Steel milk cans are easy to turn into a variety of housewares, such as end tables, bar stools or even simple umbrella stands. To create these, you need a steel milk can, sandpaper, spray paint and primer, and a round piece of wood cut to serve as the top of the table or stool. Basic tools are also necessary, such as wood screws, E6000 adhesive, L brackets and a screwdriver.
Prepare the milk can by cleaning it thoroughly, including sanding off any rust or grime on the exterior. Allow the can to dry, and then spray it with a rust-proof primer. Next, paint it with your preferred color, using thin coats to build a solid base color that is free of streaks or drips. Once the base color has been applied, add any additional decorative touches, such as stenciling or distressing, that you desire. If making an umbrella stand, your task is complete.
To make an end table or bar stool, stain the wood top following the manufacturer's directions, and allow it to dry. Seal it with several coats of a polyurethane clear coat, sanding between applications. Once the top has been prepared, set it on a flat, steady surface, and turn the milk can upside down on top of it. Use a strong adhesive, such as E6000, to attach the rim of the can to the wood. Secure it further using wood screws and L brackets, to ensure a solid attachment. Flip the can over to have it ready to use as a table. To make this into a bar stool, add a cushion to the top, and secure it with fabric glue.