My Goodwill Pot (which is now much more fabulous than it used to be)

I rescued this pot from Goodwill a few months ago. It’s not a supremely fabulous pot…it’s just plastic, I hate the green color, and it was awfully faded and scratched up.

But, it was just a few dollars, it was fairly large, and I knew I could make it look more snazzy.

How? With spray paint, of course.

The plastic wasn’t a smooth, shiny sort, so I didn’t even need to use any primer…I just washed the pot and sprayed the chocolate brown paint right on.

I generally prefer not to put edible plants into plastic pots, so I had hostas in mind for this one. My neighbor (the same one that gave me the pile of mulch) gave me several hostas, and I know from prior experience that if I plant hostas in the ground, it’s only a matter of time before some pesky voles stop by and eat the roots (they just love hostas).

So, this pot and several others are holding hostas, which are very happy living in the shade on the patio underneath my deck.

Take that, voles!

What’s the takeaway for you?

1. Look past the immediate appearance of used goods. Often a little cleaning, a little painting, a little modifying, or a little mending can make a world of difference.

2. Never underestimate the power of paint.

I don’t exclusively use spray paint, but if you want some spray paint inspiration, here are a few photos of things I’ve spray painted over the years. Just click on the photo to be taken to the post about each item.

(note that these links will open up in the same window, so you’ll just need to hit the back button on your browser to come back to this post).

This one is from my days, so you’ll have to click on this link to see the post about my vent covers.

And if you want to see all of my painting projects, feel free to browse through the painting category.

After looking through my old painting photos, I feel kind of inspired to go find something to paint now. I think I do have a little wooden something from Goodwill that needs a coat of paint…


Have you refreshed something lately by painting it? Tell me about it! And if you blogged about it, leave a link in your comment because I dearly love to see old stuff made new with a coat of paint.


Today’s 365 post: So, what did we do for dinner on Monday? (read this to find out why I’m currently alone in my house!)


  1. says

    I noticed in your vent cover painting post that you mentioned painting the hinges on the doors in your townhouse. How did you do this? Did you remove the hinges? I’d like to paint our hinges (they are the same ugly brass) but not if it requires removing them from all the doors! 8-\ (overwhelming!)

    • Kristen says

      Yep, I removed them! If you do them in stages, you don’t have to take the door off. For instance, take all the top hinges off of all the doors, paint them, reinstall them, and then move to the middle hinge. Much easier than actually taking the doors down.

      You can do it, girl! Just use a drill or an electric screwdriver, and removing the screws will be super fast.

  2. Theresa says

    Oh yes! Boring plastic ‘terra-cotta’ colored planter is now a snazzy deep shade of wine. With white wave petunias and an occasional purple petunia cascading over the side, the rejuvinated planter adds a punch of color to the front deck. I smile daily, if not hourly!

  3. kristin says

    what about removing old paint? I have a dresser to refinish that is currently painted (poorly and in not attractive colors.) Sand it off? Some kind of paint removing solvent? What’s your suggestion?

  4. says

    I love a can of spraypaint! We did our vents too (silver) after pricing what replacements would cost.

    I’ve got a chalkboard paint project that I’m writing-up right now and will be posting later this week.

    Love your mention of not wanting to put edible plants in plastic. Better safe than sorry.

  5. says

    I have a sort of ongoing love affair with spray paint and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I’ve painted several things that I’ve found from Goodwill, yardsales and other thrifting adventures to give them a new lease on life. Here are a few links:

    little frames from the dollar spot at Michael’s:

    a too brassy lamp base:

    a pair of vintage can back chairs:

    and a country bench:

    I love your blog and stop by almost every day. Keep doing what you are doing. You are encouraging a lot of people in a very positive way!

  6. says

    I spray painted all of our vent covers way back in the day. I swear, no two had been the same color, and it was the most satisfying (and cheapest) project that we’ve done to date on our 97-year-old house!

    I used “Hammerite” paint, as it has flecks of texture in it, which helped to smooth out all the imperfections from rust and prior paint job.

    Your painted pot looks great, and I think maybe I’ll keep an eye out for a similar plastic pot, as they’re easy to get for free.


    Katy Wolk-Stanley
    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

  7. says

    It’s not exactly painting (though there was some paint involved!) but I refinished a side table that, happily, matched our coffee table (both items were from Craigslist for $25 and $65 respectively)

    Though I haven’t posted about it yet, I also bought a short (unfortunately not real wood) bookcase for $20 off Craigslist. It was black and matched the rest of the decor in our living room, so I painted a real wood bookcase hand-me-down and, next to the other short bookcase they really compliment each other! They hold our DVDs which were getting a little out of control.

  8. says

    Spent most of yesterday “whitewashing” the old wood picket fence in my back yard – it should really be replaced, as last summer part of it blew over (since repaired) and the whole thing is wobbly, rotting, and probably over thirty-five years old – but with it’s new paint job, a passer-by can no longer tell! And instead of using household improvment money on the fence this summer, we’re making other, even more urgent repairs/replacements – such as completing the backyard patio so that no one need fear their feet going through it.

    I have a question about paint – low VOC paint in particular. For the fence I just grabbed what they gave me at the store, as it’s outside, but I am also hoping to repaint my bedroom this summer (it’s currently as desired by my younger sister when she was 12 years old – princess purple, and has been so for the past decade.) I notice that there is recycled paint availible from RONA, which is significantly less expensive then other paints, and is low VOC, which is something that I’m looking for if I can get it without paying for it ;)

    However, the colour selection is a bit limited, and while there is a shade of blue that is sort-of-acceptable to me in the recycled paints, a regular paint has a perfect shade. I am still willing to go with the recycled, especially as it’s half the price of the new – but I’d like to know a little bit more about it – will recycled paint stand up as well as “new”? Does it cover up as well? Or will it require an extra coat? Do you think it’s worth it?

  9. Elaine says

    I have a story about vent covers! Seven years ago, we moved 700 miles and rented a house. I noticed that the vent cover in the hall bathroom had the new bronze finish and was kind of impressed that the landlord would pay extra for that. There were a couple of fuzzies on it, so I got my cleaning supplies, sprayed the cover and gave it a wipe.

    It wasn’t the bronze finish, it was the “silver” finish coated with cigarette smoke! ICK!!

    It didn’t need repainting, just cleaning!

  10. Jessie says

    Love the look of the new pot! I probably would have passed the green one up, haha. Way to be a visionary!

    Here is one of my DIY projects. I had fun with this one!

  11. Julie says

    I am forever looking on the shelves at Target or Walmart and thinking how much I would love a big, huge planter but they are too expensive. SUCH a good idea! Thank you!

  12. Melissa says

    I’m getting ready to paint a old roller top desk that was given to me by a friend, since it’s a desk I was wondering what type of paint you think I should use and do you think I need some type of sealant because it will be written on? I’m a little worried about how the roller part will turn out, I plan on taking it out and re-painting it, then re-installing it. Any advice or helpful hints would be greatly appreciated!

  13. says

    My Dad had a nice 2 piece TV cabinet with big doors that got dropped in a move and lost one of it’s ball feet. Then the corner got smooshed in another move. It was rubberwood, stained cherry.

    I was able to fix the smooshed part with a couple of screws and I repaired the leg. Then I used 4 cans of spray paint and turned it black. The sp hid all the horrible scratches and it looks really good. I still have to finish the doors, but it is amazing what sp can do for a beat up piece of furniture.

  14. Condo Blues says

    I love the power of paint! I painted my husband’s bachelor chairs that were freebies and put them on our front porch. I’m slowly painting the cheapy white switch plate covers when I paint rooms. They are quads and expensive to replace! Paint makes them look better and morebexpensive than they are.

  15. Dirkie says

    Looks very nice. (I like the furniture of Zoe’s room).
    In the Netherlands it’s very modern to buy at the Second Hand Store and paint in very fancy collors.
    Funny to read that people overseas have the same hobby’s.

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