The flowerpot graveyard includes a pile of wrapped fiberglass pots, languishing with all the trash cans, just waiting to go off into the landfill. But these abandoned pots continue to be usable — they’re just weather-worn and nasty. With a little prep and spray paint formulated for use on plastics, your older fiberglass pots can again be the focal point of the garden.
Prep that the Pots
Wait for a warm day, between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and work in a wind-sheltered area outside or in an open carport or garage. Scrub the fiberglass pot, inside and outside with a combination of dishwashing liquid and water, then let it dry completely. Put on gloves, safety goggles and a dust mask to protect your skin, eyes and lungs. Then sand the whole exterior of the pot with a medium-grade of sandpaper, between 80 and 120 grit. Wipe off the dust and sand again with 150- to 180-grit sandpaper to get a smoother surface.
Prime Before You Paint
Wipe down the fiberglass pot, with a rag and an ammonia-based household cleaner to remove any residual dust. If the bud is new, wait until the ammonia cleaner dries, then wash it again with a rag soaked in paint thinner. Allow the pot to dry completely. Since many paint brands state that primer is unnecessary, primer gives the vinyl paint a smooth base, helping it adhere into the fiberglass surface. Shake the can for one minute, then use the primer in one thin coat by moving the can back and forth on the pot, 8 to 10 inches from the surface.
Paint the Pots
Wait at least one hour, or until the primer is completely dry. The drying time may vary, depending on the temperature. Shake the spray can for one minute, then use with smooth, even passes, 8 to 12 inches in the pot. Turn the pot because you use the first coat, then immediately apply a second coat of paint. If you can not employ a second or third coat within one hour, wait 48 hours and use the finishing layers of paint. Allow the paint to dry for five to seven days prior to utilizing the flowerpot.
Plastic paint comes in many colors and finishes, such as apartment, satin and gloss. It is formulated to adhere to plastic and resin surfaces. Several manufacturers carry plastic paints, usually available in spray cans or for brushing onto the vinyl or fiberglass. Along with this normal smooth finish, plastic paints are also available in weathered and textured finishes. The specialty finishes come in fewer colors.