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How to Paint a Faux Zinc Finish on a Candy Jar Top Made With a Tuna Can

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If you have followed my blog for a while then you probably remember the post I did where I made a lantern using – a tuna can!  Well, this project is another way I have found to re-purpose a tuna can.  I painted a faux zinc finish on a tuna can to create a top for a thrift store glass candy jar that was missing a lid.

Post Updated: October 2, 2020

Faux Zinc finish painting how to tutorial
Zinc-top-French-Candy-Jars-from Ballard Designs Catalog

When I first saw these French Candy Jars while paging through the Ballard Designs catalog, I immediately thought – that zinc lid could be made using a tuna can.  So I went to find something to try my idea on.

I collect glass canisters like the ones above.  You can find them at most thrift stores for a few dollars.

I have them in my kitchen displaying candy and wine corks.  I also have a few in my bathroom – where I have shells I collected on vacation, soap, and bath bubbles displayed.

I had one of these glass jar that was missing its top and a tuna can fit perfectly on top. I was on a positive roll and knew my idea to create a faux zinc finished top for my glass jar was going to work out.

How to Create a Faux Zinc Finish on Any Surface

I am showing how I created a faux zinc finish on a tin can using paint, but you can use the same faux painting technique to change the finish on any item you own.

I also used the same painting technique to make new Mason Jar lids look aged with a vintage appeal. See these at the end of this post. The painting steps for each are the same.

supplies needed:

  • Glass canister
  • Tuna can
  • Glass cabinet knob
  • Drill and drill bit the size of the cabinet knob screw ( No drill?  use hot glue to attach the knob)
  • Craft paint – black, white, and metallic silver
  • Glazing Liquid – clear – sold by the craft paints. Any type of clear glaze will work
  • Flat white paint  – I used flat white ceiling paint that I had in my basement. Flat paint makes it look more aged and chalky like a zinc finish.
  • Sponge
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Foam plate
How to make a tuna can top for a candy jar

1. Drill a hole in center bottom of the tuna can. The bottom will become the top of the candy jar top.  If you don’t have a drill you can use hot glue to attach the knob to the can.

2.  Paint the tuna can black and let it dry.

3.  On a foam plate squirt a dollop of white, black, and silver paint keeping them separate, but close together.  Squirt a dollop of clear glazing liquid in the center.  This will help keep the paint from being too opaque once applied.

How to paint metal to look like Zinc

4. Use a sponge or a sponge stencil pouncer and press it into the middle of the paint/glaze. Swirl it around just a bit and then wipe it over the surface of the tuna can.  It doesn’t have to be perfect – you want to see all the colors as well as let some of the initial coat of black show through.  Let dry.

How to paint faux metal - zinc

5.  Once it is dry repeat the process adding more white and glaze to the mix.  Swirl it around the can and top. Let dry.

Faux Zinc How to painting techniques

Once it is dry it should look something like this…

Hoe to create Faux Zinc on furniture

6. This step is where the aged zinc effect will take place. Dip a sponge into flat white paint and swirl it evenly around the can and the top.  Make sure to get some of the paint into the crevices of the can.  Place on the paper plate.

How to painted finhishes - Faux Zinc Finish

7. Spray the just applied flat white paint with water – not a lot, but just enough so the paint softens and runs a tiny bit. Let dry.

If you don’t like how it looks, just keep repeating the steps – the more layers the more aged it will look.

How to paint something to look like Zinc

8. Attach the knob to the tuna can.

Zinc painting effects how tutorial
Repurpose a tuna can ideas

$1.50 thrift store purchase has now become something that you would find at a Paris flea market.

Fauz Zinc painting tutorial
Tuna can candy jar topper how to tutorial
Zinc-Tuna-Candy Jar Topper Ballard Designs Knock-Off
Decorate with Christmas Candy

When I first posted about making this faux zinc painted finish on the tuna can to make a lid for the glass jar I did it on a whim. Another positive thing about the project. I still use it everyday even after 9 years. The painted finish has held up just fine.

How to Age Mason Ball Jars with a Faux Zinc Finish Using Paint

I used the same painting technique that I used on the tuna can to age the top of the new Blue Mason jar lids. I love that Ball has brought back the blue Mason jars, but the lids are gold tone. I like when they look vintage, so with the power of paint, I aged them myself in less than 15 minutes.

Check out this Mason jar tutorial that shows how to make new Mason jar lids look old or vintage. How to age new blue Mason jar lids with paint. Easy to do with craft paint. | In My Own Style
How to age new blue Mason jar lids
Glass canister jar with a top made using a tuna can painted with a faux Zinc finish. Text overlay says DIY Faux Zinc on a tuna can lid.

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  1. I love this! Now I need to get to the thrift store to find a jar and also find someone willing to share an empty tuna can with me…we don’t eat tuna! I wonder if a cat food can would work…my neighbor has a cat! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Just brilliant! I have made the tuna can lanterns and used them for several Christmas seasons. I even made some painted white and used them for a beach wedding. They were a hit! Love this idea. Very inventive!