Saturday, May 9, 2015

Tiered Painted Flower Pots

I'm back with another gardening project! Inspired by this Pinterest post, I started by choosing the location of my tiered planters. My back yard is already planned out, as are my two front beds. My porch, however, has nothing. So I chose three locations to place these tiered planters. I decided two locations would have three stacked planters, and the third would have only two stacked planters since it would be on top of a small shelf.

Because the front of my house is brick, I wanted to stay away from warm colors, such as reds, beiges, and browns, so I chose a pastel blue, purple, and green. There are a number of different formulations of spray paint out there, and I wanted something that would cover evenly, and would withstand the weather. I did make a mistake in that the purple (Gum Drop) is a gloss and the other two (Island Splash and Sea Glass) are both satin, so I kept them to a satin/gloss/satin pattern. You'll see what I mean in a bit.

I went with basic terra cotta pots in 14", 10" and 6" sizes, along with saucers in 10" and 8". I chose saucers that were wider than the pot circumference simply because that is my preference. You can choose saucers that fit more snugly if you choose.

I placed the pots on a tarp and started spraying. It's important to follow the directions on the spray can for best use. A heavy spray will cause the paint to drip, so light strokes truly are recommended---yes, I'm speaking from personal experience! It's better to take the time and make several thin coats than one drippy one and the end result is much nicer.

You can see the smallest pot in the top photo has only a bit of paint on it, and you can still see terra cotta peeking through the Island Splash on the saucer in the bottom photo. These pots took three thin layers of paint, with a fourth touch-up spray here and there. I let each coat dry (30 minutes plus) before the next coat, and then overnight after three coats, with the touch-ups occurring the next day.

In the middle of this pot, you can see the reason why thin coats are important! I was able to cover the darkness of the drips with another *thin* layer of paint, so it turned out all right. The spray paint manufacturers advocate thin coats for a reason!

If you choose, you can finish off the pots with a layer of clear sealant. The pots in my Pinterest-inspired post are decorated with white polka-dots. Had I done them, I would have used a sealant, but since I chose not to polka-dot, I opted out of the sealant. This decision may or may not come back to haunt me by the end of the summer...we'll see!

Soooo....starting with the largest pot, I added a layer of soil. If you have spare rocks or pieces of brick or even extra mulch laying around, they could be used as a filler instead of all potting soil. You will need enough soil for the plants' roots to grow into, however, so I personally chose to go all soil.

 Leaving a couple inches of clearance at the top, I placed the next smaller pot into the first, positioning it against the back edge. I removed a little soil so they would nestle nicely.

 Flowers next. I wanted each layer to have different flowers, so pale pink snapdragons here. I threw soil into the purple pot so it would be handy as I filled in the gaps in the blue pot. The flowers need room to grow, so I limited this level to only three snapdragons.

More soil in the purple pot, and dark red dianthus join the party.

The flowers I chose for the green pot filled it perfectly, so there was no need for extra soil. And here it is, on the porch! One down, two to go. (okay, okay, I can see the rust showing through the white paint on the railing. it's on my list.)

The largest and smallest pots are satin finish, and the middle is gloss, which makes the finish choice seem deliberate. Up close, you *might* notice the different finishes. But at a casual glance, you'll never see it. So it's really not an issue.

Here are the other two that I completed. One is the same as the first, with different flowers...

And the third only has two, because it is on top of an iron shelf.

And that's it!

I can't say I'm super thrilled with the results, but I do like them. They are a bit plain, so perhaps with some decoration, I'll like them more. Polka dot?

(heh-heh...sorry, but this was all I could think of every time I typed "polka dot.")

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