Heat Set Paint, One Altoids Tin, and The Devil Oven

Burned Tin
Please Read: I strongly advise against using this method for aging a tin. All jokes and sarcasm aside, I was very lucky not to have caused a fire that had the potential to burn down my house.

Some things don’t go as planned because that’s the way of the world.

Other things don’t go as planned because some dolt didn’t read the directions properly.

The second scenario would be the setting for today’s post. Oh yes, I am the dolt in question.

It all started because I wanted to paint my “Wicked Circus” tin black and then heat set the paint in a toaster oven reserved for crafts. Which should not have been a problem, I’ve done it a million times before.

The operative phrase being “should not.”

But it was a problem. I didn’t have enough of my usual paints (Polly Scale by Floquil) on hand, so I headed off to the hobby shop where I usually buy them (chain craft stores here don’t carry them). Upon arrival, I saw a handwritten note on the door, “Be back in 2 hours.”


Shopkeepers take notice: when you place such a note on you door, please please please put the time of your departure the note! I didn’t know if the shopkeeper was going to be back in five minutes or 119 minutes. I went next door to the small art supplies store.

I ended up buying an enamel paint with label instructions that stated the paint could be allowed to set for 24 hours or or it could be heat set it in an oven.

Or so I thought.

Anyway, back at home, I painted my tin and popped it in the toaster oven (which resides in an open-to-the-outdoors room of my detached garage). Afterall, we know I’m not going to wait around for 24 hours when I can speed up the process in my toaster oven.

About 15-20 minutes later, Mr. Jivvy happened to be passing by the area where the toaster oven resides. He then came to inform me of “smoke billowing from the toaster oven.” By the time I got to the toaster oven, most of the smoke had cleared but the air was absolutely acrid with fumes. I looked in the toaster oven and with the mere power of my words, I turned the acrid air blue.

The thermometer in the oven was reading 600°F/315°C. I think it was reading at that temperature because that is the highest number on the thermometer.

The actual temp was likely closer to a BILLION.

Technically, nothing was on fire. After everything was shut down, Mr. Jivvy and I moved to an area where the air seemed less toxic and we mulled over what could have caused the oven to get that hot.

Mr. Jivvy is awfully reliant on science, but I chalked it up to demon possession.

Later, when I couldn’t duplicate the extreme temperatures in my oven, I started wondering if I had read the label on that bottle of paint correctly. I couldn’t check the bottle label — the fumes had been so bad, I immediately tossed the remaining paint in the trash. But maybe, just maybe, I misread the instructions.

Had I actually coated my tin in flammable paint and then set it on fire? Was the tin on fire when Mr. Jivvy saw the billowing smoke? But by the time I arrived, all the flammable material had burned off?

That would go a long way toward explaining the temperature in the oven.

I mentioned this possibility on the Craftster forum and member “textilejnkie” looked it up for me… yep, that 24 hours was a non-optional wait period prior to heat setting.

So it wasn’t the oven’s fault at all. Or the paint’s. It was the dolt’s.

In the end, I didn’t burn down any buildings, the toaster oven still works, and, sweet serendipity, I ended up with a fabulous “antiqued-crudded-up” finish to my tin (perfect for this particular project).

Tomorrow’s topic: Wood, Metal, and the Glue that Binds Them

Burned Altoids Tin

What happens when you accidently set your tin on fire.

3 comments for “Heat Set Paint, One Altoids Tin, and The Devil Oven

  1. April 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Could you be any funnier? I’m with you on the demonic possession vs. science argument.

  2. September 4, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I see I am not the only one using everything in the house to craft-I remember my parents face when they had to unstop the toilet when I was nine and they sold those colored toiletpaperrolls and of course I didn’t have the patience to wait untill the papers as gone….. That was bfoere i knew of craftstores and buildingmarkets…I also used anything from my fathers boxes with screws and bolts and old parts from the attic(which was my first srtist’s studio)much to his chagrin: I didn’t know thick coppertread-ideal for making dolls- was so expensive LOL

    Love your turtorials; I use nailremover to make my tins clear and my Dentistdrill.(I used to make teeth) also handy for making Steampunkjewelery.

  3. Mindy/Minka
    September 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

    This is just too funny! I hasten to add, that it might have been more time efficient to use a small blow torch….like the kind people use to make creme brûlée….of course, I know far less tha you and I’m making all this up. I’m not being modest, I really know nothing about all these concoctions but I’m just sayin’.

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