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Outdoor Lanterns: Easy Spray Paint Update

Do you have old outdoor lanterns that are looking a bit worse for wear? If so, you can easily update it with a few cans of spray paint.

If you’re thinking, “I need to just throw this rusty thing away”? Well, Stop right there.

This is an Outdoor Lantern: Easy Spray Paint Update that will have your rusty pieces looking brand new.

I have had a couple of black lanterns for several years. They have only been used outdoors and, therefore, have developed a lot of rusty areas.

I was ready to toss the lanterns and buy new ones.

Rusty old outdoor lantern

I’m so glad that inspiration sparked before it was too late.

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Easy Spray Paint Update

First, I was willing to throw away the old lanterns because I didn’t want the tedious task of covering all the glass to prevent paint overspray.

Then I investigated the inside of the lanterns and realized that I could remove the glass before painting.

How To Prepare Outdoor Lanterns For Makeover

I discovered that there are metal tabs at the top and bottom of the glass, and they bend easily with your fingers.

remove glass from old outdoor lanterns

This made the update so much easier. All you need to do is determine how the glass is being held in the frame. In this case, it was easy to bend the metal tabs away from the glass and then remove the glass. No tools were necessary.

Clean The Lantern Frame

Once the glass is removed, clean the frame and brush away any rusted spots with a steel brush.

If the frame is heavily rusted, you may need to use Rust Dissolver before repainting.

Note: Follow Rust Dissolver Instructions carefully.

How To Paint Outdoor Lanterns

I was amazed at how easy the glass was to remove.

We had just added some copper landscape lights around the pool area, and I decided that painting the lanterns copper would give them a fresh, updated look.

spray paint old outdoor lanterns to refresh.

Rust-oleum has beautiful copper spray paint in a hammered finish. I used this paint for several projects last year and knew it would be a great look on the lanterns.

Just prepare an area by using cardboard or a drop cloth.

Place the lanterns on the prepared area and use the paint according to package directions.

See 10 Tips for Free Fall Decorating to learn about more spray paint projects.

use Rust-0leum spray paint

Insider Tip

It’s easy to lose sight of an item’s potential when you’ve had it in your decor for a long time.

Before tossing away your home decor, ask yourself these questions.

  • Can this item be repaired?
  • Is it worth repairing or painting?
  • Can it be repurposed into usable decor?

You can ask these same questions when out thrifting for potential decor deals.

Prepare Glass

You will want to wash and dry the pieces of glass before adding them back to the lantern.

Finally, place each glass piece back into position and secure it by bending the metal tab back in place.

Copper Lantern updated

The lanterns look perfect on the picnic tablescape that I’m planning this week.

If you prefer to use a brush, you can easily update your projects with chalk paint as well. See this tutorial on How To Use Chalk Paint.

Copper outdoor lantern updated for Picnic tablescape

See how I used these updated lanterns on my inspired picnic table setting ideas.

outdoor lanterns spray painted copper for Summer outdoor picnic table setting.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope this inspired you to think before throwing away old home decor. I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you.

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outdoor lanterns spray painted copper for Summer outdoor picnic table setting.


Tuesday 1st of August 2023

Wow, what a difference! I love them. I follow you and I love your journeys and craftings. Thanks so much for all you do...


Tuesday 1st of August 2023

Vickie, I really appreciate this. Thanks for following along.

Heather Krout

Tuesday 1st of August 2023

The before and after pictures are incredible! Love the color you chose to give your lanterns new life! Beautiful Rachel!


Tuesday 1st of August 2023

Heather, I really appreciate you for stopping by. Thank you for your comments.


Tuesday 1st of August 2023

Your lanterns look gorgeous!


Tuesday 1st of August 2023

Renae, Thank you for stopping by.


Saturday 16th of July 2022



Saturday 16th of July 2022

Miche, Thanks so much.


Monday 11th of July 2022

That was easy and it looks amazing!


Monday 11th of July 2022

Yes, Thanks Stacy.