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.
Doing upkeep on the planters after the paint has dried can keep the end result looking its best.
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
- Seal with epoxy concrete sealers for waterproofing the planters and pots
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, you will need to apply some latex primer to the pots.
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.
Spray the outside of the pots with primer and let them dry. Then, add another coat of primer and let it dry as well before you paint.
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.
Position the spray paint between eight and 12 inches from the pot and then spray it on evenly.
Stencils for Creating Patterns
To add details to the paint, you can even use stencils which create different lines and patterns.
You can go with natural shapes such as leaves, birds, and flowers or choose any other pattern you desire.
If you choose to use masonry spray paint, you can personalize the design with stencils rather easily.
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 replace it somewhere else.
Use Cement Floor Paint for Decorating Planters
You can use any kind of paint designed for masonry or cement to paint the exterior of a concrete plant holder after the primer has dried.
Many of these paints are labeled as paint for floors, but you will also see different surfaces listed where the paint can be used outside of flooring.
Brush the paint onto the outside of the pot using a paintbrush. Make sure the first coat has dried fully and check its color. If the coat of paint looks too thin, you can add extra layers of paint as needed.
Aging the Planters
You do not need to restrict yourself to the floor paint if you want to change the appearance of the planter.
Using a stain will provide a textured appearance that creates a vintage look.
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.
Sealing the Cement Planter Pots with WaterProof Sealer
Concrete can be painted, but you will need to add a top coat or sealant to protect the paint once it has dried.
This means that after you finish painting the plant pot, using either spray paint or masonry paint, put a coat of sealer over the painted areas.
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 prevent the paint from peeling, fading, or chipping, so you will keep the new, vibrant appearance for a long time.
Can You Color Cement Using Acrylic Paint?
Though you can use standard acrylic paint on concrete pots, most of these paints aren’t meant to withstand the damage that potted plants experience from the weather. For this reason, it won’t last as long.
With that said, there is a specially formulated outdoor paint that is acrylic-based. It can be applied to concrete and provides enough flexibility to create original designs. Sometimes called “patio paint,” you can apply it just like normal paint.
Prepare the surface and then start applying layers of acrylic paint. Because the paint is weather-resistant, it can be applied quickly and will last for a long time.
Can You Add a Metallic Appearance to the Planters?
Yes, you can make your concrete planters shine by providing a metallic appearance to the surface.
For this, you will need to prep the surface of the planter and add a water sealant to the inside first to keep any moisture from the plant or soil from seeping into the exterior of the planter.
Next, spray the metallic paint onto the surface in several light layers.
The goal is to stop when you have achieved the color and texture you desire. Once finished, add another coat of water sealant to lock in the metallic look of the paint.
What Color is Best to Paint My Garden Planters and Pots?
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.
Also, you should consider the material of the pot, such as plastic, terracotta, metal, wood, etc.
Dark colors absorb more heat than light colors, but some materials, such as ceramic, conduct heat better than others.
So, if you’re unsure what color to paint your garden planters and pots, the best thing to do is experiment with different colors and see what works best in your particular climate. Or, it’s best to consult with a local gardening expert to get an idea.
Ultimately, the decision should be based on what will work best for your particular situation.
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.
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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.