a rusty garden pedestal.

Way, way back about two years ago I picked up this garden pedestal at the White Bear Lake Trash to Treasure Day.  You can click that link to read more about Trash to Treasure Day, but suffice to say, stuff is free at the curb.

After I brought it home I shoved it somewhere in the carriage house and there it sat for two years.

I looked at it a couple of times and thought ‘hmmmm, what should I do with that thing?’  But I never followed through.

That is until it occurred to me a few weeks ago that this piece was the perfect candidate for some Dixie Belle Patina Paint.

Last winter Dixie Belle sent me some of these products free of charge to give them a try.

I used the Prime Start, the Iron paint and the Green spray on a metal lamp to see how well the products worked.  To read those full instructions, check out this how-to post:

This time I decided to go with a slightly bigger project and turn this pedestal into a rusty masterpiece for the garden.

First I started with a little prep.  The paint was starting to peel off of the pedestal and under the paint is just a plaster of paris sort of material.  As I started to sand away the chippy spots of paint I realized that most of it was going to have to come off.

So I got out my razor blade and started scraping off the paint.  I didn’t completely remove all of it, but I did take it all off the top and the bottom portion of the pedestal where most of the peeling was occurring.

Here’s an important q-tip to keep in mind when it comes to working with pieces that are already painted.  Your paint job is only going to adhere as well as the paint underneath it.  So it doesn’t matter how durable your paint is, it’s only going to adhere to that original layer of paint.  And if that paint is peeling off, well, you get the picture, right?  Honestly, that’s probably the number one reason why I normally avoid pieces that have already been painted.  Because you just can’t be sure what you are working with, and I hate stripping paint.

But remember, this pedestal was free at the curb so I figured I could put a little extra work into it and if it’s a massive failure, well, no worries.  It was free.

After removing all of the peeling paint, I painted the entire piece with a coat of Dixie Belle’s Caviar.  If this piece was metal I would have used the Prime Start instead of the regular paint.  In this case my piece is plaster, so I could just use any Dixie Belle paint as a primer.

Once that I was dry I painted on a coat of the Iron paint.  I ended up having to let that dry overnight because it was quite humid outside and this piece has a lot of nooks and crannies that took a while to dry.

The next day I added a second coat of the Iron paint and while that was still wet, I sprayed it with the Green Patina Spray.

Then I just sat back and waited for the magic to happen.

The next day I put my reading glasses on and after taking a closer look I realized that I missed a few spots with the paint entirely, and a few spots weren’t as ‘rusty’ as I wanted them to be.  So I simply dabbed on some more of the Dixie Belle Iron paint and then sprayed those spots with the Green Patina Spray again.  That worked like a charm.

If you’re wondering whether or not this piece will hold up outside in the garden, I have to admit so am I.  I have a plaster Buddha out there and he’s deteriorating quite a bit after several years of year-round outdoor living.

Hmmmm … maybe I should rusty him up too?  But my point is that items made out of clay or plaster that is faux painted to look like concrete don’t last forever outside.  So I suspect this pillar won’t either.

However,  I have been surprised to find that after being in the garden for several weeks and being rained on a few times, if anything, so far the pedestal has developed an even more fabulously rusty patina.

Even the top which has had standing water on it (we’ve had quite a bit of rain) continues to look amazing.

But let’s call this an experiment, shall we?  I’ll keep the pedestal in my garden all summer and then share a review of how well it held up in the fall before I put it away for winter.

So far though, this is a massive improvement over the ‘before’ version wouldn’t you say?

30 thoughts on “a rusty garden pedestal.

  1. I absolutely love your experiments, Linda, you encourage me to try new things too (and maybe fail at them too…. but hey – it’s all learning, right?). I can’t wait to see how this revamped pedestal looks after a few months outdoors! 😊👍


  2. Omg, that is so cool! It looks like the real deal. I love it. Great job! Can’t wait to hear how it holds up. I’m in NW IL and we’ve had a ton of rain. Too. Over 20 inches in 3 weeks so this is a great summer for your field test. 😊


    1. It really does look realistic. Probably because the rust itself is ‘real’. The Iron paint has metal flakes in it, and the Patina Spray encourages them to rust. It definitely gives a realistically rusty finish!


  3. The pedestal looks fabulous in your garden! I hope that it holds up for awhile. It really does look quite nice. I just bought some garage sale candle pedestals. I think that I will have to try this stuff on them!


  4. It looks amazing! I love that product! Years ago, I saw Genevieve Gorder use a similar technique on a wall and have always kept the idea filed away for “someday” 🙂


  5. WOW! Goodness, I hope your plaster pedestal holds up, because it looks amazing! One would never guess that it’s not iron. Your hosta must be loving all the rain. It’s lovely!


    1. The hostas are looking good this year! No hail damage like we had last year, and plenty of rain and hot weather. It’s like a jungle out there 😉


  6. Love how this turned out! I always wonder if previous owners see something that has been redone if they would even realize it once was theirs! I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who has things sitting in a corner waiting 🙂 . J in AZ

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  7. What a cool paint finish! If I had that I’d be walking around my house looking for anything I could apply that to. Glad you drug out the stored free pedestal find, it’s a perfect recipient for the patina. Even if it doesn’t last a long time it all was free and you are enjoying it in your beautiful garden!


    1. Ha, that’s exactly what I do Laura! Walk around my house looking for stuff that would look great with a rusty finish 🙂 I bet I’ll find more in the future!


  8. OMGosh you’re a girl on the go 😉 and I love this pedestal makeover. It doesn’t even look like the same piece! I had a blast trying DB patina on the waterfall dresser a few weeks ago. A fascinating process isn’t it?! I’d love to hear how it holds up outdoors.


    1. I did not topcoat it with anything. I’m just going to let it go for the rest of this season and see how it holds up. So far it still looks great! In fact, if anything it looks even a little rustier than it did at first. I have since read that you can topcoat it with the Dixie Belle Gator Hide for optimal durability though, so I may go that route before putting it out again next summer.


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