How to Re-paint an Altoids Tin




Introduction: How to Re-paint an Altoids Tin

This instructable will show you how to re-paint an Altoids-type or similar tin. Hope you enjoy, this one's going into the "Krylon Summer Projects" Contest. Let's begin, Shall we?

In the pictures, please pay no mind to the date-stamp, because my camera was a little messed up on the settings, and i had forgotten to change them before taking the pictures.  All of these pictures were actually taken on 8/5/10.

Step 1: Materials:

This instructable doesn't require much.
1.An Altoids or similar tin.
2.Paint. I'll be using Krylon spray paint.
3.Abrasives, in my case, sandpaper and steel-wool.
4.Newspaper or something to cover any surfaces you don't want to get paint on.
5. A well ventilated area: Not optional!
6.Clothing that you don't mind possibly getting paint on
7.Dust mask or respirator: highly recommended, but not required.
8.Gloves :Recommended, but again, not required.

Step 2: Preparing the Tin

For this part, if your tin has a hinged lid, carefully bend out the hinges to the point which you can remove the lid. If your tin doesn't have a hinged lid, simply remove the lid.
Next is where patience comes in, you must remove most, if not all, of the paints/coatings from the tin. This is in order for the paint to adhere properly to your tin. 
I suppose you could burn them off, however, some people have no way of safely doing that , so you folks (Myself included) can use sandpaper and steel wool in the process

Step 3: The (almost) Finished Tin

At this point, your tin should have almost all of the paint(s) and coating(s) removed. be sure to wash your hands well, in case any toxins may have gotten on your skin. I do not know if anything on these tins is harmful, but better to be safe than sorry!
It's alright if it still has some paint on it, but the less there is, the better.
You want the tin to have a slightly "scuffed" appearance, to help the paint adhere. You can use a fine grit sandpaper to do this, however, it may already look like this from removing the paint.

Step 4: Choosing a Color and Paint Type:

Not the most major step in this 'ible.
The outdoorsman might like hi-visibility orange, or camo. the tactical might like  OD green, or tan. Women, and some men, may like pink. the colors are endless.
now, depending on what is easier for you to apply, you may want to opt for brush on instead of spray. You can also get paints for an "anodized" look, and heat resistant paints.
make sure that your paint will adhere to metal.
I will be using black, semi-flat paint.

Step 5: Preparing the Tin (again)

Wipe the tin down with a damp cloth, or steel wool again, trying not to touch the tin very much. this is to remove any of the oils on the tin that may be on there from your skin. Handling the tin with gloves is a good option. Make sure it is dry.

Step 6: Painting the Tin

Please paint this in a well ventilated area, outside is good. be sure to follow all of the manufacturer's directions. Lay down your newspaper etc. over a fairly large area, being sure to cover anywhere the paint may spray. then lay your tin's parts out on the paper, and paint the outside parts of the tin, I suggest not painting the inside. Make sure your tin doesn't stick to the surface of the newspaper etc.

Step 7: Patience

Let the tin dry. Maybe go read a book, watch television, go for a walk, or go on instructables.
If you want, I guess you could watch paint dry.
Drying times may vary, follow manufacturer's directions.
Your tin may require more than one coat. If so, repeat steps 5-6 until adequately coated.

Step 8: Finished!

Re-assemble your tin once it's dry. You now have a stylish looking tin to become a geocache, a decoration, a wallet, or hold your survival kit, fishing gear, batteries, candy,  or whatever you may do with them!

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    For use as a GEOCACHE container, one suggestion: you can save a great deal of time and effort if you simply skip the stripping process outlined inStep 2andStep 3.  Instead, place the container in a low temperature outdoor wood fire (campfire, patio fireplace, etc) and allow the heat to burn the painted finish away.  This will leave a mottled, discolored finish on the tin.  Either use it just that way (great camo but will soon rust) or paint over it.  Most tin geocache containers end up rough looking in pretty short order, anyway.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Looks good, and it's a good idea. I've never been fond of leaving the tin the way it is. A couple of suggestions though. First, I would use a good primer as the first coat. The Krylon paint I used in the past will adhere to metal pretty well, but a good primer adds to it. Second, clear coating it would make the finish last longer, especially if this is going to be used in "harsher" environments. These little tins are great for all kinds of things!


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    You've got good points there. the 'ible was made in a rush, i had 2 days between getting back from BSA national Jamboree, and leaving to visit family in Ohio, so i guess my mind was elsewhere. when i get the time, i may add the step for clear-coating it. Thanks!