DIY Vintage Wastebasket Redo

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January 19, 2014 by magpiemenina

Okay, so I almost got this week’s blog up on time. Is the third week in January when everyone else’s New Year’s resolutions start going to pot?

To be fair to myself, I’ve been out of town. Currently, I’m helping my sister around the house while she and her husband adjust to a new little member of the family. It’s been great to see all three of them, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be here. I lost track of days of the week though. I thought it was Saturday for a full three days, I think – Friday, actual-Saturday, and today.

Also, I was reminded today why I don’t like to bake things other than bread. Three words: chocolate chip cookies. There is a massive pile of chocolate chip cookie mess on a plate. That’ll teach me!

Anyway, today I’m sharing an old project with you. I don’t have ‘before’ pictures, but I’ve provided wordy step-by-step instructions.

DIY Vintage-Inspired Wastebasket

DIY Vintage Wastebasket Redo

You will need:

-a metal wastebasket (or waste-paper basket, which is much more fun to say)


-1 can of bright red spray paint

-1 can of light gray spray paint (do NOT use the quick-dry kind)

-2-inch letter stencils (available at any hardware store, usually with the mailboxes and house numbers)

-brown paper bag

-painter’s tape


1. Lightly sand down the wastebasket, inside and out. You should probably wear a mask and goggles for this. Wipe down the wastebasket. Let dry.

2. Spray outside with red spray paint. Let dry. Reapply until evenly coated.

3. Once the spray paint has dried, cut a paper bag into a strip. The strip should cover the outside of the wastebasket almost to the lip at the top and bottom (if it has them). Overlap one end of the paper bag over the other and secure with tape. Keeping close to the lip, secure the top and bottom of the strip to the wastebasket with painter’s tape. Be sure to run the painter’s tape snug against the underside of the lip. The idea is to have some of the inside gray paint showing on the lips for contrast while keeping that gray paint from running down or spraying onto the red outer body.

4. When you have secured the paper bag, spray the inside, bottom, and lips with the gray spray paint, allowing to dry and reapplying as necessary.

5. After drying, partially remove the bag. You will continue to use it as a painting mask. Line up the stencil letters, top to bottom. (I liked the word ‘waste’ over ‘trash,’ but either would fit. Or ‘paper,’ ‘cans,’ etc. Whatever you like, really.) Overlap the edges of the stencils and center the word between the top and bottom. Tape in place using painter’s tape. Reattach the paper bag mask, folding to leave the stencil letters uncovered.

6. Spray paint the letters using gray spray paint. This part is really important: don’t spray too heavily. It is better to have to spray, let dry, and spray again ten times than to have the paint build up too heavily and run down behind the stencils.

7. After drying, remove the paper bag. You can now throw your paper bag in your brand new vintagesque waste-paper basket!



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