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Upcycled Urn Planters

By: Atta Girl Says
March 25, 2016

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Upcycled Urn Planters
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Have you ever priced ceramic or cast iron urn planters?

If so, you know they can be EXPENSIVE!

I’ve been shopping for them to decorate our new patio. Since I want a lot of planters, of all different sizes, I’ve been looking for budget solutions to get the look I want.

Items needed:

  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint 16oz - Lace
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint 8oz - Primitive
  • Americana Decor Varnishes 16oz - Soft Touch
  • Plastic Urns or Planters
  • Paint Brush
  • Chip Brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Paper Towels


That’s why I decided to upcycle these plastic urns that once held two outdoor Christmas trees.

I got rid of the Christmas trees a few years back because they were looking sad and all the lights had burned out. But I saved the plastic urns, knowing I could use them somehow.


All I needed was a little paint to transform them into fresh looking planters.

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To begin, I painted the urn with two coats of Chalky Finish in Primitive. The urns I used were made of plastic, but weighted in the bottom, which makes them good to reuse as planters. Look for similar ones at yard sales, home improvement stores, and garden centers.

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Next, I followed up with two coats of Chalky Finish in Lace.  

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One tip I have for painting something with lots of curves and details is to turn it upside down first, so you don’t miss any crevices. Then turn it upright and get any areas you missed.

Once the Lace paint was dry, I sanded the high spots of the urn with medium-grit sandpaper, trying to mimic natural wear and weathering.

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Then, I switched from a regular paintbrush to a chip brush. I lightly dipped the tip into the Primitive paint and lightly stippled it onto the urn. I made sure there was very little paint on the tip of my brush, almost a dry brushing technique

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I also used a paper towel to wipe away some of the paint.

My goal was to make it look like the urns were very old and layered in coats of paint.

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I alternated stippling on Primitive and Lace paint and wiping away any excess to create a mottled effect.

Once I had the look I wanted, I let the paint dry, then followed up with more distressing with medium and fine grit sandpaper.

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If you like, you can use an acrylic matte spray or Americana Décor Soft Touch Varnish to seal the urns.

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Be sure to visit Atta Girl Says  for more projects and to learn more about Amy.


We love your Chalky Finish Paint! We just refinished an entire sewing machine cabinet. It turned out really good! We posted it on our Ben Franklin Crafts blog: - Hope you can share it with your customers! Thank you for all your tutorials and videos. It makes it so much easier to teach our own customers when we can show your instructions. Brigitte 425-327-8068

Brigitte Lee

April 7, 2016

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