The cutest DIY idea of painting plastic flower pots

flower pot painting ideas

How to paint pots with mud cloth pattern


Decorating pots for plants are one of my favorite home and garden decoration project.

I love to repurpose old planters and repaint them with spray paint. I also save different containers and look for painted pots ideas on the internet for inspiration.

This time I decided to keep the container of a citronella candle and draw a cute mud cloth design on it.

Before we jump into the step by step tutorial, I wanna help you save money and use what you already have for this DIY project.

So let’s see what you can use and what kind of paint and design can fit your home and garden decor.


What kind of flower pots you can paint

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The most common ones are plastic flower planters. If you walk into Lowes or Home Depot, you’ll find them everywhere.

I guess it’s because they are relatively cheap, but I often find them boring. Good and budget-friendly supply for your painting pots DIY though…

Do you have terracotta or clay planters at home? Good news! There are many cute ideas for painting pots on Pinterest using these materials.


What I used for painting my plastic flower pot


Which paint is used for pot painting

I tried many different methods and paints.

  • You’ll find acrylic paints in every color of the rainbow, and that is why it is the favorite choice of many. I often use two coats and let the layers dry before I apply an additional coating to achieve full coverage.


  • My all-time favorite is chalk paint. I used them for terracotta pots and plastic planters, and they turned out beautifully. It is trendy to repurpose cabinets, chairs, and tables too.


  • Spray paints. I tried many different kinds of spray paint, and Rustoleum is the winner. It protects my pots and outdoor furniture against the rain and tropical weather. There are many options to choose from. These spray paints come in different textures, like stone, glitter, silk, or chalk. I try to buy primer and paint together.


  • Permanent markers. My favorites are the Permanent Sharpie in black and the POSCA white paint marker. I use them both often for my DIY projects. They work great on paint, plastic, wood, and terracotta surfaces.


Designs to paint on pots

design of pots painting

I love love love the mud cloth design and decided to use that pattern on my planter for this DIY project.

The trendiest designs in 2020 are:

  • Geometric shapes. Paint some triangles, circles, and squares on the planters.
  • Marble technic.
  • Bohemian style. Paint mandalas, mud cloth patterns, or feathers, and you got yourself a boho home decor.
  • Drawing faces on pots is a fun and cute addition to any kid’s room.
  • Drawing labels on your planters is perfect if you are planning to have an indoor herb garden. You can quickly identify your plants.

You can also use the same mudcloth drawings that I made.


How to paint outdoor flower pots

Different methods can be used. Spray paint, chalk paint, and markers, as I mentioned above.

No matter what kind of paint you chose coloring your flower pots, the most important is to prepare and seal your garden pot painting at the end.  It will protect your new creation from the elements.

Tips that always work for me:

  1. Clean the pot with soap and water.
  2. Let it dry.
  3. Lightly sand the outside of the pot with fine-grit sandpaper.
  4. Wipe the planter using a damp cloth to remove all dust.
  5. Paint with choice of paint.
  6. Let the pots dry.
  7. Use a sealant to protect your garden pot paint.
  8. Let it dry overnight.


Step by Step painting plastic flower pots instructions

how to paint pots

Step 1.

Clean your planter with a wet cloth and sand it a little bit.

Clean it again, so you remove all dust and dirt. Let it dry.


Step 2.

I decided not to paint my container another color. I wanted to keep the original green.

BUT if you want to paint it, this is the time to do so. You can choose chalk, acrylic, or spray paint.

If 1 coat is not enough, wait until the first layer is completely dry and paint an additional coat.


Step 3.

Here is my video on how I drew different Easter designs on my clay pots with the white marker.

You can start drawing with the choice of your permanent marker. I chose my POSCA white markers since they have been working for me greatly on other clay pot painting project.

I’m good at drawing a free pot design, but if you need help, check out these free mud cloth patterns.

Or you can download the exact design from my library. It’s a zip file with JPG, PNG, and PDF so you can resize it if needed.


How I draw my pot painting design?

ideas for painting pots

  1. Started at the bottom of the container and draw the first horizontal line. Then 2 more parallel lines. One in the middle and one at the top of the pot.
  2. I started to fill up the bottom part under the first line with mud cloth patterns.
  3. Then I kept following the horizontal lines, and I was free drawing different patterns line by line.

The finished painted pot is looking perfect. It is handmade and unique. 

potted plant painting

I know some of you wonder if this planter is protected enough to place it outdoors. I always use the Rustoleum sealant because it works on metal, wood, plastic, and paint.

Wait until the paint and pot design is completely dry and spray a layer of sealant on the pot. Dry it overnight, and you can plant any herb or flowers in it. It is now ready to be a beautiful garden decoration.


Painting plastic flower pots experience

As always, painting planters and repurposing different containers into an outdoor decoration is so much FUN.

You have the choice of different types of paints and designs to create a unique flower planter. DIY-ing your own flower pot is rewarding, and your kids can help you with the craft project.

Use primer and sealant to give a long-lasting life to your painted pots and, most importantly, have fun in the process.


Other ideas to paint flower pots


Let me see your pot painting ideas in the comments. 😉

As always, PIN it for later and come back to get inspiration. 

how to paint a flower pot

Do you wanna DIY more?


  1. Ashley Crews

    Everytime I paint with acrylic paint it just smears and streaks even though I’ve washed and primed it. What am I doing wrong? Do you have any suggestions? Please and thank you!

    • Andrea

      Hi, Ashley. So when you paint on plastic it can be challenging. Here are some tricks that worked for me:
      – Sand the surface a little bit. That will make the acrylic paint to stick to your project a little better.
      – Use the “dry brushing technic”. No matter what kind of brush or sponge you decide to use for painting, you want to make sure when you load your brush with paint, tap off most of it again. You can tap it off on a piece of paper.
      – Ditch the back and forth motion on the surface. Instead, you want to bounce or dab the brush up and down motion.

      I hope this helps. Andrea


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