Kromex with a Facelift: From Black and White to Color, adds a Custom Vintage Touch!

Vintage shopping is probably one of my favorite little pastimes. Even if I don’t buy anything, just the looking and imagining where that piece has been is a wonderful experience. Antiques have always been around me, even as a little girl, so I’ve grown up with an appreciation and a curiosity for what stories an item could tell.

It’s not always easy to find a vintage item that perfectly fits your home decor — or you do find it, and it costs way beyond what you’re willing to spend. Let’s face it, we sadly have to draw the line somewhere. That’s where knowing that YOU can customize an affordable vintage collectible is key. And, yes, you can absolutely do this, because I will show you how!



If your kitchen is anything like mine, then it’s in desperate need of color. Currently, it’s very brown and beige and “blah,” and I could think of no better way to dress up the counter tops than with some vintage Kromex canisters! I bought this set on eBay for a steal because there was a small dent in one of the canisters (which I remedied by turning the dent toward the wall so I never see it!) The great thing about these Kromex canisters is that they come in different styles to suit exactly what you want. I wanted the aluminum honey jar look, which was a little harder to find, but well worth the extra effort of hunting!

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You may appreciate the simplicity of the black and silver, but like I said: my kitchen needs color! And, I love the vintage turquoise with cherry red color schemes, so that is precisely the look I will give these little jars.

How Difficult Is This?: I will rate the complexity of this project at Medium – Difficult because you can make this as simple or as complex as you want it to be, all based on how steady you are with a paint brush!)

You Will Need:
– Kromex (or similar) canisters
– Testors paints in your choice of colors
– Set of nylon paint brushes in varying sizes
– Wax paper

Step One.
First thing’s first: Those lids need a good washing. I just used warm water and dish soap, and a lint-free cloth or paper towel to dry them. This helps to get off any dust, dirt or greasy fingerprints off of the plastic before you begin painting.

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Step Two.
Set up your work space. Before I begin any painting project like this, I set out some wax paper to ensure that it will not bleed through to the surface beneath it. We are going to work on one lid at a time, one color at a time. Make sure you set out some extra wax paper for a “drying area” to rest your painted pieces!

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Step Three.
Let’s start painting! Work with your main color first. I am using turquoise as the main color, and to apply it, I chose a flat-ended brush with nylon bristles. (Nylon bristles are pretty much my go-to for projects where I need the paint to go on smoothly, and without the worry of bristles falling off the brush like natural bristles do.)

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You don’t want to overload your paint brush. Just dip it in the bottle about half-way up the bristles, wiping off excess paint on the lip of the bottle as you take the brush back out. Steadily, start at the innermost part of the lid and work your way out. This is way easier than it looks because if you gently press your brush down just near that aluminum knob, the paint will fill in up to the edge…

Step Four.
Continue to paint the rest of the lid, avoiding any lettering. Once you complete that lid, continue painting the rest of your lids in the same way.

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Step Five.
Take a breath, because we are going to paint some letters! Now is time to use that accent color. I chose cherry red, and to apply it, I am using a very small flat-ended brush. Looking back on this project, I would say for this part, the smaller the brush the better. It may be more time-consuming to fill in the space, but it will be much easier on you. If you mess up and get paint where you don’t want it, do not worry, it can be painted over and corrected later. (Trust me, I did that a hundred times!)

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You can choose to be done now, with just the main color and now accent color in your lettering completed, or you can take further steps to customizing your Kromex!

Step Six.
Accenting the rim of the lid. Again, I wish I’d had a smaller brush while doing this, but I made it work. This takes an extremely steady hand, and a lot of patience to paint an accent stripe around the edge of the lid. I wanted it to be as perfect as possible, but I still wanted it to have that “hand-painted” look, so I did not fuss too badly if my lines were not exact. Work in small sections, and do not overload your brush. Again, if you mess up and paint too high into your main color, you can always correct it later!

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Step Seven.
Let them dry! Testor’s paint requires at least 24 hours to cure. I waited about 48 hours before I assembled them on the counter, just to be sure that the paint was completely cured and I wasn’t going to seal my Kromex shut with wet paint. Once completely dried, you can reassemble them and proudly display your Kromex canisters!

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And! Now, you have beautiful vintage Kromex canisters for your kitchen counter top! These are safe to hide whatever you want in them. All of mine are completely full of coffee 😉

Before & After

Before & After

I hope that you enjoyed this little project and will stay tuned for more DIY crafts!

If you have an idea you’d like to submit, please feel free to contact me! If you did this project, or one similar to it, I would love to see your results! Please send me your results and I will happily share them here!

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