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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.

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