Happy New Year! Although the ringing in 2022 looked different to many of us than in previous years, I hope you’ve found something special to commemorate.
The new year is about a fresh start. And although this was mostly in the form of cleaning and rinsing for me (as I wrote about it in my previous columns), I was working on a fun-day project this weekend to bring a new look to some of the old pots.
If you also have an affinity for collecting houseplants, you know how expensive this hobby can be. The price of pots has always been staggering – not to mention the fact that houseplants grow out of their containers quickly and need to be replaced (or more) over their lifetime.
More:Home with Tess: It’s time to make a nest out of this home
I usually choose plastic containers, mostly because of the cost. There are other benefits as well – they dry out faster than terracotta and other ceramic pots, which can help prevent root rot. They are also lighter, making it easier to transport and hang on a wall or ceiling.
One pitfall, however, is to create a clean look with them. Some plastic pots fairly mimic their terracotta counterparts, but at the end of the day you can still find that they are plastics. Plus, if you’re like me, keep those suckers in cheap plastic containers for as long as you can.
Show off a Pinterest painting hack that will save the day. For months, I’ve seen DIY gurus transform glass jars and other frugal finds into ceramics with a simple mixture of acrylic or latex paint and baking soda. This mixture creates a textured paint that can resemble terracotta on any object.
It’s not really my job to pretend to be ceramic from glass for decoration – it’s more real. But it occurred to me that I could use this hack to create a uniform look on all my plants.
The paint was easy to prepare and apply. I bought a liter of paint from Home Depot (although a sample size would probably have been enough) and mixed it 1: 1 with baking soda. You can add more or less baking soda, depending on how much consistency you want. I watered my plants, allowed them to dry, then covered them in plastic bags that hung on their pots and tied them up to access the full pot. Then I turned to painting.
Some comments from the field:
• Brush strokes will be visible when using a brush. I liked this look because it brought more texture, but you can try the sponges if you want to avoid the brush look.
• Not all plastic containers are created equal. You can get much better results by spending a few extra dollars to buy plastic containers that are hard and don’t bend to the touch. I tried it in a pot that the plant got into (cheaper, more flexible plastic) and the paint was already starting to crack.
• This is certainly easier to do if you paint the pots before there are any plants in them. Painting the bottom and inside of the pots (at least the part that will be visible) makes the look more realistic.
• Time will tell if this paint is water resistant. It may be a good idea to paint pots containing potted plants rather than pots containing plants. This way you can take the plant out of the painted pot to water it.
Overall, I consider this project a success. Sure, what is a DIY worth without a little struggle? As I proudly hung my freshly made utensils in a three-tiered macrame holder, the hook holding it tore off the ceiling.
After some swearing and stepping, I decided to move the whole triad. And you know what? I like the new place even more. Sometimes things really work out in the end.
Send your questions to Theresa “Tess” Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org and keep up with Tess on Instagram @homewithtess
More:Home with Tess: Plan epiphany for a long weekend