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Dress up black nursery pots

By: Garden Gate staff
Do you have a stack of plastic nursery pots in your garage? Well, start now and by next spring you can make them into a stack of attractive pots.

dress up black
nursery pots

Do you have a stack of plastic nursery pots in your garage? Well, start now and by next spring you can make them into a stack of attractive pots. Here’s an idea for making them look good enough for the garden without spending a lot of time or a small fortune. You’ll make rolled-edge, stone-look containers from nursery pots that have been dressed up, for about $10 each in materials and a trip to the hardware store.

STEP ONE — This technique works best on sturdy pots with rims. First wash the pot well and dry it completely so the paint will stick to the plastic. Also, sand the pot lightly with fine sandpaper to scuff up the surface. The pipe insulation comes with a lengthwise slit in it. Pull the insulation apart along this slit and slide it onto the rim of the pot to see how long a piece you need to fit around the top edge. With scissors, cut the insulation to the right length, then remove it.

STEP TWO — Apply a bead of construction adhesive, such as Liquid Nails®, to the top edge of the lip of the pot. Replace the insulation on the lip and place a piece of duct tape over the insulation where the two ends meet. The tape will hold it onto the pot and hide the gap, as well. You’ll be painting over the tape, so smooth it down to make it blend into the rim.

STEP THREE — Place the pot on a couple bricks or a piece of scrap wood outdoors so you can paint all the way to the bottom edge. Spray the outside of the pot and the insulation with paint, as well as the top 2 in. of the inside. The number of coats you’ll need depends on the color of your plastic pot. I liked the look of the black plastic showing through the paint, so I used a single coat. If you want to completely hide the underlying color, wait the time recommended on the can and apply a second coat.

After the paint is dry, spray or brush on a clear coat of sealer to protect the finish and give the pot a nice glazed look. A water-based urethane, like Varathane® Outdoor Spar Urethane, is good to use because it won’t yellow when exposed to sunlight.

That’s all there is to creating a pot like this. Check out our Web extra for more tips and creative effects you can get with paint — the possibilities are almost endless!

Published: Dec. 29, 2009
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