Making a Paint Can Steam Engine

Cut a rectangular hole near the base of a gallon paint can. Mark a 6 in × 2 in (15.2 cm × 5.1 cm) rectangle horizontally on the side of the can 1 inch (2.5 cm) up from the base. 

Note that for this paint can (and the other one you’ll use), you’ll want to ensure that the can contained only latex-based paint and that it has been thoroughly washed with soap and water before use.




Cut a 4 2?3 in × 9 1?3 in (12 cm × 24 cm) piece of metal mesh. Bend 2 1?3 inches (5.9 cm) at either end of the 4 2?3 inches (12 cm) side down at a 90-degree angle. This should create a 4 2?3 in × 4 2?3 in (12 cm × 12 cm) square “platform” with 2 2 1?3 in (5.9 cm) “legs”. Place this mesh inside the paint can, “legs” down, lining it up with the edges of the hole you cut.