We’ve been cleaning up the garden beds and deck, preparing the beds and planters for new spring flowers.
This year I wanted a brighter punch of color and lighthearted, fun feel on the deck, so I decided to give my fiberglass planters a makeover and transform them into Whimsical Hand Painted Planters.
I was inspired by these beautiful planters in the Grandin Road catalog this spring. They look like ceramic pottery but are made from fiberglass with a poly high gloss finish. They run $169 a piece! As beautiful as they are, I simply don’t have a budget for that so I made mine for free! I like free!
To make a hand painted planter, start with a fiberglass, lightweight planter. This is one I already owned. It actually has a nice patina on it, but I’m going for bold color this season, so as much as I hate to change it, I know it had to go!
Spray your planter with a good outdoor primer. Give it 2 coats.
For this project I highly recommend Martha Stewart Paints by Plaid. The sweet folks at Plaid sent me a ton of supplies to try out (click here to see the awesome loot!) These paints are multi-surface paints (glass, paper, wood, plastic, etc.) and are perfect to this type of project. I had the privilege of representing this brand in a recent post (Martha Stewart Crafts Etched Glass Vase), and have been very impressed by the quality of the products. I chose black and white and then limited myself to 3 colors. Black, white and turquoise are the main colors, and red and lime are accents.
I painted the entire planter white first and then I started painting all the raised areas of the planter. The easiest way to make a checkerboard pattern is to use a flat, rectangular brush. The wider the brush is, the wider your checkerboard pattern will be. This brush is also by Martha Stewart Crafts. I dipped it in the paint, then pulled the brush down one inch. I then turned my brush upside down and stroked upward, going over the little square I had already created. This ensures, nice crisp edges. Skip a brush width and repeat. Don’t worry about perfection, you aren’t a factory machine! Hand painted pieces have painterly imperfections and character, which is GOOD!
To make the large bands of color, use the same flat brush, loaded with paint, and stroke the brush width evenly around the planter. If you want a thicker band of color, consider using a larger flat brush. Different sized brushes make projects easy! A simple way to make little dots is to dip a new pencil eraser into paint and then dot it on the planter. The dots soften the hard lines between the stripes.
To get a high gloss ceramic look, spray your planter with a high gloss, non-yellowing acrylic sealer. I gave my planter 2 coats of sealer. You can find acrylic spray sealer at craft stores or big box hardware stores. I added a few bright red geranium, a spike plant, and white trailing bacopa. I can’t wait until they grow full and spill over the sides!
Save yourself $170 and try to create your own whimsical hand painted planter! I love the cheerful pop of color it adds to my deck.
Hand-painting tips: Limit your color choices & use multiple sized flat brushes.
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