Trash to Treasure: DIY Plant Table

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Hey there! In today’s post, I’m going to upcycle an old wrought-iron table to create a beautiful, colourful piece for my yard. The fun part? I’m making a two-for-one project! I looked at a bunch of DIY plant stand ideas and decided I could combine a beautiful plant stand AND an outdoor patio table for a truly functional, small-space-friendly piece. Come see how I did it with my step-by-step tutorial!

When I was looking for DIY planter inspiration, I found a lot of ideas. But they were all very complicated. I just didn’t feel like creating wooden plant stands from in-depth instructions. And while the concrete plant stand I found was lovely, it would have been SO much work, not to mention expensive to make.

An upcycled glass top table with a DIY plant stand on the bottom.

What can I use instead of a plant stand for cheap? 

So, I knew I wanted something easy and I wanted to use things I already had on hand to keep the costs down. I looked around my stash and I came up with my own patio table + planter DIY! This was extremely affordable since the only thing I really needed to purchase was spray paint. It was also quick and easy, which was another bonus!

What can I use for a tall plant stand?

Admittedly, the project I ended up making is low to the ground, which has its own kind of charm! If you want to make a tall plant stand, you would need to find a different style like my plans for a DIY planter box that you can build to your own specifications. My objective here was to build something pretty, simple, and inexpensive, which was more important to me than a tall plant stand or plant shelf.


Tools and Materials

This was such an easy project! Here is what you need to make your own table-planter combo:

  • Old table (thrifted if you don’t have one on hand!)
  • TSP & an old rag
  • Paint (I used Behr spray paint in Hidden Sea Glass, White, and Outdoor Cafe)
  • Metal bucket (any old container would work)
  • 1 self-tapping screw 
  • Impact or drill
  • potted plant 
An old patio table with a wrought iron base and glass top

Watch the DIY Plant Table Upcycle Video

The Table 

First, let’s talk about the table part of this DIY plant stand project. It is an old glass-topped patio table that I had lying around. I love the curly lines, but the plain iron colour felt dated and heavy somehow. 


I decided to give it a paint refresh first. This is one of my favourite ways to update most things, and it’s a perfect project for beginners in the DIY world! 

Because I wasn’t dealing with straight lines for painting, I decided spray paint was the way to go.  It is a perfect way to get into all the nooks and crannies and edges that this table frame presented. This style would be very difficult to paint with a brush without all kinds of lines and drips! 

Christina is spray painting the old iron coffee table base teal.

The very first thing I did was prep the surface to take paint. I removed the glass tabletop and used TSP to clean the entire iron frame. You want to make sure there is no grease, dust, grime or anything else on the surface you are painting to make sure the paint sticks properly. 

I used Behr Paint + Primer spray paint in gloss finish that I purchased at Home Depot. I love this particular spray paint for these projects for a few reasons. It sticks to almost anything: wood, metal, plastic, and more! It is also designed for indoor or outdoor use, so using it to finish my outdoor patio table worked great. Its paint-plus-primer composition meant less prep work and fewer coats necessary too.  If you are considering painting a metal frame plant stand like I did, I cannot recommend this brand enough. 

The colour I chose was Hidden Sea Glass. This is a perfect spring or summer colour for enjoying outside, and you all know I love any shade of aqua! As soon as I started spraying it on I knew I was going to love the finished result. 

Christina is spraying a second coat of teal paint on the base of the thrifted iron table.

Paint with even, long strokes from a distance that will not leave drips or runs on the surface you are painting. 

I only had to do two coats of paint to cover the iron frame of this table, and I was so excited to see my vision start to take shape! The paint only took 15 minutes to dry between coats, which means this DIY can be done quickly.


Then, it was time for the planter part of this DIY outdoor plant table! I decided to stick with my upcycling theme and used an old metal bucket that had no other purpose at that moment. I love the shape of it and the cut-out handles make it seem vintage and friendly. 

But since I had refreshed the table with a new coat of paint, I decided to do the same for the bucket. I used the same Behr Paint + Primer brand that I used for the table. But this time I used plain white in a flat finish. 

The painting strategy was basically the same for this large, flat surface as it was for the curly lines of the table: long, even strokes at a distance that won’t cause drips. The white paint-plus-primer has such good coverage that this metal bucket still only took two coats to cover! I love this Behr spray paint. 

Pro tip: I only spray painted a few inches down from the edge on the inside of the bucket. Since it will be full of dirt and a beautiful plant, painting the whole thing was not necessary and would have been a waste of time and paint. 

Finishing Touches

Once the table and the planter were painted, I still felt like something was missing. I realized I was missing the vintage look I always crave, especially for my outdoor projects! So, I decided to add one more layer of paint. 

I grabbed a can of Behr Paint + Primer in Outdoor Cafe (a soft brown colour) and an old stiff-bristled brush. Then, I sprayed the paint right into the brush bristles. I used my finger (wear gloves for this!) to stroke down on the brush bristles and flick the paint onto the table frame. This gave me the vintage speckled effect I was missing! 

I liked it so much that I decided to do the same thing on the planter as well. 

If you’ve never done something like this, I would recommend doing a test first! Grab a piece of scrap wood and do some test speckles before you move on to your actual project. You will feel much more confident and you are more likely to get the right effect too. 

A close up image of the DIY plant table leg showing the vintage speckled paint effect.

Put It All Together

Then, it was time for the “construction” part of this DIY! If you have been wondering how I made a table into a planter box, be prepared to laugh at how simple it was. 

Do you know what a self-tapping screw is? It’s a screw with a sharp point and sharp threads that can make a hole in metal as it is drilled into the surface. Because my table is made from metal, this was necessary to make sure the screw could grab and hold. If you are creating something using wood, simple wood screws would be OK too. 

I took one self-tapping screw and put it through the bottom of my newly painted planter tub and into the base of the table. That’s it! Do you see why this is such a great beginner project? That is all it took to turn my table into a DIY planter. 

An upcycled patio table into a DIY plant stand

I placed the table on my deck outside the back door. I took a beautiful potted plant full of blooms and greenery and set it inside the planter. Then, I put the glass tabletop back on and styled it with two white chairs and a vase full of lilac blooms. The flowers above and below look so beautiful together. 

An overhead view of a table that has been transformed into a DIY plant stand

And that’s it! This little table planter is worthy of Pinterest and would be the perfect outdoor project for your yard this spring or summer. It would look great as a pop of color on your front porch or back deck and creates a lovely welcoming little seating area for your next backyard cup of tea or glass of wine with a friend or spouse. If your table is small enough (or your living room big enough!) it would even look amazing as a home for some of your houseplants.

An upcycled glass top table with a DIY plant stand on the bottom.

Have you upcycled something old and turned it into something beautiful? I would love to see it! Tag me @thediymommy

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A painted patio table with a glass top and a DIY plant pot with flowers attached to the bottom.

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