DIY Tutorial: Painting a Decorative Planter

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Dec 14, 2011 | Kass Wilson

Planter and photo by Kass Wilson/Wallstreat Studios.Throughout the dreary winter months, we miss the lush green of summer.  The addition of foliage into our living spaces will breathe new life into a room.  Indoor trees are readily available at local garden centers.  But the bigger challenge is the container

Containers come in all sizes, shapes and colors.  The prices are equally variable.  But, with the magic of paint, you can transform a lightweight and inexpensive planter into what appears to be a very pricey decorative accessory.  It is just this easy.

1) Begin with a light-weight plastic or fiberglass pot.  Don’t worry about the color because you have the option to change it.  Just pay attention to the shape.  It should be the appropriate size for your plant.  To avoid a mess, get one that is large enough to hold the drainage pan inside.  This way, you will be assured that water and residue will not end up on your carpet or hardwood floors.

2) Lightly sand the container to rough up the surface and apply a spray primer for complete coverage.  Be sure to include a few inches inside of the pot and under the lip since this area will also be visible.  Any time products are sprayed, it is best to do it in a well-ventilated area.  To avoid drips, the can should be at least a foot or more away from your project. Keep your hand moving as you spray.  Think of “lightly dusting” the project. 

3) Now you have a pristine canvas that can be painted in any way that will compliment your décor.  The options are endless.  You may choose to keep it simple and merely change the color.  If you are more adventurous, there are kits available that will make it look like granite, stone, terra cotta or metals. You could be courageous and just make up your own.  Consider adding a personal touch with additional embellishments such as stamps, hand painted designs or any other decorative painting technique.

4) If you are adding texture, be sure to use a latex based product.  Both fiberglass and plastic will have some “give”.  If the texture is not latex (like sheet rock mud or plaster) it will crack when moved.

5) Depending upon the finish you choose, the sheen of your topcoat may be a factor as you create your illusion.  A matte or flat sheen is typical for surfaces that appear to be stone, aged metals or terracotta.  High gloss is preferred for the appearance of polished marble or glazed ceramics.  For even consistency, these can be applied with a foam roller or spray.

Now, all that is left is to insert your plant and place it in your room.  If you can see the inside of the pot, add a layer of Spanish moss or even some additional draping plants to fill in as a disguise for the gap around the top.

Kass Wilson is a Networx - - writer. Get home & garden ideas like this - - on Networx.

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