Faux Enamelware Milk Pail Makeover

Enamelware pitchers, pots, pails and other cooking utensils have been around since the mid-1700s. Demand for an enamel or porcelain coating for pots, pans and utensils to prevent rust led to enamel-lined metal cookware first in Germany and then Scandinavia. Popular colors were cream and white originally with navy blue, black or green trim.

Their popularity grew and eventually spread to the United States by the mid-1800s where enamelware was mass-produced up through the early 1930s when other cookware choices including aluminum, stainless steel, Pyrex and plastic caused enamel to lose popularity.  Read more on the history of enamelware HERE.

I have seen some really neat retro and vintage enamelware milk pails on pinterest, so when I found this sad-looking pail in our barn, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it.

I don't know anything about the pail's history, but would love if someone could enlighten me. Here's what it says on the bottom:

First, of course, I needed to wash it off and bang out the dents with a rubber mallet.

I found some primer and white spray paint in the garage and gave the outside and handle a coat of each. I used Valspar All Purpose Primer and Valspar Outdoor Color

Then I set the pail to dry completely.

Now for the fun part.  Using Word, I found a font I liked and printed out the text I was going to paint on the pail, sizing it to fit the front of the pail.

For curved text, I cut out each word individually and then snipped in between each letter, leaving them all connected at the bottom. 

Then I just arced the text, folding the paper at the bottom to hold the letters in the arc-shape.

I placed the words where they will go on the bucket and made a pencil mark at each corner of each word on the pail...

cut a piece of carbon paper the size of each word...

then lined up each word with the pencil marks, outlined the letters and transferred them to the pail.

Then, using a small paintbrust, I painted the text. I used a black indoor/outdoor acrylic paint for the letters and also the rim of the pail.  I spray painted the handle with black outdoor spray paint. 

I left the inside untouched, unlike traditional enamelware which sometimes was enamelled ONLY on the inside.

 A light coat of clear polyurethane and my milk pail turned egg pail was done! 

I'm pretty happy with the results...and you just can't beat a project that doesn't cost you a penny!

Ooops...I forgot to show you the back!

Another easy, inexpensive DIY makeover brought to you by Fresh Eggs Daily.

Because life is just better with Chickens...and Ducks!

I would love for you to follow me here...


  1. You've outdone yourself this week, Lisa!

  2. I love this idea, I have a steel pail I might try this with! My chickens arent laying eggs yet..... cant wait til they do!

  3. Really nice! I love this idea!

  4. Yikes! (previous post)

    I love what you've done with your bucket! I might have to try something similar (when I have the time). Thanks for the info :-)

  5. I love your egg bucket! Decorated in true Farm Girl fashion, making do, creatively!
    Thanks for sharing to projects--I am going to keep my eyes open to fashion for myself!

  6. Oh how cute!! Love the Country Farm look you gave it!

    I have a pretty green bucket that I painted the inside black and have been trying to decide what kind of design to put on it, this could fit what I had in mind! Love the chicken on the back too - nice touch!

  7. Great job! Thanks for joining Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)

  8. This is such a awesome idea. I love old enamelware, and have a small collection of it. This is a great tip to make my own. Thanks for sharing. ;o)

  9. CUTE! I love the whole rustic look of the letters, too! :)

  10. Too cute! Love it! Thanks for linkin up!

  11. What a great idea! Thanks for linking up to my first ever linky party! Val @ Home Made Modern

    1. Hi Val. I have been wanting to do a linky of my own, but haven't worked up the nerve - what if NO ONE links up! SO I applaud you! I will try and remember to visit each week. Lisa

  12. It came out wonderfully!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  13. Hi there. I'm Hanna! Found you on the bacon link up!!! BEAUTIFUL, lovely, wonderful inspiration here adn I love your blog too. New follower!!!!!

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! You can find me anytime at www.bouffebambini.blogspot.com