Painting plastic planters to look less plastic?

merrydSeptember 25, 2005

I have some long plastic planters with drip trays. They are smooth and a light pinkish mushroom/taupe that doesn't look good against the very light yellowish beige of the house. I'd really like to paint them a terra cotta color but Krylon doesn't have that in their Fusion line and wondered if there is another brand that does. I'd like the blue if it would end up looking like glazed pottery or a color that looks like rust would work. I really don't want white and the trays will have water sitting in them frequently so a good bond is essential.

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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

I got disgusted with 5 mismatched old plastic pots this spring and grabbed up some old latex exterior house paint that had been in the garage (freezing a few times) for 3 years and painted them. These pots were the cheapest possible huge (30 inches tall .... 24 inch diameter) plastic pots that had faded in the sun. This painting process took maybe 30 minutes. I fully expected the paint to pop off, peel off, flake off, etc. Instead, the pots still look wonderful 6 months later so I put them away for next year. My investment in materials was zero, my investment in time was 30 minutes. I'd be happy to do this once a year if I had to but it looks like I will get 2 seasons out of this.
My point here is you might experiment with any old paint and see if it works for you.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 10:28PM
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wildwood5760(8b FL)

I actually got this idea from HGTV several years ago...

lightly sand the shine off the plastic, paint with KILZ, then mix sand into regular house paint and paint the pot. The final product will have a rough texture similar to concrete that has been painted.

I tried this on a few old pots and they looked much better and the paint stayed on for about 5 years before starting to peel. And then it only began peeling on the inside edges of the pot where it was in constant contact with the soil.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 11:09PM
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Miss_M(z6 E TN)

I too had the "ugly plastic pot" problem. I just used acrylic craft paint that I had. Then I sponged on a buttermilk color -- then sprayed a sealer (97 cents from Walmart). They looked like enamalware. They are in their third season and still look great.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 9:03AM
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Rustoleum has a spray base coat that is supposed to work on plastic. After you put it on, you can use any kind of
paint over it.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 6:11PM
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Chris_MI(z5 MI)

First I used an old stencil and drew the design on the 24" long planters. then I used liquid nails in a tube and caulked over the lines. I did the same thing to an old black 5 gallon nursery pot too, since I had some 'liquid nails left in the tube. I used black house paint and some left over brown and grey acrylic spray paint, the cheap stuff(on newspaper) and it looks like stone with a great raised design. you could just make a simple design like diamonds, herringbone, etc. with the liquid nails. this is the 3rd summer and the pots are not peeling. I can easily repaint them as needed. what is the worse that can happen-it peels and you redo them.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 9:55AM
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Rain, tell us how you did your pots, please. They look great!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 6:35PM
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Sorry I havn't replied till now but thank you for your suggestions. Since these are new pots and the slick finish will most likely not take direct painting very well, I'm going to use the spray paint for plastic. I have my heart set on a ceramic look so I've been experimenting with whats available. I looked in some faux painting books and I'm surprised I couln't find a ceramic glaze technique.

I've played around with colors, just practice spraying onto cardboard, but what resulted looked so much like a pottery glaze I can't wait to try it on the pots!

First I used a base of navy and followed very quikly with a light spray of the Hyicinth color by Krylon's Fusion, done so when the little specks hit the still wet base they sort of 'melt' in. That creates a mottled cobalt blue. Then as quickly as possible spray about an inch and a half of metallic light green around the top edge, enough to have it drip and then follow with a thinner band of metalic gold on top of that.

My sample has the metalics dripping just enough that the reactions with the base look like real glaze-even the color variations! I'm waiting until next weekend after I go to a Home Depot clinic on paint techniques. The woman who teaches the classes was working when I asked about splatering on mineral spirits for a mottled efect. She's going to focus the class on my pots so I can get some expert advise if things don't work out like my cardboard samle. My main concerns are paint compatability in he long term-don't know if the metalics are compatable with the base paint and whether the thicker application will hold up.

I've never done pictures on the net so if they turn out I'll try to put them up here.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 12:20PM
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rain1950(W. WA z8)

The swirl patterns is an old hippie method called dip-painting. The pots are cheapo WalMart ones. Scrub them down with soap and water; when dry spray with flat white. Line a plastic tun with plastic and fill half-way with water. You can buy the cheap WalMart spray paint in may colors. Spray the colors of choice on the surface of the water and dip the pot into it. Sometimes you need to make two or three dips to get the desired pattern.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 10:36AM
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Has anyone ever painted the new lightweight styrofoam planters?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 2:48PM
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Chris, that sounds neat, could you post a picture?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 3:37PM
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