Personalize a Trash Can For Your Dorm

Even something as simple as a waste basket can be personalized to suit your personal style.

You will need:

  • a small white trash can
  • tole paint in colors of your choice
  • 1 paint brush
  • 1 sponge brush
  • old newspaper
  • Sharpie pens in colors of your choice (optional)


  • When choosing a trash can for your dorm, try to find a small one, as dorm rooms are never, ever huge. It does not have to be anything special- i.e. a cover or cover-opening pedal at the bottom will not be needed. As for price, I got mine at Wal-Mart for $8.
  • I went for 2 bottles of red paint and 1 bottle of black for my trash can. I bought all three of these bottles of paint for a dollar each at Dollarama. I got a whole package of brushes at the same store for $1 as well.
  • To avoid getting anything sticky or gunky inside of your trash can, keep a grocery bag inside of it and put trash in there instead of directly in the can.


  1. First plan what you want your trash can to look like. For mine, I chose to go with red and black because my room is going to be done in those colors. If you’re the artistic type, consider painting an image on each side. (Keep in mind that it’s probable that one side will be facing the wall, so don’t work too hard on a design on each side when one side isn’t even going to be seen.) For mine, I chose my favorite lines from various songs by one of my favorite bands, Garbage. (Get it? ‘Cause it’s a garbage can?)
  2. Lay newspaper on the table, floor or area that you will be working on. Make sure nobody wants to read that particular newspaper before you use it.
  3. Start painting. Paint the base color first, on the outside and inside of the trash can.
  4. Wait until the base coat is dry before starting your design.
  5. Painting with a sponge brush is best when painting a larger area, as you are less likely to make streaks in the paint. Use a paint brush for painting handles (if your trash can even has them) or designs.
  6. Let the paint dry completely.
  7. Use a Sharpie to add smaller details or text.

Voila! A one of a kind trash can. (Below are some photos of my own trash can. Click on an image to bring up the larger version.)

2 Responses to “Personalize a Trash Can For Your Dorm”

  1. […] Personalize a Trash Can For Your Dorm […]

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