How to Make a Farmhouse Milk Can Patio Table

If you recall, a few weeks ago I was contemplating what to do with this old milk can that’s been sitting on my front patio.

porch and patio decor

I thought about painting the whole thing, but it’s pretty rusty and I it has just a bit of old blue paint on it that I really loved and hated to cover up.

Then I thought about just using the Milk and Cream stencil to paint just a sign on the front.  I think it would have looked super cute, but when I spotted this thick wood round in my workshop, I changed my mind and decided to turn the milk can into something useful – a little side table for my front patio.

round wood table top

I stained the wood round first.

stained wood table top

A little tip when painting or staining things is to save drink carriers from fast food restaurants.  They elevate your project off your table, so you can get to the sides easily.

repurposed drink carrier

To attach the wood round to the milk can, a hole was drilled through the middle of the wood round and the middle of the milk can lid, then a bold was screwed through them both.  I touched up the wood stain after it was done.

DIY milk can table

I sealed the top with Tough Coat (affiliate link to help protect it from the elements.  The table is the perfect size to fit between my Adirondack Chairs.

repurposed milk can table

See Adirondack Chair Makeover HERE.

See Upcycled Clay Pots HERE.

I guess it was a milk can kind of week, because a few days ago, I found this drink dispenser online at Target.

milk can drink dispenser

Between the shape that looks like a milk can and the color, which matches the color of the remnants of paint on the old milk can table, AND the antique stove in my kitchen, I had to order it.  I used a coupon code, so it was a pretty good deal too.  It would have been even less expensive it I didn’t have to pay shipping fees, but we don’t have a Target store nearby.

milk can lid

It holds 10 liters, so I can load it up with ice water or lemonade, and have cold drinks available on my patio.  It was a match made in milk can heaven.

repurposed milk can table

how to make a milk can patio table |


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  1. Great idea for an end table Angie and I love the drink dispenser too 🙂

  2. Super fun idea for a milk can!

  3. Love this idea…and great tip on using the drink carrier!

  4. Liz Thomas says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! 1. I had a very similar milk can with old green paint on it that I didn’t want to paint over and 2. less than 20 feet away in my stash pile is a round piece of marble! I will marry the two and it will be perfect out in my courtyard!! Love your blog!!!

  5. amazing repurpose and a great find! dare to share that coupon code? ;o)

  6. Marlene Stephenson says

    Really cute idea, i think almost everyone has a milk can,thanks Angie.

  7. Love what you’ve done with the milk can! What color and kind of stain did you use on the table?

  8. I may be dating myself with this, but I remember back in the ’90s when doing tole-painting on old milk cans was all the rage…some of them were quite pretty, but would it make me look crazy if I said I MUCH prefer your chippy, rusted up beauty? And what an ingenious way of making it functional…I just LOVE this all to pieces…so much so, that I want to haunt some dairies and see if I can scrounge one up for myself!

    And what a great find with the little drink dispenser, too…it suits your milk can side-table and your Adirondack chairs perfectly! That blue is sooooooo fresh, breezy, and summery! What a sweet, little setup you have here…now I just hope you will be able to find the time to kick back and enjoy it!

  9. Love your milk can table. It’s such a wonderful idea.

  10. Great look Angie … and useful too. I think my old milk can is rusted beyond this kind of use, but I really like your idea.

  11. That was a perfect way to re-use that milk can, Angie! Great project! Pretty dispenser!

  12. That is so cool. Love that you found a “matching” drink dispenser. Too cute.

  13. The table is just perfect and fun! I’ve been working on a funky table table and the bolt is a great solution. Awesome!

  14. Angie,

    Great job on the milk can! I have one I use in the garage to hold my wedding sign stakes. 🙂 I should find something else to hold them, and use my vintage milk can for a table. 🙂


  15. Angie, you officially made me question why on earth I got rid if my milk can! I love this project which is so perfect for my AM coffee…

    Can’t wait to share this in this weekend’s DIY Salvaged Junk Projects! Thanks for linking up! 🙂

  16. love the milk can table! Have 2 without lids I can make into tables.

  17. I have three cream cans. One has the flat lid and the other two have handles on the lids. How would I connect a wood round to the lids with handles?

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