Ask a Question forum: Painting those boring clay houseplant "pots" & plastic or ceramic?

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Name: Stephanie Montague
Washington, DC
sjmontague
May 7, 2016 7:34 PM CST
Hey my plant peers,
How do? I've got two questions that I think a true plant aficionado can appreciate. The first is - what type of paint is recommended to paint those run of the mill reddish brown ceramic pots that we all have. I have an abundance of them & would like to use my creative juices and make them more decorative & put them to use. However, I don't want to hurt my plants in the process. What type of paint is the safest and non-toxic with lasting potential ....meaning no chipping or peeling..?
Secondly, what is the concensus on whether to grow your plants in plastic or ceramic containers? Thank you.
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
May 8, 2016 12:34 AM CST
Clay vs. plastic depends on the plant really and personal preferences. Once you paint your clay pot it is in effect now plastic = does not breath. Gene
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
May 8, 2016 8:02 AM CST
Hi Stephanie,
I've painted them with acrylics and I know there are special Krylon paints for plastics. It's also fun to decorate them up with beads and things. I have a post in our Garden Art forum where you can see some.
The thread "My new flowerpot..." in Garden Art forum

When I make them very ornate, I use them as a cachepot with another pot inside, but I have grown plants directly in pots I've painted. I've never noticed any problem with the plants.

I have to be on the road today, so I won't be back here until late afternoon.
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Name: Deb
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Bonehead
May 8, 2016 8:39 AM CST
I've also seen some nice pots embellished with cut-out pictures and modge podge. Again, you'd lose the breathability but depends what your purpose is.
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Name: Stephanie Montague
Washington, DC
sjmontague
May 8, 2016 5:46 PM CST
Thank you all for your responses. I didn't realize painting could actually make the pot "unbreathable". I'm glad I asked. I guess i will do something else creative as suggested and try embellishments or some other crafty things. Appreciate your responses.
Name: Linda
Southern NJ (Zone 7a)
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wheetie67
May 8, 2016 5:55 PM CST
sjmontague said:Hey my plant peers,
How do? I've got two questions that I think a true plant aficionado can appreciate. The first is - what type of paint is recommended to paint those run of the mill reddish brown ceramic pots that we all have. I have an abundance of them & would like to use my creative juices and make them more decorative & put them to use. However, I don't want to hurt my plants in the process. What type of paint is the safest and non-toxic with lasting potential ....meaning no chipping or peeling..?
Secondly, what is the concensus on whether to grow your plants in plastic or ceramic containers? Thank you.


Hi there Stephanie!

I paint clay pots as a hobby and sell them. First, I start out with a masonry (water-proofing) material that you can get at Home Depot, etc. (forget the actual name.) It is white in color and you just paint it on with one of those foam type paint brushes. I paint the pot inside and out to help seal the pot so that whatever you paint on the outside won't bleed through, crack, or become bubbly due to water contact.

After it is dry, I use either acrylic paints or for large pots, Rust-Oleam 2X Ultra Cover in various colors (really good paint!) I then paint my design/pattern using the acrylic paints. When everything is dry, I finish the pot with a clear coat from Rust-Oleum in either High Gloss or Matte. It is so much fun and it is only limited by your imagination! Here is an example of what I do (yes, it's for the holidays.

Clay pots are the best (because clay has pores) but actually once you have sealed them such as I have, they will not breath; so they would be like plastic although I still (personally) think they would be better than plastic.

Any questions, let me know.

Linda


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