Friday, July 1, 2016

Alley-oop! Urn Transformation

I almost fell off my bicycle as I was cruising a neighborhood alley
and spotted these two cement urns next to a dumpster.
The generally accepted rule of alley etiquette is if it's by a dumpster, it's OK to take it.
So, while Ron road back to get the car, I guarded my new steals, I mean treasures. 

Here's a Before and After picture!


They were quite heavy and in excellent shape. 
Except someone had painted them a sickly yellow color.
So Ron sprayed them with a graffiti remover and let it work.


Then gave it a good scrape with a stiff brush.


And finally hosed it off.


Wow! They looked brand new!
Actually, Ron did too good of a job.
The urns were bright white with no character.
They needed to be "aged."


I know you can use moss spores to get this look but where the heck do you find them?
I'd read about aging concrete with coffee grounds so I thought I'd give that a try.
Just rub wet grounds across the concrete and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
You might have to do this a couple of times until you get the color base you want.


The coffee gives it a subtle brownish-gray hue.
Brush off the coffee grounds and throw them in the garden. Worms love coffee!
Then I smudged some brown concrete stain here and there with my finger.


Finally, I took a dab of black acrylic paint and mixed it with the watery brown cement stain.
Using an artist's brush, I outlined some raised features to define them.
I also smudged the darker paint here and there for a mottled look.


It will take years for the urns to become pitted and worn
but at least they don't look brand new anymore.


And you can't beat the price!!

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46 comments:

  1. What a wonderful find! They turned out great.

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    1. Thanks Penny. They'll be even better after a few winters.

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  2. What a fantastic find, I would have been as excited as you were, why is it things that we happen upon, unexpectedly, for free, are always the best! To get a little moss or lichen growing on them and to help age them why not try painting on a little yoghurt. Make sure it is live plain yoghurt. It will take time but it really does work, I have used this trick several times here!

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    1. Thanks Susan. Great to hear from you. I'll definitely try the yogurt.

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  3. Wow! What a treasure! They look awesome, now.

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  4. Those are awesome finds. WHy in the world people would trash those is beyond me.

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    1. Thanks so much Rita. Beyond beyond. But all the better for salvagers like me.

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  5. Great save! I would have grabbed those too.

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  6. I don't know what's better: the urns or that a graffiti removal product is called "Goof Off."
    @Rita: Agree! AND why in the world did they paint them yellow?

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    1. Thank you. I love the name too. Beats me why they'd paint them yellow unless it was to match their house. But all better now.

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  7. Wow - those urns are lucky that you spotted them. They look great now.

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  8. Trash to treasure! You did a great job.

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    1. Thanks Christine. Wish I'd thought of that as the post name!

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  9. Lucky you going down that alley. wonderful makeover.

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    1. Thank you. Our alleys are gold mines. More to come.

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  10. What a find!! I wonder if soaking and brushing with coffee with grounds in it would work??? Those urns are fabulous.....
    Nancy
    wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Nancy. Great idea about the coffee. I bet it would work.

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  11. Graffiti Remover?!? I've never heard of this. What a great product! Learned something new here today! I found you over at "Inspire Me Tuesday" and look what happened!!! I'm inspired! Thanks for the great post; your urns look fabulous!

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    1. Thanks so much Kim. Good Off sure did the trick.I think it was from Home Depot or Ace Hardware. So glad you're inspired!

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  12. They turned out beautifully! I'm glad to find out about the graffiti remover! Everyone needs a can of that!

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    1. Thanks Lisa. Ron gets all the credit for finding Goof Off at Ace Hardware. It definitely does the trick and works quickly.

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  13. Great transformation!! How lucky were you to find those in the alley. Don't they cost a fortune? I'm a little jealous.



    Thanks so much for sharing at Thoughts of Home on Thursday! Your participation thrills us! Pinning ;)

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    1. Thanks Stacey. I think you're right; those urns are expensive. Someone suggested using live yogurt to age them but I haven't been able to find it. Still looking. Curious to see what it does. Thanks so much for your comments.

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  14. WOW what a deal
    I love finding stuff like that in an alley or dumpster haah

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    1. Thanks so much. Yeah, I'm definitely an alley shopper!

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  15. I have wanted an urn for the garden for so long.

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

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    1. Thank you! They do look pretty in the garden. I'd love to find the pedestal kind (in the alley of course).

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  16. Pat, One mans trash is another's treasure, as the saying goes. Riding bikes is a great idea. I love the way you turned the urns into something nice. Sylvia D.

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    1. Thank you Sylvia. I heard a funny take on that saying. It's one man's trash is another man's trash! Ha.

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  17. Wow, those are excellent steals! I would love to come across a find like that. They look stunning! Thank you for linking up at Dishing It and Digging It this week :)

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    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comments. The ferns I transplanted to the urns have new growth on them! Yea!

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  18. Recycling at its finest! Great find and love the "re-do"!

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    1. Thank you so much! I love the idea of recycling and keeping good stuff out of land fills.

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  19. What a wonderful find and you worked a miracle redoing them.

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  20. Oh my goodness, what an incredible find! Crazy really. So happy for you :) and I love your aging process. Thanks so much for linking up with Vintage Charm--

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    1. Thanks Diana. Crazy is right! I love alley shopping!

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  21. What an awesome find! THey look great! Thank you for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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