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Thursday, May 2, 2024

Spray Painting Plastic Planters

In yesterday's post on May Day flowers and what's in my garden, I talked a little bit about my lavender container garden that I'm starting this season. I want white planters for this. I have a couple of white or almost white planters that I'll use, but I also have this terra-cotta colored plastic container whose shape I find appealing for my lavender plants. It's just the wrong color.

If you recall from last summer, I spray painted some #10 cans a muted lime green to use for potting some small herb plants. 

I used 3 coats of spray paint on each, I think. For the most part, they over-wintered nicely. There's a little bit of rust at the base of the cans. I could have minimized the rust by clear-coat sealing the bottom inside of the can as well as painting the bottom of the outside of the can. I've saved another 5 #10 cans to spray paint with the same green paint. In total, I'll have 8 of these green painted cans to pot my deck basil container garden this year. 

I've seen YouTubers spray painting plastic for outdoors, including plastic planters. The paint they recommended was this Rustoleum 2X paint. The can says it's good on plastic, metal and wood. So I thought I'd give it a try on my square plastic planter. 

I bought a can of Blossom White satin finish Rustoleum 2X. After scrubbing up the pot really well, I then gave the outside and bottom 3 good coats of this paint. 

The pot sat in the garage overnight. The next day I turned the pot over and gave the top 3 coats, painting about 3 inches down into the inside of the planter. I will use the Rustoleum 2X clear coat sealer that I have leftover from last summer's projects both inside and out in a day or two. My plan is to allow the paint  and sealer coat to cure for 24 to 48 hours in the garage (recommended 24 hours under optimal conditions here for plastic) before filling the planter with soil and my next lavender plant. I'm hoping this works as well for me as it has for all of those YouTubers. Worst case scenario, I need to touch up the planter next year.

Other outdoor items I've seen YouTubers paint include resin chairs, metal or mesh and metal chairs, clay pots, fiberglass planters, and exterior vinyl shutters. I see some spray painting mania in my future.

Have you used spray paint on outdoor items? What was the longevity of the paint job? Were you satisfied with the final outcome?


  1. We spray painted several plastic pots last year the same color for a herb garden close to the house. They still look pretty good, but could use a touch up here and there. We used regular spray paint. Good to know about the 2X paint if we do more in the future.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm guessing my pot may need a touch-up next year.

      Krylon Fusion All-In-One is another spray paint that is highly recommended for plastics. I'll follow up on the Rustoleum 2X next spring and let you know how it overwinters.

  2. I haven't spray painted plastic, but I spray painted my outdoor metal table and chairs several years ago. It could use a touch-up, but it held up pretty well (although I went through a lot of spray paint--I can't remember now if I did 2 or 3 coats). Probably not helpful information in your particular situation, but maybe someone else out there will be inspired to lengthen the life of their outdoor stuff!

    1. Hi Kris,
      I have some metal-framed patio chairs that I may try to spray paint. So your info is helpful to me! :)

  3. I have spray painted many things, including outdoor pots. I also used some acrylic paints to muck them up, giving them a stone like quality. They seem to have held up well. I don't mind the wear and tear that weathering does - I think it adds to the aesthetic :)

    1. Hi Ruthie,
      I thought about the weathering as maybe a positive with my now-white plastic pot. The under color is terracotta. As the paint ages, a little terracotta peeking through the white paint here and there might have an ice look. I like your method for achieving a stone like look. I'll look into that! Thanks for sharing.


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