Revive Old Flower Pots with Chalky Paint

Sharing tips to revive old flower pots or planters with chalk paint, and how to safely paint a pot without removing an established plant
old pot with stains and gouges
Updated 3/2023

Happy Friday friends! Go grab another cup of coffee and get your bootie back here for today's post...I'm all about saving you money and time! And because time is money, you'll be that much richer after reading today's great tip!

Today I'm sharing Part 2 of a great trash to treasure story. If you missed Part 1, you can catch up here. I have been very lucky to find some interesting (and awesome!) things in my neighbor's trash that I have scooped up and put to good this and this!

Today I want to show you how fabulous a gross, dirty plant pot can look after you give it a little chalk paint love! AND...I'm sharing tips for painting a plant pot without having to remove the plant! How's that for a double-score, right? This DIY story is about unrelated items coming together to form a cohesive whole. If something is functional, even if it's ugly, I like to find a way to bring out its hidden beauty rather than spend the money to replace it! 

Chalky paint is the common denominator in this DIY equation!

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This planted fiddle leaf fig was sitting on our back porch when we bought our Texas this same get-up. It was twice as tall, with 5 strong stems. It looked great.

And then I left it outside during a frost, and it died, and I felt terrible!

We left it for months, hoping to see some new growth...and were just about to toss it to the curb when I finally spotted some sprouting new growth. So it's been carefully tended, and brought inside the house, so that frost would not be an issue again and I can baby it (1 cup of water every Monday morning seems to be the trick)!

When I share pictures of our sun room makeover, with its wood walls and recently installed farmhouse floors, I always have to hide this large pot...because let's face it, it's not that attractive!

See if you can spot it in this picture below...

sun room with wood walls and floors

When I created the DIY plant stand from a curbside find, I knew it would be really cute paired with this potted fiddle leaf. But obviously the pot needed to either be tossed, or it needed a total makeover! Have you taken a look at large pots recently? They are not cheap! I would much rather revive an old planter than dish out money for a new one! And let's face it...I'm lazy and have no desire to repot anything! 😉

I really, really didn't want to have to take the fiddle leaf fig out of the pot to paint it, so I figured out a genius (if I do say so myself 😉) way to paint the pot while the plant was still inside. 

How to revive old flower pots with chalk paint

Start with a good cleaning

Before you paint anything, whether it's a piece of furniture or a plant pot, start with a real good cleaning. I love Totally's cheap and it works great! Spray it on, wipe the dirt off, it's that simple! You will be amazed at how this product effortlessly cleans your baseboards in just seconds!

But here's the thing - it's still a cleaning product, filled with harsh chemicals. You don't want to get any of that on your tender plant's leaves. So, rather than spraying directly onto the pot (unless it's empty), spray the cleaning solution onto a rag first and then wipe the pot to clean it.

Totally Awesome cleaner and flower pot before

While I was cleaning the planter, I took a look at the terracotta tray that the pot had been sitting in. It was beyond filthy! I thought I would see if the Totally Awesome could cut through the grime. I was so skeptical that I didn't take a before pic. But you can see from the rag just how dirty it was...and the Totally Awesome cleaned it right up! Which is a good thing because I decided to paint it too!

painting terracotta

Paint the pot

Here is my tip for painting a pot, even the rim, with the plant still inside...Cut open a large paper bag so it's one long piece, wrap it around the base of the plant and staple it closed! The plant can still breathe because it's open at the top but this frees up the entire planter so you can safely paint it without getting any paint on your precious plants!

paper bag trick for painting a pot with an established plant

I also like to elevate items I'm painting so it's easier to paint around the base. I find a couple bricks usually work well.

I used Savannah Mist, an airy pale aqua from Dixie Belle Chalk Paint Company and my favorite Purdy paintbrush for this flower pot makeover.

Dixie Belle Savannah Mist

One coat was all it took to completely cover all the nasty spots!

And all those unsightly gouges on the pot look completely different when they're painted! From a distance, they virtually vanish!

chalk painted pot before and after

cottage planter fiddle leaf

These unrelated items...a few parts from an antique piece of furniture, an ugly, dirty and gouged pot and a terracotta tray...came together to create something beautiful that looks like they were made to go together!

painted pot and stand

I guess there's a lesson to be learned here! Before you toss something to the curb, take another look! Of course this doesn't apply to my neighbors...keep putting out your trash people 😉

This old planter, once an eyesore, doesn't have to hide in the corner anymore! The soft colors are perfectly paired with the rest of the cottage decor in my sun room!

painted pot in cottage sun room

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flower pot planter makeover using chalky paint

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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