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Painting Flower Pots…Learn From My Mistakes

Painting Flower Pots - learn from my mistakes!

I wanted color, lots of color, all summer long.  The plants are pretty but there are times when they aren’t in full bloom and I wanted color all the time.  So I used an afternoon painting flower pots.  Oops…

Spray Painting Flower Pots What you are seeing is the 2nd try with the paint….the first time I used exterior house paint in a sunshine yellow.  It was fine until I noticed my pots had bubbles on them.  Turns out I needed to seal the clay pot before I added the plants.  Clay pots absorb water.  I knew that but just didn’t think about it until I saw the bubbles.

Oops.  This was just an Outstanding Opportunity the Presented Suddenly.

Spray Painting Flower Pots The following spring,  I scraped off the bubbles and any loose paint.  The pots were completely dry when I started with my 2nd try at painting.  Instead of buying more house paint, I decided to use the Liquitex Spray Paints I had on hand.  The can said they were lightfast so they wouldn’t fade.  What did I have to lose?

Liquitex Spray Paints

Liquitex Spray Paints

I sprayed the oustides and the top of the insides of each flower pot with color.  Instead of having all the pots one color, I was able to quickly create a rainbow!  This was even better than my first try with just one color.  I am so glad I made that Oops or I never would have ended up with this rainbow outside my window.

I knew I had to seal them this time.  I learn from every Oops.  I used Rust-Oleum’s Ultra Cover clear gloss from the hardware store to coat the insides and outsides to be sure the bubbles would not return.  This also added more UV protection so that being in the bright sun doesn’t dull the colors.  It is asking a lot of a paint to stay vibrant after being in the sun all summer (and I have to say these are looking just as good today as the the day they were finished!)

One very serious word of caution about these spray paints.  They are vibrant.  They cover well.  They are addictive.   I am eyeing everything now as a potential spray paint target.  That mailbox is just so plain…and yes, I’ll share what I make here!

Supplies Used

Sharing with my friends at  Inspire Me Monday and  Creative Every Day

{ 22 comments… add one }

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  • Jo Murray August 3, 2014, 2:22 pm

    That’s a great idea…they look so cheerful.

    • Carolyn Dube August 3, 2014, 2:23 pm

      Thanks Jo! Definitely helps when the flowers aren’t blooming!

  • alice August 3, 2014, 2:40 pm

    awesome! i’m pinning this post so i can find it again when i need it! thinking about making a move, so i’m going to wait on the pots, but i want to be able to come back to it. glad the liquitex worked! they have such great product 🙂

  • Judy Shea August 3, 2014, 4:20 pm

    I remember your project from last time. These are just so happy and vibrant. I could see this photo as a banner, too.

  • Mary C. Nasser August 3, 2014, 5:11 pm

    What a wonderfully colorful idea, Carolyn!
    LOVE that you have a variety of colors!
    And thanks for the tip about the bubbles…will have to give this a try!

  • Trish August 3, 2014, 5:16 pm

    I always enjoy how you embrace your ‘oops’ moments! It is very refreshing and a challenge to myself to love the ‘oops’! Thank you for that Carolyn!!

  • Wendy @ the Late Start Studio August 3, 2014, 5:36 pm

    The pots look great . . . and spraying is so fast. I had a whole lot of bright test pots of house paint that I used for mine and because they’re housepaints, they haven’t faded. I’ll put a photo up on Facebook of one.

  • Corrine August 3, 2014, 6:13 pm

    Clay can be tricky but I think you have solved the problem and made a glorious festival of your deck. Oops should be your middle name. xox

  • Nicole/Beadwright August 3, 2014, 7:04 pm

    I REALLY like this new look. Wish I would have thought of it.
    Have a great evening

  • Maria McGuire August 3, 2014, 7:52 pm

    If these don’t say Carolyn I don’t know what does! Who wouldn’t want those POPS of color in their yard!

  • Deb August 3, 2014, 8:15 pm

    Magical timing, Carolyn! I just came home from buying two large clay pots half price that I told my husband I wanted to paint and I check my email and here you are, telling me what to use! Brilliant! I see that there are a zillion colors of Liquitex spray paints. Which colors did you choose for your pots? Now I want to do all the terra cotta colored ones on my porch. 😉 Thanks for all the inspiration you bring us every day.

    PS…the new blog design is beautiful.

    • Carolyn Dube August 3, 2014, 9:30 pm

      I wish I could tell you exactly which ones each pot was- but I did this and have since used up the paint on other projects- so the cans have been disposed of. You are so right that there are so many wonderful colors to pick from!

  • Lynn Edwards August 4, 2014, 12:06 am

    I love your flowerpot photo and your new banner, too. Both are so cheerful! Thanks so much for sharing your OOPS. I wanted to paint my flower pots this summer but time got away from me and I didn’t follow through. Next year, though, I’ll have brightly colored flowerpots everywhere. Your photo will be my inspiration.

  • Paula - Buenos Aires August 4, 2014, 10:26 am

    Thanks for the tips! I´ll be painting my own pots next spring. 😀

  • Janet August 5, 2014, 8:46 am

    This is wonderful Carolyn!!!!! I have some very dull colors of pots on my deck….Hmmmm…

  • barb macaskill August 6, 2014, 10:06 am


  • Maggi Focke August 6, 2014, 8:52 pm

    I LOVE these (I am also a gardener) but have never seen these paints. I assume you got them at an art supply store?

  • Create With Joy August 9, 2014, 1:13 am

    Thank you for filling my life with color and inspiration each week! 🙂

  • Carolyn May 6, 2018, 9:31 pm

    Hi Carolyn!
    Have you painted any pots that are already glazed brown? Not sure if I need to sand them first??
    Great site.
    Carolyn too!

    • Carolyn Dube May 8, 2018, 3:43 pm

      If they are glazed, then it will be tough for the paint to stick to it and it would come off in the weather more easily, but if the inside was glazed but not the outside, then that would be perfect.

  • Brandi J luckenbill June 7, 2020, 10:39 pm

    These are wonderful! Ok I have a question. My son made me a birdbath with his girlfriend kids and their hand prints. They used the wrong type of paint so it bubbled. Last year I sanded it, washed it, sealed it inside and out and spray painted it and did the handprints again and then sealed the paint. It bubbled again. So I started over this year. I washed the pot, sealed it, spray painted it and did the handprints. It looked amazing. Then I sprayed a coat of sealer on it and a large section bubbled in several different places. What am I doing wrong! I am doing everything I have read to do. Washing the pot, using modge podge sealer and a good spray paint. I cant afford another pot and have a whole flat of flowers to plant in this right below where the birdbath part is but now I dont want to set this out because I have already lost 2 years of handprints and this year has my first granddaughters foot prints. I need help!!

    • Carolyn Dube June 8, 2020, 10:07 am

      I don’t know why that’s happening to you Brandi. With such a treasure on there- handprints and first footprint, I’d keep it inside and keep water away from it.