Containers forum→Painting Containers- Harmful to Plants?

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Name: Holly
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
GardenDreaming
May 5, 2020 9:04 AM CST
Hello everyone,

I have a bunch of terra cotta pots (both real and faux/plastic.) I bought them a few years ago thinking that one unified color scheme would look best in my garden, but have come to realize that I prefer purple and blue plants and now find the combo of bright orange terra cotta and purple/blue plants very garish. For my garden this year, I want to do something to the pots to either give them a softer, more 'distressed' look that will minimize the bright orange or paint them a completely different color so that they won't clash with my blue and purple plants. I may try the yogurt + moss trick for the clay pots so they can still breathe and Rustoleum for the plastic pots. Have any of you had luck painting pots? How well does the paint last? (The pots will be outdoors all year.) Is it harmful for the plants in any way? I love the patina paint kits, but they are so expensive at around $17 per kit, and only cover 2 feet!!
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
May 10, 2020 12:56 AM CST
Painting is not harmful to the plants, just don't paint the inside of the pots. How long the paint lasts depends on your weather conditions. I don't paint clay. I have painted plastic pots with pretty good success rates. It's best to paint newly purchased plastic pots, the paint sticks better. Usually lasts 2 to three years for me. The moss/ yoghurt for the clay works pretty good, but be patient, this takes a while for it to mature.
Also be aware that the moss clay pots have to be kept damp for the moss to survive, so you wouldn't want to plant cacti in them.
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JesusMadeFood
May 12, 2020 10:11 PM CST
I wouldn't want to use any paints that would inhibit the nice breathing quality that makes clay so beneficial. I don't see why it wouldn't work as well as plastic pots though. Several house plants, trees really, my family raised lived over 20 years in clay Terra pots! They were root bound, one a palm over twenty feet tall in it's original pot.
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IMHO, if it's something that YOU like, that's what matters most.
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There's special plastic primer and paints for plastic. It still might require sanding prep to stick though and yearly redo.
I Did that with shallow hard plastic pools. Looked good at first. Snooty Neighbors who never planted more than dandelions complained. Dog walkers, (like walking dead walkers), through new plants ruining hundreds of $ worth of landscaping even complained. What a neighborhood. Not just zombies....No. RUDE entitled zombies.

Solution...Fabric store. The plant Manufacturer's Father made sure that a nice light Moss green was set aside and marked on clearance for me. It was low fade polyester and has been out in direct sun and the elements for around a year. Still looks good! Wish I had pictures. It really sets off my landscaping. My snooty neighbors got so mad.😆LOL! I'M not competing with the Jones's. They just don't like it when I get new plants and get it right. They even swarmed me while I was pulling weeds one day! Zombies???No. Grown men. Hahahaha!
That said, you may be wondering how to attach it?
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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 22, 2020 12:08 PM CST
If you really want to get your neighbors in a tizzy get yourself some old tires to use as planters... you can even paint them in garish colors! It'll be great fun! Just kidding, but man I've thought out it at times.

I have found any spray paint works great for plastic pots, any kind. It works on terra-cotta, but they tend to take a good amount of paint to get decent coverage, and I like the patina that terra-cotta will eventually develop. If you leave them, they will get better with age, where that never works for painted pots. One thing you can do with terra-cotta is apply A wash, Water down some interior latex paint and rub it on with a rag to tone down the bright new look.
For best longevity of spray paint apply a very light even coat. If you get it on too tick or too many coats it tends to flake. You'll have to touch them up every spring, but as long as you aren't changing the color completely it's an easy job to do a little touch up.
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