that can be easily applied with craft glue. Think of how you want to lay out and cover your canister and then measure and cut your fabric or paper. Apply the fabric or paper to the outside of the canister with craft glue. To seal your decoupage design, apply a layer of craft glue on top of the fabric or paper.

After the glue completely dries and you are happy with your design, place a label on the canister, such as a homemade label made of paper or a store-bought sticker. To add an extra sealant to the label, apply another layer of craft glue or acrylic sealant spray over the label.


A quick way to revamp old canisters is to apply glitter to the outside. This is a great idea for a child’s room or to use as holiday décor. You can paint the canister first or simply apply craft glue to the outside of the canister and sprinkle on your choice of glitter. To keep the glitter in place, apply a coat of acrylic sealant spray or a second coat of craft glue.

If using the canister to store food items, such as cookies or candy, be careful not to get the glitter inside of the canister. If you do get glitter inside of the canister, thoroughly clean it out before using or line the inside of the canister with tissue paper or fabric.