Can You Paint Cement Planters? All The Answers

Concrete pots and planters are a great addition to your garden as they can efficiently display from colourful flowers to succulent plants and herbs. However, they can become quite dull if left plain with grey colour. If you are making concrete planters from scratch, you can add colour directly to the concrete mix. But, what can you do with the existing planters? Can you paint cement planters?

concrete pots with pink, red and green succulent plants on white background

The answer is yes. You can paint plastic and terracotta pots, but you can do the same with cement ones. It’s an easy DIY project. You can perfectly upcycle your old planters and change their colour as long as you have the proper guidelines. And we’re here to help you. We have the appropriate tutorial to master this painting project. Are you ready to walk you through the process? Roll up your sleeves, and let’s get started.

What kind of paint to use on cement flower pots

Concrete flower pots and plants have a highly porous surface. That’s why you need to choose the right kind of paint. But what type of paint can you apply to your old concrete planters to achieve the ultimate makeover?

Masonry spray paints

The first option is to use a spray painter and add masonry paint. Masonry can adhere to the concrete better than usual spray paints. You just have to be careful. When spray painting your plant pots, you have to remove the plants from the planters. Then, cover your work surface, turn the empty pots upside down, hold the spray painter or spray can 20 to 30 cm from the plant pots and spray an even coat of paint.

Cement floor paint

Another choice is to use a paint labelled for cement. First, you have to prime the surface and then apply a paint labelled as floor paint. Brush, first, cement paint onto the exterior surface using a paintbrush. Let the first coat fully dry and wait to see how the colour appears. If the colour is lighter than your liking, add a second coat or more until your get the desired result.

Latex paint

What’s more, outdoor latex paint could work well on your concrete pots. Apply at least two coats; the first will act as the base coat and the second as a topcoat. Again, if you aren’t satisfied with the final colour, you can apply more coats to get even coverage and the desired outcome.

various painted concrete pots on a wooden shelf

Chalk paint

It’s well known that chalk paint can adhere to marble, stone, wood and brick. But it’s great for outdoor use as well. Hence, don’t hesitate to use it to give new life to the old concrete, stone and terracotta pots you keep on your front porch. Use chalk paint lacquer as it’s a hard-wearing water-based varnish with built-in UV protection and is water-resistant. 

Acrylic paint

You can also buy specially formulated acrylic paint known as exterior paint. It’s the perfect type to use to update your cement pots more artistically. Use acrylic paint to create designs or paint portraits on your plant pots. This concrete planter paint comes in many colours is water-resistant and resistant to chipping and cracking.


You can upgrade your old concrete planters by applying stain. It will create a rich, textured and aged planter and turn it into the focal point of your porch. Sand the surface lightly and seal the inside surface with water sealant. Apply any colour of stain with a cloth, brush or sponge. Start applying the stain from the top, move next around the rim and work your way down. Let it dry and add more coats until you get the desired effect. When you’re done, seal the paint finish to delay chipping and paint erosion from weather conditions.

How to paint cement planters

Are your concrete planters ruing the landscaping? Then, renovate them. You can paint concrete planters or stain them and upgrade your home decor. Here are a few tips that will help you with your DIY project.

Painting concrete planters

The first that comes to mind is to paint cement as you would with a wall or wooden surface. And you’re right. You can use the same type of paints; you need to choose those formulated for concrete and outdoor use. Here’s a simple tutorial on how to paint concrete planters.

a round concrete pot painted with black, gold and blue paint

Needed materials

  • A bowl
  • Water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • A soft-bristle brush
  • Latex primer
  • Paint of your choice (acrylic, chalk, spray paint)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Painter’s tape

Steps to follow:

  1. The first step is optional. You can sand the pots with 120-grit sandpaper to remove any rough areas and prepare them for painting. Sanding will help paint adhere to the pot.
  2. Then, you need to clean the planter thoroughly. Give it a good clean using a soft bristle brush and soapy water. Once you are finished, allow it some time to dry completely.
  3. Before painting your plants, apply first a latex primer to protect the soil inside the planter. Paint tends to seep in through the concrete to the soil, damaging your plants. Apply the primer with a sprayer or a brush. Allow the first coat to dry, and then apply a second coat. Let the planter dry thoroughly before starting painting.
  4. Now, get the paint of your choice. Apply first a base coat and let it dry. 
  5. After allowing some time to dry, use painter’s tape and mask off any designs, you want to apply to the pots.
  6. Then, apply the second one or more coats if the result doesn’t satisfy you.
  7. Let the designs dry for about 30 minutes or before the paint dries entirely and remove the tape.

Staining concrete planters

The next simple way to upgrade your existing planters is to stain them. The process is somehow the same as painting. But, stained concrete creates unique decorative effects with rich, deep tones.

colourful concrete pots with green and red succulent plants on a white shelf

Needed materials

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  • A bowl
  • A soft-bristled brush
  • Newspaper
  • Stain
  • A rag, a sponge, brush, roller, or spray
  • A small artist brush
  • A concrete sealer

Steps to follow:

  1. Clean your flower pot thoroughly. Fill a bowl with water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Soak a soft bristle brush in soapy water and wipe the concrete surface. 
  2. Allow your pot to dry completely.
  3. While waiting for the planter to dry, lay a few newspapers on an even surface to protect it.
  4. Apply stain to the planter. Depending on the result you want to achieve, you can use: a dabbed rag or sponge for a mottled look, a brush or roller for an even look, or spray for a splattered appearance.
  5. Once you have covered the whole surface, let it dry. The drying time depends on the product. Hence, read carefully the instructions labelled on the product.
  6. Next, you can highlight decorative areas using a small artist brush. Apply stain with the small brush in the crevices and allow again to dry.
  7. Repeat the whole process as many times as you wish until you achieve the desired look. Keep in mind that every new coat of stain you apply will make the colour even darker.
  8. Finally, apply a concrete sealer. This step is optional, but it will maintain the colours, prevent fading and produce a shine finish.

Painted concrete planteres with green palm tree leaf on black background.

A DIY planter painting project is the most effective way to add colour to your backyard and brighten garden landscaping. Follow our tutorial and paint your concrete planters to liven up your garden in an effortless and low-cost way.

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