This how-to starts with a big, fat, dissuasive caveat: After painting your plastic planters with care, spending hours–days!–coaxing them into metallic “Antique Copper,” and even after coating them with poisonous, life-altering fixative, the paint’s just going to scratch off. All it will take is a moderate fingernail. (I will update this once the boxes have been rained on.)
But, I mean, they look good from here. And, no matter how faulty, I prefer faux-copper window boxes to gray plastic ones any day. Perhaps next time I will try sanding the plastic first, perhaps priming it thereafter, or maybe just starting with cheap wood. If you’d like to try your hand at it, here’s what to do:
1. Start with a black window box; if starting from a light color, paint it black first. The undercoat doesn’t have to be great; in fact, a little uneven tone will improve the aged-copper effect. Allow to dry.
2. Using a cloth, rub on antique copper hobby paint. Really rub it in. Think, “Burnish!” Allow to dry.
3. Make a very watery mix of black and antique copper paints. Flick onto planters (I used an old toothbrush).
4. Spray with fixative. If there is a less toxic option than aerosol Krylon spray, I would really love to hear about it.
After a sub-standard mounting job, the backsides are all scratched to Hell, but they really look nice from certain angles, and I’m still proud.