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How to Make Painted Pail Stockings

Give your holiday decorations a playful twist by swapping out traditional fabric Christmas stockings for metal pails painted with fun, bright colors.

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors
Christmas Stocking Pails with Candy Canes

Materials Needed:

  • galvanized pails
  • spray primer
  • painter's tape
  • newspapers
  • chalk
  • acrylic craft paint in assorted colors
  • 1" artist brush
  • 1.0 liner brush
  • paper plate or paint palette

Tape Off Areas Not to Be Painted

Use painter's tape to cover top, bottom and handle of pail. Place newsprint inside pail to protect interior from overspray.

Masking Tape at Edge of Pail

Prime, Then Paint Pails

Spray primer onto pails and allow to dry. Apply acrylic paint with one-inch brush to each pail (Image 1). Use long horizontal strokes to reduce brush marks. Apply second and third coats, if necessary, allowing ample dry time between coats. Tip: Cover paint palette with plastic wrap between coats to prevent leftover paint from drying out (Image 2).

  • Painting a Pail with a Brush
  • Paint Palette Covered With Plastic

Customize Pails

Once basecoat is fully dry, decorate pails with polka dots, monograms and other painted designs (Image 1). Use chalk to lightly sketch patterns before painting (Image 2). Tip: Allow kids to decorate their own pails with paint, stickers and ribbons (Image 3). Line pails with tissue paper before filling with treats and gifts.

  • Painting Polka Dots on a Pail
  • Sketching Letters on a Pail
  • Painting Letters on a Pail
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