How to Update a Vintage Metal Picnic Basket

 I just love vintage metal picnic baskets! They have such beautiful patterns and come in all shapes and sizes. Today I'm going to show you how to fix one that is in really bad shape! 

Rusty vintage picnic basket

This one was a little rusty when I found it so I was using it outdoors this summer. 

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I knew it may damage it even more, and it did. 

Today I am going to try to give it a makeover so I don't need to throw it away. 

The first thing I did was to paint the top. 

I used a regular brown craft paint

Painting a rusty picnic basket top brown

The next thing I did was to paint the sides with this beautiful color called Brook from Fusion Mineral Paint

Fusion Mineral Paint sticks very well to metal, I use it on everything, it is seriously my favorite paint! 

Painting the side of the box with Brook by FMP

This paint covered in one coat but when it dried I gave it another quick coat to seal the rust. 

Painted metal picnic basket

If you've ever had trouble with the caps on Fusion Mineral Paint, I'm sharing this tip with you from Funky Junk Interiors
paint jar with bandaid on top

Please visit Donna for all the details on this great idea to keep the top from getting all gunked up and sticking! 

brown painted top and light green painted sides of vintage picnic basket

For the next step I am decorating the top with the small buffalo check stencil from Old Sign Stencils

I love this stencil and I use it all the time. 

You can visit more tutorials using this stencil by visiting this bold link. 

buffalo check stencil by Old Sign Stencils

The colors I chose for this box remind me of mint chocolate chip ice cream! 

I sealed the picnic basket with a couple coats of spray sealer for extra protection. 

Buffalo check top on vintage picnic basket

I used hemp oil to make the dried out wooden handles look like new! 

Hemp oil makes old wood look beautiful! 

Next I tied a brown grosgrain ribbon to the latch of the basket and lined the inside with a matching decorative scrapbook paper.

paper on the inside of the box to cover rust

I'm thrilled with this update, I can happily use this picnic basket again either for a picnic or as a decorative box around the house. 

Vintage metal picnic basket with buffalo top and brown bow

Please pin for later...

vintage metal picnic basket with pin overlay

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buffalo checked top of vintage metal picnic basket


I am Susan, the author and creator at Homeroad. I am a wife, mother of 4 daughters, and a grandmother of 5 and counting. I am a retired teacher, a DIY blogger and an artist at heart. .