If you need to spruce up some gardening pots or planters, paint is a good place to start.
Because concrete plant pots are super porous, you need to pick the right type of paint to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Also, decorating and sealing the planters after the paint has dried can keep the end result looking its best for long.
But with all that being said, what’s the best type of paint you can use to decorate your cemented pots indoors or outdoors?
While there are plenty of different options you can try, in my opinion, the kind of paint primer products that will go well are:
- Latex primer to prepare the surface well for better adhesion
- Masonry spray paint or cemented floor paint after the primer has dried
- Epoxy concrete sealer for waterproofing the planters and pots as a final step
Below are some tips on using the right primer and paint on cement planters…
Priming the Cement Pots
Before you paint the concrete plant pots, spray the outside of the pots with latex primer and let them dry. Then, add another thin coat of primer and let it dry as well before you paint.
If you have tiny details or carving on your indoor plant pots, consider using a fine brush to fill those details nicely with the primer.
When done correctly, this will stop the paint from seeping into the tiny holes in porous concrete and getting into the soil in the pot, which may otherwise harm the growth and health of the plant.
Use Masonry Spray Paint for Planters
If you want to spray paint the pot, be sure you pick one that is specifically designed to be used for masonry applications.
This will let it stick to the concrete more efficiently than typical spray paint. Be sure you don’t spray the pot while the plants are in them. Instead, paint the empty pot by turning it over on a covered surface.
Also, position the spray paint between eight and 12 inches from the pot and then spray it on evenly.
Stencils for Creating Patterns
If you choose to use masonry spray paint, you can even personalize the detailed design with stencils rather easily. This will help create different lines, patterns, and natural shapes such as leaves, birds, flowers, numbers, or alphabets.
- Prepare the pot by cleaning the outside and adding a water sealant on the inside. Then, spray the entire planter with a base color.
- Next, lay the stencil over the area that you want to decorate and tape the stencil in place using painter’s tape. Be sure to cover any other area that you do not want to be painted.
- Now apply the spray paint to the stencil. Once completed, you can remove the stencil and place it in other places you want to cover.
Use Cement Floor Paint for Decorating Planters
After the primer has dried on the exterior of your concrete plant holders, you also have the flexibility to use the paint specifically formulated for cemented floors. While most of these coatings may be labeled as paint for floors, they can also be applied to various other surfaces outside of flooring.
Apply the paint onto the exterior of the pot using a paintbrush, ensuring that the initial coat is completely dry. After that assess its color and if it appears too thin or light apply additional layers of paint as required.
After painting the plant pot, you will need to add a top coat or sealant to protect the paint once it has dried. Sealers (such as epoxy concrete sealers) will create a waterproof barrier that will stop water from releasing through the planter and will also lock in the paint.
Be sure the planter has drainage holes on the bottom, so you won’t waterlog the plant and cause root rot or mildew. This will also prevent the paint from peeling, fading, or chipping, so you will keep the new, vibrant appearance for a long time.
Tips for Aging the Garden Pots and Planters with Stain
You don’t have to limit yourself to just floor paint if you want to change the look of the planter – trying out a stain can give it a textured appearance and create a vintage vibe.
- Start by sanding the surface and then sealing the inside with a water sealant.
- Next, use a cloth or brush to apply a liberal coat of stain to the exterior.
- Simply dab the stain onto the surface and then rub it in.
- Because the stain will be applied unevenly, start at the top and work your way down.
- Let it dry, and add another coat.
- Keep adding more stains until you are happy with their appearance.
- Then, spray the surface with a sealant to lock in the stain.
Can You Color Cement Pots Using Acrylic Paint?
Though you can use standard acrylic paint on concrete and cement pots, most of them aren’t meant to withstand the damage that decorative planters experience from the weather. For this reason, it won’t last as long.
That said, there is a specially formulated outdoor acrylic-based paint (sometimes also called “patio paint”) that can be applied just like normal paint to your pots.
It provides enough flexibility to create original designs for your pots. You just need to prepare the surface well and then start applying layers of this outdoor acrylic paint. Because the paint is weather-resistant, it can be applied quickly and will last for a relatively longer time.
What Color is Best to Paint My Garden Planters and Pots?
Well, this is a difficult question to answer without knowing more about the climate conditions in your area.
Dark-colored pots will absorb more sunlight and retain heat longer than light-colored ones, so if you live in an area with warm summers, it might be best to choose a light color such as white or light green. On the other hand, if you live in an area with cool summers, a dark color such as black or deep red might be best.
But it doesn’t stop there. Remember that different materials conduct heat differently. Ceramic flower pots, for example, are heat conductors.
So, if you’re feeling stuck on which color to paint your garden planters and pots, why not have some fun experimenting? See what works best for your climate and personal style.
And hey, if you need some expert advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local gardening guru. After all, the decision should be based on what will thrive in your unique situation.
Can you add a metallic appearance to the planters?
Yes, you can make your concrete, clay, and terra-cotta planters shine by providing a dazzling metallic look. For this, follow these steps:
- Prep the interior and exterior surface of the planter by cleaning it with a mild detergent and water.
- Next, add a water sealant to the inside to keep any moisture from the plant or soil from seeping into the exterior of the planter.
- Now spray metallic paint (specifically designed for metal surfaces) to apply it evenly on the pot.
- It’s good to apply at least two thin coats of metallic paint to make sure it doesn’t chip off quickly. The goal is to stop when you have achieved the color and texture you desire.
Once painted, the last step is to seal your flower planters with either an epoxy concrete sealer or a clear acrylic sealant. This will weatherproof your beautiful metallic garden pots while maintaining a glossy finish.
The Bottom Line
Concrete planters are a common sight in many gardens. However, they can often be quite large, cumbersome to handle, and, when weathered, look rather ragged.
Instead of replacing them, you can simply paint them and create a new, vibrant appearance. It goes a long way toward adding flair and style to your garden, but not just any paint will do.
You’ll need to prime the concrete pot and use masonry paints to ensure it adheres properly to recreate favorite designs, even impressionistic artwork if you desire.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.