How To Update Exterior Planters For Cheap

I’ve focused SO much on our backyard this year (you can see the spring tour here) that I’ve completely ignored the front. Completely. I plopped some ferns in the planters on the porch back in April and haven’t even watered them much since (they just get rain water).

Since I fall is coming, like it or not (LIKE!), it was time to do some clean up and add some fall touches to the front. We have a teeny tiny porch but I think even small ones can make a big impact, especially this time of year.

First thing I needed to do – get rid of the weeds that had grown three feet tall and the trees that were sprouting in the beds:

pulling weeds

Told you I hadn’t touched it in months. :) Pretty. We get a lot of random trees growing in our beds and if I don’t stay on top of it they are a pain to get rid of. Annnd these are going to be a pain – I’ll need to watch them because some were so thick I just cut them down, I couldn’t get them out of the ground.

I cleaned up those, the weeds and the dead leaves and stalks on the lillies:

fall clean up

Yes that is a cherry icee. A girl needs sustenance.

I found the perfect set of planters for our tiny porch years ago, but they’ve not done well in the elements:

copper planters

Yeeah. The ferns aren’t doing so hot lately either. Moving on.

So here’s the thing – I love the copper tone of these, but they are not holding up well. At all:

prepping metal for spray paint

They are also leaving rust marks on the cement which is always super fun to clean up.

I love how tall and skinny they are and I only need them to work for a few more months. I’ll get/make something else next spring.

Soooo…spray paint to the rescue! I cleaned them off well:

prepping metal for spray paint

This is important! No need to sand metal, but you do need to clean it well. I used a brush and started knocking some of the metal flakes off, but that got to be a can of worms. It was just going and going so I just decided to paint right over them. If you are going to try to keep something for an extended time you’ll want to get all that off. Again, I’m just trying to make these presentable for the next few months.

I usually skip the primer but since these are outside I figured I should use it. I had black primer so I used that:

priming metal spray paint

Then I gave them a coat of my oil-rubbed bronze spray paint. 

I don’t use this stuff nearly as much as I used to, but it matches the kick plate (that I spray painted!), the hardware on the door and the coach lights I sprayed a few years ago: 

spray painting light fixtures

So I figured it would tie in well.

I picked out some bright yellow mums. They are just about to explode:

yellow mums fall

See how it all ties together?

spray painting outdoor planters

Much better than this:

Because it’s in the 90’s this week and 90 degree temps makes me want fall, I dug out my DIY pumpkin wreath from last year and hung it:

pumpkin wreath

It’s almost September. It’s allowed. I love how it looks on the red door!

I painted those coach lights three years ago and they still look fantastic!:

fall front door

I’m a little shocked at how well they’ve held up, honestly. I don’t even think I primed them? They’ve withstood the elements better than the original finish did.

A few weeks ago I read that the flag should hang to the left of the door – I had no idea. It was always getting caught on the gutter anyway so I moved it over:

fall front porch

Technically they’re supposed to be lit up at night too, so the coach light takes care of that. ;)

I’ll add some more fall touches out here as we get into the season, but I’m loving the warm welcome we have going right now:

      red door brick house

This one likes it too:

This just goes to show that even the outside items can be salvaged with a little cleaning and new paint. Those planters are completely washable and will hold up well even outside…at least till the end of the year. (If they weren’t rusting I have no doubt they’d last much longer.)

Have you started any fall decorating yet? Are you ready? Have you picked up any mums? Do YOU believe in the power of spray paint? 

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