Thrifty DIY knockoff planter

Since the budget-friendly backyard patio plans were put into motion recently, I have been on the hunt for two outdoor planters for the new concrete stair.

There are so many beautiful choices out there. But some of them are a bit pricey. For example, my favorite is this Fiberglass urn from Lowe’s:


But two of them cost nearly $160; that’s just not in my budget right now. So instead, I decided to try to replicate a similar look at a fraction of the cost.

I picked up two of these black urns at Lowe’s for around $10 apiece:


I primed them using the spray primer I had on hand.


I would actually recommend choosing a gray or white primer if you’ve got some handy, or if you’re purchasing primer specifically for this project. (One full can should be enough.)

I then sprayed each planter with a coat of Rust-Oleum American Accents® Stone Spray Paint in the Sienna Stone color. It took two cans total (one for each urn) but I was careful to not waste a single drop.


After the paint dried, I created a white glaze using one part white paint to three parts water. I brushed it all over the “stone” finish, letting the glaze settle into the crevices.

I wiped off any excess and added more glaze where necessary. My goal was to replicate an aged/pickled finish reminiscent of Tuscan-style stone.


Finally, I sprayed on a generous coat of outdoor-friendly urethane to protect the planters from the elements. (The stone spray paint is made for indoor use only.)

Here is the final result:


I realize I didn’t replicate the look of the more expensive urn exactly, but I’m calling it close enough.


The best part is that my urns cost less than half the price of the Fiberglass versions. Including the cost of paint, my project adds up to about $25 per planter.

Now I just need to find some colorful flowers for my new planters. Stay tuned to see them in all their glory when I unveil the completed budget-friendly backyard patio renovation soon.

Do you think I got close enough to nailing the look for less?

I’m linking this up to My Repurposed Life.

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26 Responses

  1. Pat says:

    Perfection! You did a wonderful job on these. Such a great idea ~ think I’ll try it too. 🙂 So many urns and planters I see are beautiful but way too expensive.


  2. Melissa says:

    Love this! I look at those urnsall the time. Thanks for the imspiration to make a knock-off version myself.

  3. Jill T. says:

    I like this. You did a great job and it would be pretty easy to do.

  4. Jill T. says:

    I like this idea. You did a great job, it looks very good.

  5. Jill T. says:

    This idea really turned out well!

  6. Angie W says:

    Looks great! I’ll have to give it a try.

  7. Shannon says:

    Awesome! I’ve wanted two to sit on either side of my front door. Did you get those $10 at Lowes recently?

    Shannon ~

  8. cheryl says:

    LOVE this. What material are the $10 urns made of? Headed to Lowe’s right now….Thanks for the info that the faux stone paint is only for indoor use, for I like the finish without the glaze…a coat of urethane over it should make them outdoor-hardy, right? And the best thing is if you get tired of it after a couple of years, you can repaint with something different!

    • Susan says:

      The urns are made of plastic. Here’s a link from the website: Yes, a coat of urethane should be fine to use them outdoors. I used a gloss version, but if you really want to keep the authentic feel of stone, I would recommend a satin finish. Gloss is what I had on hand. 😉 Best of luck with your project. You may want to purchase one more can of stone spray paint to make sure you’ve got everything coated really well, since you aren’t using a glaze to fill in any thin spots. 🙂

  9. Ann says:

    I plan to do the same treatment to the huge empty plastic containers that held all the ice melter stuff this winter! With enough “spill” from my homegrown sweet potato vines, they should do the trick!

  10. Susan, your urns look fabulous! I’m totally with you on replicating the look for a fraction of the cost.

  11. Gaylene Nicholson says:

    Another great idea! Well done and thanks for sharing your thrifty how-tos.

  12. Kate says:

    I love what you did to the planter looks awesome. I just got the expensive “Lowes” planter for $29 and no tax event! It had a few scrapes which I touched up with paint I already had….if you wait until early fall they all go on sale 40-60% off!

  13. Deb says:

    Since this post was several years ago, how have they stood the test of time?

    • Susan says:

      Great question, Deb. After a harsh Pa. winter out in the weather, I noticed some of the paint on the sides cracked. I would recommend keeping these under a porch overhang or in an enclosed space for better longevity. 🙂

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