Asked on May 21, 2013

Brass urn

Janice Van Cleve RasmussenAnnie DohertyDianne Kurtz


I have two ugly brass urns.What can I do with them to make them more appealing to the eye?If I paint them,do I prime them first?
23 answers
  • Robin Layton
    on May 22, 2013

    I wouldn't paint it or anythingtill I decided what use to give it first. Turn it on its side and lay it down. Look at it for a few days. Does it look like anything besides an urn? Turn it upside down - would it look good on a post upside down as a finial? Could you poke a hole in the bottom and use it as a planter? Is its only use in a display with other items? Would it look good in a flower bed as an accent piece? Try it in a lot of different ways and look on pinterest for new ways to use it. Just painting it and sticking it somewhere is kind of boring.

  • Evelyn McMullen
    on May 22, 2013

    Love it as it is. I want it! I'm always on the lookout for brass or copper containers I can use for plants, they "weather" so beautifully.

    q brass urn, crafts, repurposing upcycling
  • Jeanette S
    on May 22, 2013

    The worn look is its beauty! These type containers are great to hold things like dried sticks or bamboo left natural or painted any color you wish to go with your decor...with an accent of an ostrich feather for accent....any combination you like...use them outside on a covered patio or inside.

  • Debra
    on May 22, 2013

    I'd put a round piece of wood on the top and turn it into a little table on my side porch, great place to put a glass of sweet tea and maybe a book. Then when you get tired of that, flip it over and put some moss balls with twine, fabric balls, etc, on the inside of the urn and put a clear glass table top, add a lamp, etc. and call it a day.

  • ScattyLady
    on May 22, 2013

    I would think you need Metal primer, then the sky's the limit as to how you paint them up. Are you going to plant in them?

  • Sia@South 47th
    on May 22, 2013

    I'd leave it alone and age it even more!

  • CeCe328
    on May 23, 2013

    A planter for sure, if you like you can spray them white, colorful flowers will look great.

  • Linnya
    on May 23, 2013

    NO PAINT! Just use as is in garden

  • Frances S
    on May 23, 2013

    I just spray painted a set of canisters a few years ago, they are still holding with no primer.

  • Paula
    on May 23, 2013

    No paint! Just look at how the patina is starting down along the bottom. Just leave it as it is and it will age just like the sculptures in Europe.

  • Dianne Kurtz
    on May 23, 2013

    Well..I thank everyone for chipping in for advice.The more I think about the urns,the more I love them as is.Why mess up sonething that is perfect as is?

  • Amy Ward Stanley
    on May 23, 2013

    I love them wish I had them Definitely use them in your garden or place a strand of Christmas lights inside and a glass top and use as a side table

  • Mak Meyers
    on May 23, 2013

    Don't do a thing to them---awesome as is.

  • April E
    on May 23, 2013

    since they are metal you do need to pain them on the INSIDE with a anti rust paint if you are going to use them as planters or outside if outside I would also give the outside a few coats of a anti rust clear coat you cant do this in a satin or matte finish so as not to get a fake looking shine also if you are going to use as a planter I would make sure there is a drain hole NO rocks are not good enough 1 water sets at the bottom of the pot souring 2 the plants end up dieing due to lack of oxygen 3 even w/ a coat of paint inside setting water will rot out your urn

  • Laurie
    on May 23, 2013

    Use one by the door to hold umbrellas. Put a round glass or marble top on the other for an outside table.

  • Anna Maria D
    on May 23, 2013

    Why don`t you have them professionally cleaned and sprayed, I did that over 15 years ago and still look great!( I have a display of 10 large pcs on the top space of my kitchen cabinet and it look great!

  • Liliana Wells
    on May 23, 2013

    If you decide not to use for anything, I would like it. I have several ideas. I live in Georgia.

  • Frankie Laney
    on May 23, 2013

    I think they would make great planters for the garden or even inside.

  • Lorraine Edwards
    on May 26, 2013

    If they were mine, I'd first see if I could get back the original brass color by turning one over and liberally sprinkling it with Barkeeper's Friend cleaner and a rag. If anything could clean them, it would be BF. If they do restore to brass, I'd bring them in as planters or as a little table as others suggested. I love it weathered, but I love my huge indoor kettle drum planter that's an old brass, but still brass colored. If they don't clean/shine up, then I'd leave them outside and just stick a brick or two in them and balance a pretty plant in each, in the garden.

  • Christine - Decorated Life
    on May 27, 2013

    I like them as they are. You just need a good spot for them. If they color is not right for you take them to a hardware store and see if there a paint that will make the corrode in a different color.

  • Dianne Kurtz
    on May 28, 2013

    I think if I painted them,it would ruin the antique appeal to them.I think I may leave them as is and find something useful for them.I think I may put some succulants in them or cacti...something nice.I have to do something quick as a junk man keeps asking my father-in-law if he can have them as scrap.

  • Annie Doherty
    on Jul 26, 2016

    I love the natural vedigris colour as is, I would concur with the other posts and I would plant them up. Treat inside with a rust inhibitor and ensure you put drainage holes, succulents would look terrific as they come in some many different hues, like copper and dark reds etc, also they don't need much water so your planters would last longer. They are many terrific ideas on this post so the sky's the limit but definitely keep them.

  • The first thing I would do, is to secure them from the junk man !!! Just sayin'..... There's lots of potential for them.

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