How to Give Inexpensive Pots a High-End Look

Those beautiful glazed ceramic pots you see at the garden centers certainly draw your eye, and so does the price tag. Depending on the size and design, they can run you anywhere from $30-40 on up to the hundreds for the larger ones. Ouch! So, how do you get that high-end glazed look without spending a fortune? I have two words for you – spray paint.

I took three different kinds of very inexpensive pots and gave them a high-end makeover, for very little money. For less than $40, I ended up with three beautiful, expensive-looking creations. Here’s what I used and how I did it:


  • Plastic or terra cotta pots (I used 2 plastic and 1 terra cotta; one of the plastic ones is the nursery container a shrub came in – FREE!)
  • Spray paint (you may even have some lying around; I bought two colors)
  • Clear coat spray paint – high gloss
  • Fine grit sand paper
  • Drop cloth


  1. Make sure all of the pots have been thoroughly cleaned and dried.
  2. Sand any plastic pots lightly with sandpaper all over to rough up their surfaces. This will help the paint to adhere to the surface better. You do not need to do this with terra cotta.
  3. Lay down your drop cloth. Set the pots on the drop cloth with some space in between them, especially if you’re using different colors of paint.
  4. Find something to invert each of the pots onto, that fits completely inside the pot without touching the sides and is taller than the pot so it raises it up off the drop cloth. Make sure these are things you don’t mind getting a little paint on. I used a Kleenex box, and a couple of old plastic bottles.

5. Change into “painting clothes.” Shake the cans of colored spray paint according to package directions and spray the tops and upper inside edges of each pot down a couple of inches. Soil will cover the rest of the inside.

6. Invert each pot onto its designated holder and spray the sides and bottom. Let the pots dry for several hours or overnight.

7. When pots are completely dry, repeat steps 5 and 6.

8. When pots are completely dry from the second coat, spray with the clear coat to finish. Let pots dry completely again before planting.

9. Plant your pots with some of your favorite flowers, herbs or veggies, and enjoy!

Note: Terra cotta will absorb some of the paint on your first and second coats, giving it a bit of a mottled look. You can coat them with a primer first, or continue to coat them with paint until you get an even finish, or you can enjoy the natural, more earthy look, like I did.

    Leslie Kaz, coach for single women

    I help single women get from where they are to where they want to be by overcoming their sadness and starting to live their best lives through mindset and lifestyle changes. Contact me to learn how it’s possible to live a single, blissful life.

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