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lids live on

From Habitat magazine - issue 20

Don’t get rid of your old paint lids. Give them new life as artworks.

Family tree artwork
Family tree artwork

Letters, words, written messages – they’re appearing everywhere as today’s essential decorative device. But if you’re a bit over the usual treatments, here’s a new twist. Take your old paint lids, add some colour and a letter or word, team them with painted frames and arrange on the wall.

In this scheme, the word ‘home’ is showcased on lids painted in Resene Knock Out (pink), Resene Limerick (green), Resene Seeker (turquoise) and Resene Southern Cross (yellow), with a ‘full-stop’ lid in Resene Pukeko. Those same colours are used to paint a variety of frame styles, then the whole composition is hung on a wall of Resene Foundry. We used Resene Blackjack for the lettering.

Create a unique family tree that’s easy to update – simply replace or add lids as the family grows and changes. Put it in a frame or just on the wall. This is the Smith family – Max and Amy with their kids Alex and Bella; Kate and Dave who are pregnant so don’t know their baby’s name yet, and grandparents Jill and Mark. As an alternative, you could put photographs of the family members on the lids instead of writing their names. The colours we’ve used here are Resene Flashback for the orange, and a mix of greens: Resene Citron, Resene Celery, Resene Pacifika and Resene Wasabi.

Or, capture inspirational quotes or words by putting them on painted lids – scatter them over the wall in a random design, unifying them by using similar paint colours. Or cluster them in a frame.

Paint lid artwork

Painting a lid

If you try to brush paint onto the lid, it will be quite streaky so to save having to do another coat later, just pour paint from the testpot into the lid and swirl it around to cover, then let it dry. It will take a while to dry as the paint is quite thick but you will get a lovely ‘skin’ of paint.

Painting lids


There are various ways of adding lettering. You can buy small paintable plywood letters, stencils or hand-letter the words yourself. If you’re hand-lettering, use an artist’s brush and pencil the words onto the lid first to make sure you have your style and placement right.

Painting letters
Painted letters

Top tip: If you have unwanted paint or paint containers, return them to the Resene PaintWise service for recycling (NZ only). Small charges apply for non Resene and trade returns. See Resene PaintWise for details. For more step by step ideas visit the Resene website.

styling: Megan Harrison-Turner

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