Video of the painting process.

Copper Patina and Rust Container Gardens


What do you do when you love garden fresh tomatoes and herbs but you don't like to weed and you don't want to pull the water hose all through your back 40? You plant a container garden. And not just any container garden. A beautiful metal patina'd container garden.
We started with galvanized tubs from Tractor Supply that we purchased for $99 each. They were 2x4 ft. We installed casters on the bottom and drilled holes for drainage.
We started with basic galvanized tubs.
We started with basic galvanized tubs.
Next we primed with the Modern Masters Metal Effects primer.
copper patina and rust container gardens, container gardening, repurposing upcycling
copper patina and rust container gardens, container gardening, repurposing upcycling
Then we painted with Modern Masters Metal Effects Iron Paint and let dry overnight.
copper patina and rust container gardens, container gardening, repurposing upcycling
Primed and painted, waiting for paint to dry.
copper patina and rust container gardens, container gardening, repurposing upcycling
Next we sprayed them with the Modern Masters Rust Activator. This is a photo of the finish developing in the sun.
copper patina and rust container gardens, container gardening, repurposing upcycling
Then we brushed on some Modern Masters copper reactive paint and while that was still wet we sprayed on blue and green patina aging solution. Then we planted out container garden with fresh veggies and herbs.
Summer container garden with rusted finish
Summer container garden with rusted finish
I decided I wanted more blue and green patina on the containers for fall so we painted on some Modern Masters Permacoat Xtreme and let that dry. Then we brushed on some more copper reactive paint and while that was wet we sprayed it again with the blue and green patina aging solution. This is the final result replanted for fall.
Copper Patina and Rust container gardens.
Copper Patina and Rust container gardens.
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Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Lam5144825
    on Jan 31, 2018

    I plan on using 2 of these containers in a fire pit area. I purchased mine online and plan on using plants that mosquitos don’t like. I was wondering how many holes you drilled in the bottom? I wasn’t going to paint them. I was wondering if you knew how long the planters last out in the weather?

    • Jill Ron Pike
      on Feb 3, 2018

      If you use a good layer of gravel or vermiculite in the bottom, and you don't overwater, drainage holes aren't necessary

  • Dpbeee2
    on Feb 2, 2018

    Where do you get tanks that big? The link to amazon is for much smaller containers.

    • Jill Ron Pike
      on Feb 3, 2018

      Tractor Supply Co. (TSC) has a website...these are livestock watering tanks.

  • Sue Ann Clark
    on Mar 21, 2018

    Yes......I love the finished product. What amount of did you spend on all the paint.

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2 of 30 comments
  • Jenny Dewes
    on May 7, 2018

    I love this idea, our yard is very rocky and full of clay. And I love the look of your finished product. I'm hoping I can squeeze this into my garden budget 🤞

  • Joyce Reddell-Mayhan
    on Jul 2, 2018

    Love the finished product!

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