Cottage Screen Door Planter Rack

By Kate Riley March 28, 2012

I was visiting my friend the other day and noticed an old cottage screen door sitting by the side of her house.  I said, “Whatcha gonna do with that?”  and she said “Don’t know, doesn’t fit our doorway.” and I said “It’s really cool, can I do something with it for you?” and she said, “Go for it.”  So I decided to turn it into an architectural planter rack for some herb containers. 

I also made her some cute paint can planters too – I snapped a few pics of the door turned planter rack in my yard, but it’s headed back to her house where her hub will attach it to the side of their house.  But I have to say, I’m totally smitten with this door, the pale blue paint is all chipped and crackled and old and awesome and the arched panes on top had me at hello.  I will miss it when it goes so I’ll have to visit my friend as an excuse to stare at the transformed screen door that I love so much. 

cottage screen door planter rack cg


cottage screen door planters cg


For the rosemary, basil, spearmint, cilantro and dill, I made these paint can planters with the same technique I used three years ago for these gallon size paint can planters

cg striped paint can planter


Here’s a recap:  First start with plain gallon or quart size paint cans from your local paint department (these are from Home Depot).

plain paint cans

Determine your base color.  I wanted white so I used primer which is fine, but you could also use white spray paint.  These are turned upside down to prevent any paint getting inside.

prime paint cans


Use painter’s tape to mask off the future white stripes, spray paint with another color – I found an older can of Slate Blue in my stash so I used that.

first stripe on paint cans

blue slate


Once those stripes were dry, I added the middle stripe, using painter’s tape to cover the rest – this color was RustOleum’s Aqua, also from my stash. 

second stripe


Peel your tape carefully – if you’re left with any imperfections, you can fix them with a craft paint brush dipped into a small amount of paint sprayed into the can’s top.

fix paint can imperfections


Be sure to puncture holes in the bottom with a hammer and nail to allow for drainage.

puncture holes in can


To hang them, I drilled two small pilot holes with a power drill and then attached two 1¼” cup hooks to the underside of the frame.

attaching cup hook


With a nail and made two holes in the upper part of the can so the hooks would suspend the planter.

two hooks to hold


And that’s pretty much it!

screen door plant rack cg


cottage screen door planters cg


I still have my original striped paint can planters.  Anyone remember these from back in the day?

striped planter cg


You can see the full step by step on these gallon versions that used to be on my fence, now they float around the yard still looking awesome.

paint can planters gallon and quart size


And that is the story of how this very cool architectural screen door became so much more… I see similar ones in salvage yards, at flea markets, and even at ReStore  – they’re a great way to add a very cool and functional accent to your outdoors. 

Note: If you have any wind in your yard, it’s probably best to secure the screen door to the wall to avoid it tipping over or falling down. 

This concludes our Spring Fling Link Parties, it’s always a blast partnering with my blog buddies to kick start some creativity.  Looking forward to next time ladies!

spring fling banner

Linking up to Sarah’s Spring Paint Projects party posting later tonight.




  1. Oooh! Cool! The wheels in my brain are turning now. I used to have a door on my porch that was just there for a fun architectural salvage kind of feature. It’s inside, but I have been missing it. I *like* to have random junk everywhere, apparently! Ha! But this gives me a *reason* to convince the hubster that I *need* one. Tee hee!

    Thank you!


  2. These are super cute. I think I’m going to try to rework this idea into an old vintage window I have somehow. But aren’t the gallon cans quite expensive. I don’t know about the quart cans, but I thought the gallon cans were at least $5 each. Anyway if you could let me know the costs, that would be super helpful!!

    • Hey Jen, the quart cans at my local Home Depot are $2.50 – don’t recall the price on the gallons, gonna guess close to $4.50 or $5 like you suggested. Hope this helps!

  3. Love this idea! I’ve done something similar, but using the cup hooks is a fabulous idea! Thanks!

  4. You can line the bottom of the can with a coffee filter before adding soil. This keeps the soil from leaking out the drainage holes and making a mess. I use Bunn filters because they have a flat bottom, and I have lots left over from my coffee filter wreaths.

    • Hi Sheila, that door was already a fab grayish blue color, probably another reason I’m so in love with it!

  5. I love this project! I wish I was like you cool gals and had awesome stuff just laying around waiting to be turned into MORE awesome stuff! Hmmm… I do think I have some old paint cans sitting around in the gararge… :-)

  6. Fabulous as always, Kate! This idea is much better than the little planter of basil I currently have in the window above my kitchen sink, still in it’s generic plastic holder and…wait for it…”water from the bottom” wrapper packaging. Winning.

    PS. I’ve arranged for us to finally have that glass of wine together. See you in Atlanta in June!

    • Yay, so excited Dusty, can’t wait to to see you at Haven girl! I’ll never forget, you were one of the first to put little ol’ me on your blogroll, won’t ever forget it, so I guess I’LL be buying you that glass of wine! xoxo

  7. Such a great idea with the paint cans – I also read the old gallon size post. I have used cans I had let dry out so I could get rid of them – but I’m making planters instead!! I don’t think a little dried paint inside will hurt if I can’t get it out. The stuff on the outside should go away with the label.

    So awesome!

  8. Okay, this is brilliant and a half! Seriously, Kate, I’ve seen all kind of uses for old doors, but the simplicity/do-ability factor makes it something I want to run out and do right this second!

    Great idea!

    I’ll admit it: I’m more than a little jealous of your friend right now.

  9. I know incredible talent when I see it, girl! And I can’t believe you remembered that! You are too sweet. Can’t wait to meet you!

  10. Hi Kate,
    Thought I would pass on that you can get free quart paint cans from Kelly Moore. I’m from the SF Bay Area too, so I know you must have a Kelly Moore near you. Those free cans come in handy, I use them for all sorts of things.

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