Reapplying a Label to an Old Paint Can

Dear Donia,
How do I reapply a label on an old paint can?

paint can label


Q. Dear Donia,

I have an old paint can and would like to reapply a label that is torn before it falls off the can. What type of adhesive should I use to re-apply the label to the old can? Thanks, Lisa

A. Dear Lisa,

Re-applying labels to old paint tins is tricky on a couple of levels. First, the moisture in most adhesives will cause staining to the paper. Second, it is difficult to find an adhesive that will successfully attach to metal and not be damaging to paper. In this case, I think the best way to proceed to maintain the aesthetics of the label, not cause the metal to corrode more, and to adhere the paper to the metal safely is with a chemically stable double-stick tape like 3M's 415 tape. This tape is very thin, very strong (it will stick quickly and not come off easily), and will not turn brown, dry up, and fall off. Good luck!