Outdoor Planter Facelift


Since we have moved, I have had this wanting for all new things.  New outdoor furniture, new rugs, new bedding, new EVERYTHING; to go with the new house.  Well, budget does not allow for that and my frugal self would not allow for it either.  So, I have been really trying to use what we have and redo it so it feels like new.

The outside front entrance to our new house is quite grand compared to what we're used to.  There were two large round planters in the front that had some type of coniferous ornamental trees in each pot.  I didn't take any pictures because I didn't want to remember how bad they looked...and I forgot. The last owner didn't do too much in the garden department so when we finally owned the house, these trees were brown and sad looking.  The pots weren't in nice condition either, but to buy two pots at that size was little more than I wanted to spend.  A facelift was required.

The facelift required first getting rid of the old plants. This was quite funny to see because the planters didn’t have any filling, just all soil and plant.  I am proud to say I am pretty strong, but this was ridiculous.  I gently tipped over the planter and pulled the soil out to loosen the tree.  Then after lots of back and forth, it finally came loose.  I put the plant into a really tough construction garbage bag and drug it to the side of the house for my husband to lift into garbage cans.  The remainder of the soil was sad looking so I just mixed into the mulch/soil mixture that is currently in the planting beds. 

Now that the soil and plants were out, I was able to assess the planters closely.  The actual pot wasn’t very heavy, but in poor condition.  You can see at one time there was a big crack that someone put back together with the putty stuff they sell on tv infomercials.  Well, it was ugly looking, but the pot was still together.  There were also a bunch of smaller holes.  I decided that a good cleaning and some spray paint would perk this poor pot up.


After dragging the pot out of the garden area, I cleaned the pot off with the garden hose and soap.  A little elbow action got off the caked on dirt and years of outside grunge.  I let it dry for most of the day in the sun to make sure it was nice and dry.

I found a Terracotta spray paint at Lowes that matched the roof of our new house perfectly to use as a spray paint.  If this planter was a different material, I would suggest sanding the sides a big or even spraying a primer on it, but it wasn’t necessary in my case. 

It turns out the spray paint that I got was the exact color that was currently on the pot.  I sprayed 2-3 coats on the planters each.  It took two cans of the Valspar Terra Cotta.  I then sprayed a clear coat for outdoor spray paint in top to make sure the color stuck.  The bottle did not say it wasn't for outdoor use, but it didn’t say it was either.  They didn’t make that specific color in the outdoor spray paint they had and I really wanted the Terracotta color.  I might regret it in the future and curse the entire time I am spraying the pot again.  If you can, buy outdoor use spray paint.

Once the pots were dry after their facelift, they looked so much better.  Perfectly matched with the roof and they looked like new, from a few steps away.

My mother was helping me and gave me a few money saving tips.  First we filled the bottom of the planters with rocks we found down by the lake.  There was already a hole at the bottom that was used for drainage. 

Then we used the empty (and rinsed) vinegar bottles that I used to spray the weeds that were taking over the mulch.  With the rocks and the weeds, the planters were about half way full already.

We then filled the remainder of the planters with soil.  My mother was there to help me choose the plants that would look the best in the pots.  We went with a tall grass and then some sweet potato vines ("blackie") that would be the spill over the sides.  Dont forget to loosen your root ball or "tickle your roots" (quoted by my mother) before planting and read the plant label about depth, spacing, watering, and light.

The spray paint cost twenty dollars for all three cans.  Sure, If you add in the cost of the soil and the new plants, the cost increases, but you would have to do that for what it would cost to fill a brand new planter.

After Close-Up
Final product
How do they look?  So much better, and it cost just a fraction of buying a new pot.

Do your planters need a facelift?

<3 mk

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