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Milk Can Repurposed into a Table or Planter

This project is a great way to repurpose those family milk cans that are usually in your garage or in the corner collecting dust.


  • Milk Can

  • Tile, Rocks, or other material –
    from a hobby or home repair store

  • Liquid Nails

  • Caulk Gun

  • Plastic Gloves

  • Grout – I get the moisture resistant used for showers if the can is to go outside.

  • Pail for water

  • Metal Spray Primer

  • Metal Spray Paint

  • Drill to drill bottom of the can

  • Tape

  • Newspaper

This should only take 3-4 days to complete. 

** Caution: When adding tile and such to the cans, the cans can become heavy to lift. 

Inspect the milk can to see if there are a lot of rust or rust spots. If it is really rusty, take it to get it sandblasted. Oversee this because sometimes the person doing it can go overboard and take off too much metal and it can become really thin. If there is some rust left or just spots it is ok. You are going to sand and prime it before you start gluing the tile/rocks. 

If you have some rust spots. Just sand paper it down a bit. Wash the can and dry it after to get the dust off of it. 

Spray Primer (Rustoleum) on the whole can. Even the bottom. This helps by sealing it against rusting. 1 to 2 coats are ok. 

If using as a planter:  Drill holes in the bottom of the can. This is so that if you use it for a planter that the water can escape and not collect in the can. If you can and have the resources I would cut a hole in the center.

  • You can take off the cap. This is where the pot can sit right in. You can leave the cap on if the cap is flat with no handle. 

Now you can begin gluing your tile or other material to the can. Be sure to measure out the tile correctly. If you don’t, depending on the size of the can, it might leave a gap between where you started and ended.

  • Be generous with the Liquid Nail glue. But not too generous that it gets on top of the tile and won’t be hidden with the grout.

  • Let dry for 24 hours

After the glue has dried, the grouting can begin.

  • You can use your hands with plastic gloves to put the grout on, especially if you put rock on it. With tile you can use a putty knife.

  • Sponge off with water so the tile shows. Sponge off enough so it looks like a milky film on the tile.

  • Let dry for 4 hours. Read the directions of the grout because this could vary.

  • Sponge off the milky film

  • Let dry for 24 hours. Again read the directions

Tape off the tiled/grouted part with the newspaper over the top of your entire tiled area.

Take your Metal Spray Paint and spray a couple of coats on the exposed areas. I usually do 3-4 with a good amount of dry time between. 

Now you are ready to enjoy with either putting a glass tabletop on it or a potted plant to place in your garden. 










Gluing tiles. 


Sponging off grout

Milky film.

Taping off tile to paint. 

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