How to waterproof ceramic pots

Written by nick davis
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How to waterproof ceramic pots
Waterproof a ceramic pot before planting your flowers or vegetables. (lom66/iStock/Getty Images)

Available in a variety of sizes and colours, ceramic pots let you plant a garden that is portable and safe from animals uprooting your plants. The pots are glazed on the outside and contain one or more holes for draining water. Like other porous surfaces, ceramic absorbs a certain amount of water and eventually deteriorates without a waterproof coating on the inside of the pot. Waterproofing your ceramic pots not only makes them last longer; it also keeps soil from entering the unglazed interior finish.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Latex gloves
  • Scrub brush
  • 3 soft cloths or rags
  • Plastic sheeting or dustsheet
  • Paintbrush
  • Latex waterproofing compound or waterproofing sealer
  • Box or small fan

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  1. 1

    Mix 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of warm water and 118 ml (1/2 cup) of chlorine bleach in a bucket. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands dry. Stir the mixture with a scrub brush.

  2. 2

    Apply the bleach mixture to the inside and outside of the ceramic pot. Scrub the pot thoroughly with the scrub brush to remove any dust, dirt and grime.

  3. 3

    Rinse the pot under warm, running water. Dry the pot with a soft cloth or rag. The ceramic pot needs to be totally dry before proceeding to the next section.


  1. 1

    Place plastic sheeting or a dust sheet on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands clean and dry.

  2. 2

    Use a paintbrush to apply a layer of latex waterproofing compound or waterproofing sealer evenly on the inside of the ceramic pot. Start at the bottom and overlap the pot with horizontal strokes -- not top to bottom as this will leave small gaps between the strokes and cause an incomplete seal.

  3. 3

    Pour any excess latex waterproofing compound or waterproofing sealer back into its container.

  4. 4

    Sit the pot upright on the plastic sheeting or dropcloth for drying. Let the pot dry overnight before placing plants, potting soil or other substances in the pot.

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