When we spotted these odd little metal cups for $1.50 a pop at Goodwill (which you may have noticed in our recent Halloween post) we decided to take them home for a speedy little spray paint makeover. We fell in love with the little cut-out shape and since we already had yellow and white spray paint around (thanks to this project and this project) we got right to work.
Our concept was to make the inside of each cup yellow and the outside of each one white, just for a little two-tone fun. So we thought up a few ways that might work when it came to accomplishing that effect. First we debated spraying the whole thing white and then covering the outside with painter’s tape and then spraying in the inside yellow. But we reasoned that it would be harder to spray the inside of the cups (and the painter’s tape might peel off the new-ish paint) so we decided to start by spraying the inside of each cup with yellow paint, which of course got on the outside a bit as well:
Then instead of messing with painter’s tape we decided to try rolling up a piece of white paper and slipping it into each cup (to hopefully shield the yellow spray painted interior from the coat of white spray paint that we then applied to the outside).
Here’s what it looked like after that coat of white was added:
We had no idea if it would actually work, so when we removed the rolled up piece of paper from each cup after the paint dried, we were pleasantly surprised to see that we were left with a nearly perfect result:
And it honestly only took about three minutes to complete the entire project (not counting the five hour drying period that we allowed for after spraying the yellow and before slipping in the white sheets of paper in and spraying the outside white).
We love the idea of using them for flameless candles so the yellow interiors are illuminated without the risk of setting our whole house on fire. You know, because that would be bad.
What about you guys? Are you spray painting anything in a two tone finish? Are you morally opposed to faux candles because you think they’re tacky (you know those small battery operated fake-os)? I must admit I resisted them for a while but for things like this they’re tres handy.
these look awesome!!!
Cait @ Hernando House says
Those are awesome! And I’m thinking about getting some faux candles for a pair of sconces I plan to splurge and buy because I am wary of real candles on something like that.
I turned a Goodwill find into a two-tone tray. I love Goodwill! http://tinyurl.com/ye8vtb9
That looks great! I’ve never heard of fake candles before though, what do they look like??
They’re usually called flameless candles and they’re battery operated little plastic guys who flicker like real candles. Maybe hit up google for more info?
oh my gosh, i’m so in love with this! it looks like something you’d buy at west elm for $50!!
Emily @ The Happy Home says
i would LOVE to see a photo of your spraypaint collection! how many different colors do you have?
you’re giving me the itch to go DIY crazy this weekend. last weekend was a cooking weekend, maybe this weekend will have to be reno. :-)
Believe it or not we just have black, white, and yellow. And we used nearly all of the remaining yellow paint on this project so we might be down to just two colors soon…
I LOVE the idea of this but I hesitate mainly because of the environmental factors of spray paint (if you have any resources for alternatives, I would so appreciate learning about them!) and in spite of how cute they are, I honestly have NO room to store things so my house decor is kept to a minimum.
If I ever move and get storage closets, watch out though, because I am going to be stealing every idea of yours!
We’ve been on the lookout for no-VOC spray paint for a while- here’s hoping it’s right around the corner!
I love these! I haven’t tried any two-tone painting but I really want to now. The results are awesome!
what a great idea, these are beautiful!
OMG… they look fabulous! I love the two-toned color.
Jessica @ How Sweet says
OH what a great idea! They look awesome!
katie kildal says
Wow! What a simple project. It has such a big impact though, I love it!
Sherry… THIS IS SO UTTERLY GENIUS! Totally, super awesome idea! I am definitely going to be trying this. Great tip on the flameless candles, too. I personally don’t own any myself (mainly for the reasons you stated above), but for a display/project like the one you have, you won’t even notice that they are flameless unless you are looking inside the cup! (And who does that?)
Do you know of any good spray paint that doesn’t have a strict warning label for risks of fire? I bought some cheap-o pillar candle holders at Kohls a few weeks ago (they were seriously 90% off- only $2.50 and $3.50 a pop!) that are brown. I want to spray them white but am worried about candle drip…?
Just use dripless candles and regular old spray paint (it’s highly combustible in the can but if applied and allowed to dry on candlesticks you should be fine). Of course you shouldn’t ever leave candles burning out if eyeshot though, so blow things out when you leave the room.
liz @ bon temps beignet says
So cool! I love it with the candles lit.
How beautiful! Your patience amazes me. 5 hours? I would have been pacing the whole time!
The flameless candles are the BEST! And they’ve really come down in price in the last few years.
Very cool! I love the two tone effect!
Oh my gosh. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this! What a great idea! You definitely challenged me to think outside the box on my next project!
Guys these are adorable. I totally envy your thrift store finds… so much better than what I have EVER found there. We did break out the glossy white spray paint this past weekend though. Our “inherited” (meaning it came with the house) mailbox was getting rusty, and had an UGLY gold eagle on it. We painted the whole thing glossy white, and now it looks fabulous!
Heather @ Side of Sneakers says
I love the yellow inside/white outside- it makes it just that much more unique & sophisticated. Plus I LOVE how it boosts the glow when the candles are lit.
Oh my goodness! This is such an awesome idea! I love it…and yes, I like the flameless candles. They are safer. :) Thanks for sharing.
love, love, love!!!
This is SUPER CUTE! What a steal – makes me want to head straight to Goodwill and see what I can find. But is there a way to do something like this without using spray paint? I live in a studio with no outdoor space, and don’t feel comfortable using spray paint inside.
You could paint them with craft paint or even wall paint and a brush for a similar look!
Love the two tone idea! Great job!
I was going to suggest paper to protect the inside, then I scrolled further and saw you did just that! They turned out awesome! :)
Gina at Temporary Nest says
What a fantastic project! I love spray painting!! Now, did you guys have to clean the tarnish off at all before spraying them? Thanks for sharing the new project!
Nope, we just sprayed them as-is and it worked like a charm.
Tres chic!! They look like something you’d see at West Elm or CB2. Good job!
I’m always in awe of other people’s Goodwill finds, I feel like I never have such luck. Perhaps I need to find a veteran I can go with to look with fresh eyes!
Costco has a set of large pillar faux candles that my husband has been against for ages, but I’m going to get for our mantel for the holidays. By the time we dress up the rest of the mantel I think they’ll look great!
SO CUTE. I love the two-toned aspect of it. I so wish that was a commercially-available product, instead of just a sweet find at Goodwill. I’d replicate that in a second!
I thought they looked neat as tarnished silver, maybe for a Halloween or Christmas vignette, but I really love how you transformed them! They can be used year round in your new and improved way! Great job and the rolled paper inside was genious!
heather s. says
Love the two-tone effect! I’ve never painted anything two-toned but I do my fair share of painting things! I’m also waiting for the no/low VOC spray paint!
Jennifer C. says
I bought some of those led tea lights and had them in my drawer. My kids wanted to have an indoor campfire. We built it out of blocks and I broke out the led tea lights. We “roasted” marshmallows and it turned out great. I think the fake are great with little kids around
Wow! That looks amazing!!!
Jenny @ DIY Newlyweds says
Wowza! I love the two-toned look. I am going to have to try something similar. As always, thanks for the inspiration!
I got in to flameless candles because if I wanted any semblance of a candle in a college dorm room, I’d have to use the fake-o kind. Honestly, there not that bad if you don’t have to change the button battery every week!
Luckily, I’m out of college now and I’m back to the good stuff. ;-)
Those look AMAZING! Hard to believe they were a goodwill find for $1.50
You guys amaze me!
Tricia @ Mama Marchand's Musings says
I love this idea and am going to shop with a whole new perspective! I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive home decor (I change things a lot, too). Thanks for sharing your thrifty fabulousity!
Kaitlyn C says
I am 100% in love with this project. That is all.
Katie J. says
Those look amazing! Of course it comes as no surprise.. great job!
I didn’t know the flameless candles flickered like real candles!? I may have to try them out. I have pet birds so I almost never burn candles anymore. I miss them and these might be a nice alternative. Thanks!
I used to be iffy about flameless candles…that was until my cat singed his tail :). Cat was fine…smell was horrid. Since then…nothing but flameless if there is any way what-so-ever that out little feline friends may get into them.
You guys never cease to amaze and inspire me with your great projects!!! I bought white spray paint and primer for some lamp bases but can’t seem to get enough courage to actually paint them! Once I finally do i’ll be sure to send you pics of my first project :).
I resisted the flameless candles for a while because of price, they were so expensive. But then I had kids and for safety reasons I decided to go for it. I recently found a pack of 30, different sizes, plus extra batteries at Costo, for around 20 bucks! Can’t beat that!
Erin @ Where Beauty Meets Function says
I would have never thought to do two tone like that. They turned out fantastic!!!
More and more I’m switching over to flameless candles. My cat sat on a candle one time and caught his tail on fire!! He was fine…but it smelled terrible…and it was as I was opening the door for company!
The flameless ones are much more realistic now than when they first came out with them.
I LOVE the battery candles. Without them I would have surely burned my house down by now. And they are perfect for irresponsible college students. If I were a landlord, I would automatically provide them.