How I Turned an Ugly Duckling into a Beautiful Swan Planter

Have you seen the beautiful concrete swan planters that are so popular right now? I am loving them, but most are out of my price range, so I want to show you how I turned an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan planter using a plastic swan which made this project very affordable.

Several months ago I saw Kathy (aka r.house_) do a makeover on a plastic swan and create a beautiful planter. I was so inspired and decided to try it myself, so I went on a search and found this plastic swan. By the way, if you aren’t already following Kathy on Instagram, you are missing out. She is crazy talented and has the most beautiful home!!

plastic swan planter
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I began by painting a base coat of light gray paint, using a chalk paint I already had on hand. Because this is just a base coat that will peep through in places, I didn’t worry about completely covering it.

swan planter

After this coat dried, I painted a coat of plaster of paris mixed with a cream color paint and watered down a bit. This was also chalk paint I already had.

plaster of paris for swan planter project

I mixed about 1/2 cup of paint with a heaping tablespoon of Plaster of Paris. It was very thick, so I added water until I got a consistency that I could spread with a paintbrush.

I painted a coat all over the swan. And when it was dry, I decided I wanted more texture, so I added another coat.

plaster of paris on swan planter

This is what it looked like after a second coat.

I let it dry, then sanded the rough edges off just a little using a sanding block.

sanding block for swan planter

After the sanding, I wiped it clean and added a quick coat of Annie Sloan’s clear wax, and while the clear wax was still wet, I added just a little dark wax. I used the clear wax first, because it helps control how much dark wax goes on and makes it easier to wipe some off.

I brush on a small amount of dark wax and wipe off most of it using a soft cloth or tshirt. You can continue to do this until you get the desired look you are going for. I just wanted to add a bit of an aged look.

Can you believe this swan went from this….

plastic swan planter

to this???

swan planter

swan planter

This is going to make such a beautiful table centerpiece or decor for my kitchen island. The possibilities are endless!!

I hope you enjoyed this beautiful swan planter makeover, and as always, thank you so much for stopping by! I truly appreciate your support!


If you enjoyed this makeover post about how I turned an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan planter, you might also like to see this drop leaf table makeover and this fireplace screen that went from drab to fab!

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  1. I love this. Now I want a swan. I’d like to share on my Sunday Dirt Raod adventures!

    1. Thanks so much Rachel, and of course you can share!! I really appreciate that!

    1. Thanks so much Diane! So glad you like it!!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing my project sweet friend! Happy Sunday!

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