Grilling Tins

Having a nice batch of tins accumulated again (thank you friends and mint eaters)! It was time to cook some up outside on the grill.

*Heating the tins takes the paint finish off and gives the them a nice patina. They are then ready to alter as you see fit using beeswax, paint or whatever.*

There have been a fair number of questions on just “how” to bake the paint off tins.

Here you will find some notes on my latest experience with the process.

A few words to describe the fun, it’s HotHotHot AND Smelly, did I say it gets VERY hot! We used a propane (bottled) gas grill, set at medium heat (about 300-350 degrees F).

I had mentioned in an earlier beeswax tin tutorial that we line the outside grill racks with tin foil. My husband said not to bother this time. He plans to wire brush them vigorously with a brass grill brush and heat the grill up to a very hot temperature before using it for it’s intended purpose = ‘food’.

If you are sensitive you may want to wear a face mask. I cannot stress enough that this MUST be done OUTSIDE!!! There will be some fumes. I set a timer so I don’t feel the need to hover over the grill. You may open your tins (if they are hinged) or leave them closed while cooking. I can’t see that it makes a big difference, and have tried it both ways. Once they are hot do not touch them without good protection, a kitchen hot mitt will NOT do the trick, it might melt…..ask me how I know.
Place the tins on the hottest part of the grill. I did line the top shelf with some as well and then those were moved to the lower hotter shelf when there was room.
I set the timer for 15 minutes to begin with; flipping/turning the tins at that point. Photo #2 shows the tins after roasting them for 15 minutes. I set the timer for 10 minutes after that (Photo #3), checking and turning the tins again.
On average one batch of tins took about 25-35 minutes for the look I was after.

You will find these items handy:

*Grill (propane works well, charcoal would too)

*assortment of tins (more is better)

*Leather heat proof gloves

*Face Mask for protection from fumes

*Tongs (my tool of choice for turning and removing tins, I felt safe without leather gloves, but worked VERY carefully)


*Heat proof tray for cooling tins after removing from grill

Hope this has taken most of the mystery out of the paint peeling process. You may want to sand the tins lightly with a fine sandpaper, rub them with an old rag to clean them up a bit. Your tins are now ready to alter…..have fun….go forth and create!

This last picture shows the results of a little over two hours worth of grilling. You can see my melted mitt too 🙂

“A danger foreseen is half avoided” ~ Thomas Fuller

21 responses to “Grilling Tins

  1. Interesting indeed, Patty! But why? (I’ve never thought of this before..) Are you grilling them to make them aged, or only to remove paint? They look really cool…but I am wondering what you’re going to do with them next. 🙂


  2. Hey, you’re baking tins again on the barbecue!! I already am collecting some to take with me on vacation. That’s the only time I have a bbq. I’ll have that thing just a hummin’ So glad you shared this technique, Patty!


  3. I’m definetely NOT trying this one, LOL. I’m a klutz when it comes to hot/fire stuff. Look forward to see what you’ll be doing with them : )


  4. Thanks for sharing that, I can’t wait to try it now!!!


  5. pattyyyyyyyyyyyy, auf was für ideen kommen dein mann und du? ich habe zwar keinen propangasgrill, aber ich probiere es mal mit den dingen aus, die ich zur verfügung habe. den workshop muß ich unbedingt bei mir verlinken. super idee.


  6. Oh Patty, I will never look at your tins the same way again ever! Such a lot of work, but what a neat result. I must go back and re-examine your process, pics and instructions. Not to do it, but to understand so I can appreciate better. And, I see JJJ had a hand in this too.


  7. Wow! Patty your house is just gorgeous!! Great job!


  8. Pingback: Dream « Magpie’s Nest

  9. Pingback: Walter waits…. « Magpie’s Nest

  10. awesome idea thank you for sharing this tutorial with us always wanted to know how to get them dark like that .
    hugs ginger


  11. Patty, I found your tutorial by googling “Preparing Tins for altering” and I really appreciate the complete and careful lesson you’ve prepared. What I am wanting to do is to use alcohol inks to color some of my tins. Do you do that at all? I’m going to look some more on your blog, but in case I don’t find anything, can you email me about that? I’m having a hard time finding the instructions I need.
    Thank you.


  12. Pingback: Alter a Tin: Dream « Magpie’s Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

  13. I love to do this, Everyone thinks I am strange so I am so thrilled to see this tutorial. Nice tins, too.


  14. Patty, this is the first time I’ve noticed the tutorial link on the sidebar. This is a fantastic idea…Seeing your “stuff” always makes consider trying my hand at some of the techniques you use…alas, the time never seems to be there for me. Taking time for those things I already enjoy doing is difficult enough. Instead I’ll continue to enjoy yours. 🙂


  15. Snow bound but the grill is excessable. I’m looking thru stuff for tins that I know are here somewhere! Thanks Patty. I’ll let you know how they turn out. I’ve seen yours and love them.


  16. Pingback: Feeling Frui…T « Magpie's Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

  17. Hi Patty – LOVE seeing this process. My question is whether the scent of the burned tins goes away immediately or over time. My personal preference is the mid-way through the process look – with some of the painted logos still peeking through. I can’t wait to try this!


  18. Pingback: beeswax tins… | Magpie's Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

  19. Super cool Patty! I may try this over summer.


  20. Grilling season is almost here. Altoids? Bring ’em on! Thanks Patty!


  21. It’s been awhile since I grilled a tin. But it IS getting to be tin grilling season!


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts means a lot to me and I appreciate your visit very much oxo

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s