Before and After: A Genius Hack for Making Thrifted Planters Look Way More Expensive

published Oct 28, 2019
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Planters and pots are high on the list of treasures you can find at thrift stores: They’re inexpensive and plentiful, which means thrift store hunting is an easy way to suit up a ton of new greenery at once. But when you buy from the thrift store—or, say, a garage sale, clearance center, bargain store, or somewhere else with varied stock—you’re probably going to end up with a bunch of things you like but might not necessarily go together.

Robyn Santamaria knew to hit the thrift store when it came to potting up her new collection of plants. “Finding the plants was easy, but buying new pots gets pricey and I needed quite a few,” Robyn says. She made off with a collection with cool and interesting shapes, but mismatched colors and styles. To chic up the look, Robyn reached for a thrifter’s secret weapon: paint.

To highlight the unique textures of the pots, Robyn decided on an industrial-cool cement-like finish. She started with a coat of chalky-finish spray paint in white to give the pots a neutral base; then, she used sample sizes of two different shades of gray paint (Willow Creek and Baltic Gray , both by Benjamin Moore).

Credit: Robyn Santamaria

The two different shades of gray help add extra dimension to the pots, making them look even more cement-like—it’s hard to believe these are all ceramic! The unified, monochromatic look gives lots of pop to the pots’ details, like raised botanical texture, an extra-wide rim, or thumbprint-like indents. Displayed together, the hodgepodge looks like an intentional set: super stylish, and way upscale. Total cost for pots and paints: just $18. Paint for the win!