How To Upcycle Tattered Metal Garden Art Animals

Do you have some metal garden decor that has seen its better days? They always add such playfulness to our outdoor spaces but over time can look worse for wear from the outdoor elements. Instead of replacing them with new ones, why not breathe new life into them with paint. It's a fun garden craft to enjoy outdoors and even the kids can get in on the fun. I'm going to show you how easy it is to upcycle tattered metal garden art animals with some bright and whimsical charm.

DIY Yard Art Craft

Weathered Metal Garden Decor Upcycle Idea

The inspiration for breathing new life into my tattered yard art animals was this ceramic vintage camper flower pot. My daughter surprised me on Mother's Day and took me to a ceramics studio for some Mother/Daughter creative time. She made a cute hedgehog flower pot while I made this one with bright and happy whimsical colors for our backyard deck.

DIY Garden Decor Ideas

You only need a few supplies to breathe new life into your metal yard art and you probably already have what you need on hand. The possibilities for color and stencil choices are endless.

Upcycled Tattered Metal Garden Art

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Supply List

Bronze Metal Garden Animals (alternative)
Colonial Red Spray Paint
Satin Clear Coat Spray (rated for outdoors)
Satin Acrylic Craft Paint (Light Yellow, Pool Blue, Seafoam Green)
Stencil Brush
Small Art Brushes
Pencil Eraser Tip (for polka dots)
Self-adhesive Reusable Floral Stencil (alternative)

Let's take a look at my poor tattered bronze garden art animals before their makeover. I've had them in the flower beds for over twenty years, purchased at Giant Tiger, a discount Canadian retail chain. They've done fairly well considering.

Here's the hound dog with his springy tail and you can see he's in dire need of some sprucing up.

Metal Garden Art Dog Before Makeover

...and here is Mr. Hound Dog looking all cute after his whimsical makeover.

Upcycled Whimsical Garden Art Dog

Here's the stray cat looking a little beat up.

Metal Garden Art Cat Before Makeover

...and here's the playful cat now.

Upcycled Whimsical Garden Art Cat

If you've been following the blog you know that we're on a mission to update our backyard deck on a beer budget. This is the eighth DIY project in the series.

Budget-Friendly Deck Makeover Series - Project Eight
Refreshing our outdoor living space on a beer budget!

My whimsical garden sculptures were looking too darn cute to put back in the fern grotto and so I brought them onto the deck to display in front of our repurposed shutter privacy screen. They make me smile every time I see them and are quite the conversation piece too.

Metal Garden Art Animals Makeover

Metal Garden Art Animal Makeover How-To

Let's get into the nitty-gritty of how to freshen old tattered metal garden decor starting with the main paint color.

Budget-Friendly Metal Garden Sculptures Upcycle Idea

Step 1 - Spray paint the metal garden art

First, decide on the main paint color. Red is my favorite color so no surprise that's the color I chose for Mr. Hound Dog and Miss Kitty Kat. I gave them both two coats of Colonial Red Rustoleum Ultra Cover Paint & Primer spray paint.

You could stop here by choosing just one color to refreshen up your metal yard art but I just had to do something more with those cute eyes. And one eye led to another and the next thing you know all the cute details got some color.

Metal Yard Art Crafts

Step 2 - Adding green polka dots

Next, I used the same seafoam green paint I had leftover from the DIY Birdhouse Sign and went crazy with the tip of a retractable pencil to create polka dots on the hound dog's droopy ears and the kitty cat's hind legs and back of the head.

Metal Garden Art Crafts

On hound dog's hind legs I decided to stencil some flower power instead, with a floral stencil that I had on hand. The options for how you embellish your garden art are endless.

DIY Whimsical Garden Decor

I decided to paint the eyes, springs, and the cat's nose this color too.

Step 3 - Accenting with yellow

I painted the cat's whiskers and around the eyes of both animals in light yellow. While I had the paint jar open I painted the tips of the tails too.

DIY Garden Decor Upcycle

Step 4 - A pop of turquoise

For a bright pop of color, I painted the paws, cat's ears, and dog's nose with a bright turquoise Pool Blue color.

Step 5 - Protecting the whimsical paint colors

Once the paint was completely dry I applied to coats of Rustoleum Satin Spray Clear Coat.

DIY Metal Garden Cat Refresh

In case you missed any of the DIY projects in our budget-friendly deck makeover series, here's a recap:

DIY Birdhouse Sign
Budget-Friendly Deck Restore
Easy DIY Solar Fence Lights
How To Stain A Super Easy DIY Outdoor Rug
A Quick And Easy Way To Re-Stain Adirondack Chairs
A Playful Headboard Garden Bench
How To Add Charm To Boring Outdoor Red Cushions
Deck Privacy Screen From Repurposed Doors

I love how with a bit of paint and fun craft afternoon craft project brought my twenty-year-old-year-old bronze metal animals back to life and they now have so much personality. Every time I sit on the deck they make me smile.

Upcycled Metal Garden Art

If you have any questions about this fun yard art craft, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top. I love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed my upcycled metal garden art animals, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Garden Art board on Pinterest

Upcycled Metal Yard Art Before and After

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.



  1. What a great makeover! The fun colors and polka dots really brighten them up.

    1. Thanks Lisa, they do make me smile everytime I sit on the deck. My little 1 1/2 year old granddaughter is fascinated by them. LOL

  2. What a fun makeover for your dog and cat! I love the whimsical look. I've pinned it to my garden art board.

    1. Thank you so much for the visit, the pin, and the sweet comment, Allyson!

  3. These are both so cute! You did such a great job!

    1. Thank you so much, Michelle! We needed a little whimsy on the deck.

  4. Marie,
    OMG, these are so adorable. They make me smile. Congratulations, you are being featured on Over the Moon Linky Party. I hope you stop by.

    1. Hi Bev! Thanks so much for the feature and I'll definitely see you at the party. Happy Memorial Day weekend 😀

  5. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn


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