a pair of rusty planters.

Have you ever priced those fabulous rusty old cast iron planters?  Like this pair …

These are available online at The Garden Vault for $850.

So gorgeous, and so totally out of my price range.  That’s why I’m really excited about the Patina Paint products from Dixie Belle.  I got nearly that same look for a fraction of the price.

Of course, in my case it helped that I first found a pair of planters at a garage sale for $30.  But you can find similar planters at Wayfair for about $35 each.

These are made out of that molded composite stuff.  Here’s a close up so you can get a better look.

It looks like concrete, but it’s not.

Their existing blah brown paint job was definitely not doing them any favors, but the moment I saw them I knew they were the perfect candidates for a rusty finish using the Patina Paint.

For this project I used the Iron paint and the Green spray.

Since my planters were already painted, I didn’t need to give them a base coat.  However, if you are starting from bare plastic, wood, plaster or glass you’ll want to start with a base coat of any color of Dixie Belle paint.  If you’re using the Patina Paint over metal you’ll want to be sure to use the Prime Start instead of paint.  The Prime Start prevents the rusty finish from actually deteriorating your metal.

But I was able to skip those steps with my composite planters.  All I had to do was clean them and then paint the Iron paint right over the existing brown paint.Be sure to mix the paint well before applying it.  This paint contains actual flakes of metal that create the rusty finish.  They will settle to the bottom of the jar over time, so be sure to get them mixed up before you begin.

I painted one coat, let it dry and then added a 2nd coat.  While the 2nd coat was still wet, I sprayed the planter with the Green spray.  This can be messy and a little smelly, so I prefer working with these products outside.  If that’s not an option, keep in mind that this spray will drip so protect the surface you are working on and also protect yourself with any recommended safety equipment.

The next part is easy, (unless you’re the impatient, instant gratification sort, not pointing any fingers here, except possibly at myself) just wait.  It took about two days for my planters to look like this …

Kinda hard to tell these aren’t genuinely rusty iron planters, don’t you think?

I was able to snag a pair of matching flower baskets for my planters from my local nursery (Country Sun in Stillwater in case any of you locals are wondering) at their close out sale.

This late in the season it was a bonus to find a matching pair.

The planters are perfect for either side of the steps up to our deck.

If you look closely, you can see my favorite photo bomber (my cat, Lucy) peeking out the screen door.

You can also see the Adirondack chairs that my handyman/neighbor Ken makes.  Quite a few years ago nnK had the most comfortable Adirondack chair and she wanted another one like it but a little wider and with wider arms that could easily hold a beverage, so Ken simply took her chair apart and made a pattern from it with a few adjustments.  Now he cranks these chairs out all the time.  He hates to paint though, so he sells them unfinished.  I originally painted mine with a brush, but that ended up being far too putzy with all of those slats so now I spray paint them.

This is Rust-Oleum spray paint in a color called Eden.

This color works just beautifully with my house color, and also with my nearby plantings.

Especially the bright chartreuse of the Sun Power hosta (to the left of the fairy garden bird bath in this next photo) and the Guacamole hosta (lower right corner).

Since we’re out in the garden now, let’s take a look around.

Here’s how my fairy garden is looking this year …

For protection over the winter, I bury the entire top of the birdbath in the garden near the house.  Last winter was a rough one though.  So a few things in the fairy garden didn’t make it, including a couple of miniature hostas and miniature evergreen.

My gardening style can best be described as ‘jam packed’.  I figure if I don’t leave any space for them, the weeds won’t grow.  It really does work fairly well.  Not all plants are happy this way, so when one starts looking a bit peaky I’ll dig it up and move it somewhere else.  Or just dig it up and give it away.

Over the years I’ve gotten rid of plants that are just too persnickety for me too.  If they don’t grow well with little human intervention, then they have to hit the road.

I’ve written about the window box along the front of my house before.  Every year I try different combinations in it (here and here are a couple from past years).  This year I have a medley of coleus, some white impatiens, purple oxalis, and a fun new variegated sweet potato vine.

I stuck with some old favorites in my copper boiler planter though, lemon slice petunias and daisies.

Here’s a quick update for you on my picnic basket planter.

If you’ll remember, I added a Prima Marketing transfer to it and I’m testing out how well it holds up outdoors for the season.  So far, so good.  It was getting rained on as I took that photo, and it has also spent some time baking in the sun and the transfer still looks as good as new.  The basket itself is rusting quite a bit though.

And, P.S., as you can see I found a spot for one of the plates I purchased at the Prospect Park sales 😉

So, back to my pair of rusty planters.

How about some math?  Sorry, some of you probably hate math but the accountant in me can’t resist.  I could have spent $850 for the pair of antique planters from The Garden Vault, but instead I spent $30 on my pair of garage sale planters.  Dixie Belle provided me with the Iron Patina Paint and the Green spray for free, but had I purchased them they would have cost me $16.95 each.  So for around $64 I have a pair of rusty planters that look pretty spectacular.  Plus I used less than half of the Iron paint and probably not even 1/3 of the Green spray, so I have plenty left to create more rusty garden treasures!

If you’re looking to purchase some Patina Paint, you can shop online with them here.

Normally this is the time when I say ‘if you are a local and need a pair of rusty planters …’, but I’m definitely keeping these.  So I would encourage you to try the Patina Paint on some planters yourself!

30 thoughts on “a pair of rusty planters.

    1. Thanks Melissa! That green is not really a color I would normally use these days, but I do love the way it looks in the garden on those chairs 🙂


  1. Great urns! Those flowers look gorgeous in them. They really look old and rusty!
    Your garden is beautiful! My hostas never look that good! We are in almost total shade, so mine may get an hour of sun per day! They live but don’t grow much from year to year.


    1. Have you amended your soil at all? My hostas are also in almost full shade, and they are under pine trees. They do get a little early morning sun and a little late evening sun, but that’s about it. I’ve added a lot of compost to the soil over the years though and I think maybe that’s why mine do so well. If you haven’t done that, try working some compost into the top layer of soil next spring before the hostas fill out and see if it makes a difference!


      1. Thank you? I will try that! I am one of those gardeners that dig, plop, and bury. Then they are on their own. It would help if I paid more attention to them! Lol


      2. I tend to be like that too Shelly! But every once in a while I try to fertilize or add compost. It really can make a huge difference.


  2. The Dixie Belle paint is amazing…the urns looks fabulously rusty. Your garden is beautiful… and your husband is funny.


    1. Thanks Laura! Our deck badly needs re-sealing of some kind, but trying to find the perfect combination of time off work, no other plans and several dry days in a row to get that done just never seems to happen. We’ll see if those magical conditions happen this year or not 😉


  3. Such an entertaining post. These urns are really splendid – the new finish sealed the deal. So what is the white forthy plant with the million bells? Could it be Euphorbia? I really like your selection of color starting with deck/house shade, the Eden color chairs and the addition flowers. Maybe Meggan would let you share her urns in a future post.😉 Your garden is fabulous and I have a case of hosta envy.


  4. Your yard is breathtaking! The hostas are beautiful. The planters turned out fabulous. I love everything about your yard ❤️


  5. Your yard is spectacular! The planters are wonderful! Splendid job all the way around! ❣️
    Smiles, alice


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