How to Paint Polystyrene Flower Pots

Written by kent page mcgroarty | 13/05/2017
How to Paint Polystyrene Flower Pots
Make old planters look like new. (planters image by Paula Gent from

You love to garden, but you've noticed that your collection of polystyrene pots, which are often utilised in the selling of plants, is nearly hitting the ceiling. Rather than throwing out your old planters, paint them to create a variety of different coloured pots in assorted designs. A fresh coat of spray paint keeps the planters looking like new. If you are good at creating designs you might be able to sell your recycled pots at craft fairs or give them as gifts.

Wash and scrub the pot with soap and water to remove all dirt and debris. If the pot is clean, i.e. free of obvious debris, wipe the pot with rubbing alcohol only. Allow to dry.

Put down newspaper in a well-ventilated, temperate area before beginning. Place a small block or stand in the middle of the newspaper and place the pot on top of the stand. This allows you to easily spray paint the pot from all sides.

Spray paint the pot in your chosen colour. Shake the can for a few minutes before using to mix the contents and spray the paint 8 to 12 inches from the pot's surface in a sweeping motion. Light coats equal an even finish. Don't forget to spray the bottom edge and a few inches inside the pot. Use enough paint on the inside of the pot so the paint ends well below the soil line. Allow to dry for 15 minutes before adding any patterns or designs.

Add a design to the pot if you wish. Spray a second paint in a disposable dish and apply paint in desired pattern with a sponge or use a stencil to add detail.


Use acrylics when painting terra cotta pots.

Tips and warnings

  • Use acrylics when painting terra cotta pots.

Things you need

  • Soap
  • Scrub brush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Newspaper
  • Wooden block or stand
  • Spray paints(s)
  • Disposable dish
  • Sponge

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