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Are your plastic flowerpots looking a little tired this year? Give them a quick and easy makeover with two cans of spray paint and a little bit of creativity. In this blog post, I’ll show you how you can transform your pots from blah to wow with this easy DIY.


The first time I experimented with this technique, I used a bright blue and indigo and was very happy with the results. Here are the step-by-step instructions for transforming your old plastic flower pots into something beautiful:

  1. Start by cleaning your plastic pot and letting it dry.
  2. Turn it over and spray paint it the colour you want most of the pot to be. Use a heavy hand with the spray paint, because you want to take advantage of the dripping.
  3. After you’ve covered as much as you can, spray paint the top (aka of the bottom of the pot because you’re working upside down) with the second colour. Spray the colour much closer than you normally would. Gravity needs to do that work for you.
  4. Next spray a bit of the second colour in the middle of the pot, from farther away than the can recommends, so you get a bit of definition to your drips. This makes a nice ombre effect.
  5. Let the pot dry overnight (or for at least 2 hours).
  6. Flip the pot right side up and spray paint the top with your first colour.
  7. Once the pot is totally dry, fill it with soil and your favourite flowers or vegetables!
Are your terra cotta or plastic pots looking tired?  Give them an easy and creative makeover with a little bit of spray paint.  Your flower pots (and plants!) will look amazing with this simple DIY idea. #diy #gardendiy #plasticpots #flowerpots #upcyle #containergardening #backyard

How Long will the Paint Job Look Good?

So far, my made-over plastic flower pots have endured three summers on a blistering hot, south-facing deck. They have not been taken indoors over the winter and have basically been left to fend for themselves.

Most of the pots I spray-painted have held up very well, only needing some light touch-ups after 2 years. The only exception is one larger and older pot that came with the house, which the paint seems to scratch off very easily. I’m assuming it must be made of a different plastic.

Are your terra cotta or plastic pots looking tired?  Give them an easy and creative makeover with a little bit of spray paint.  Your flower pots (and plants!) will look amazing with this simple DIY idea. #diy #gardendiy #plasticpots #flowerpots #upcyle #containergardening #backyard

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I tried this DIY gardening project again in 2022 with some alterations. This time I used four spray-paint colours: white and three shades of blue (light, medium, and dark). After trying different combinations (some with lighter bases and some with darker), I found any combination of the four colours worked. My only disappointment was that the price of spray paint has increased significantly since the last time I did this project!

This time around, I also tried different shapes and textures of pots–circular, smooth, ridged, square–and found the spray paint behaved differently on each pot. As well, for the third step, I experimented with spraying the paint incredibly close to the pots (say an inch or less), which resulted in more defined drips.

All this to say, if you’re going to try this project, understand that results may vary and that you’ll want to invest in a few colours of paint and styles of pots to find what works best for you!


How do you Touch Up Tired-Looking Containers?

To touch up your container, follow these steps:

  1. Remove all soil from the container.
  2. Wash the container inside and out, remove all dirt, and let dry.
  3. If the top of the container is the only part that needs touching up, just lightly spray paint that area.
  4. If the whole container needs touching up, repeat the process you initially used to spray paint the container, giving a slightly thicker spray to the areas that need it.

Repeat the process every 2-3 years and enjoy your containers for many years to come.

I hope you have fun making over your plastic pots. If you try this project, share your results with me on social media! I’d love to see them. And for all things cold-climate, short-season gardening, find me on Facebook Instagram and YouTube!

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Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!