How to Convert an Old Milk Can to a Table

Milk can tables create a beautiful, country effect in any room.

You can make a side table from a milk can of any type or finish, from smooth pristine stainless to rough and rustic, and a table top of any type of wood. Converting a old milk can into a table seems difficult at first, but with the right tools and instructions, you can transform your old milk can into a useful table for the cost of the can, wood and a few other inexpensive items.

Wash the milk can with a sponge saturated in a mixture of mild detergent and water.

Rinse the can thoroughly and allow it to dry for 1 hour.

Cut a 21-inch round table top from 3/4-inch thick wood with a reciprocating saw equipped with a finishing saw blade.

Sand the wood top with a series of sandpapers, starting with 120-grit and doubling the grit until you reach the 960-grit paper. Wipe the tabletop with a damp cloth between each paper to remove the sanding dust.

Apply a wood stain with a paintbrush, wait 5 to 10 minutes and wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Apply a first coat of polyurethane with a paint brush. Allow it to dry for 4 hours. Apply a second coat and allow it to dry for 6 hours.

Dampen the bottom of the wood tabletop with a damp cloth.

Apply five 3/4-inch beads of multi-purpose home projects repair adhesive to the can lid and spread the adhesive over the top surface with a disposable paintbrush.

Position the tabletop centered over the can and press it firmly to the can. Lift the tabletop slightly away from the can and then reposition it on the can within 5 minutes.

Weight the tabletop with a heavy book and leave it in place for at least 8 hours before removing it.

Things You Will Need

  • Milk can
  • Sponge
  • Mild detergent
  • 3/4 inch thick wood
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Saw blade
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Damp cloth
  • 240-grit sandpaper
  • 480-grit sandpaper
  • 960-grit sandpaper
  • Wood stain
  • Paintbrush
  • Clean cloth
  • Polyurethane
  • Multi-purpose home projects adhesive
  • Disposable paintbrush
  • Heavy book

Tips

  • Wear eye goggles and gloves when using a reciprocating saw.
  • Wear gloves when using adhesives.

About the Author

Based in Covington, Tenn., Cheryl Torrie has been writing how-to articles since 2008. Her articles appear on eHow. Torrie received a certificate in travel and tourism from South Eastern Academy and is enrolled in a computer information systems program at Tennessee Technology Center at Covington.