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Potted colour

Project ideas and inspiration from Good magazine

Express yourself with this artistic dip-dye paint effect.

This technique is a great way to coordinate mismatched pots without making them look too samey-samey. A bit like painting with watercolours, the dip-dye paint effect allows lots of scope for experimentation.

A dip-dye flower pot

Dip-dye flower pots

Pot with flowers: Gift idea – Pick up small pots from op-shops or garage sales and transform them with this easy paint technique.  Dip-dye pots: The final effect – If you are not satisfied with the result, try adding a little more paint to each layer, or alternatively, wipe the pot back with a wet cloth and try again. It’s a fluid technique so have fun experimenting with different watery effects. Try three watery colour layers or mix it up by painting some pots with just one watery shade.

Preparing your pots

Step 1: Transfer existing soil or plants into buckets or onto a spread out canvas. Water the plants and leave in the shade.

Step 2: Water blast the pots clean or scrub with soapy water and a stiff brush. For moss or mould, spray with a little Resene Moss & Mould Killer, taking care to first read the safety instructions.

Painted dip-dye flower pots

Old flower pots

Old flower pots 2

New for old: Aqua and sky blues are right on trend, as is this dip-dye (also known as ombre) effect. It’s a great way to bring new life to garden and indoor pots.

Step 3: Always seal your pot inside and out to stop water coming through and bubbling the paint. Use Resene Terracotta Sealer for terracotta pots or check with Resene ColorShop staff for other pots.

Step 4: Turn the pots upside down and, starting from the base, paint in a neutral shade. Once the bases are dry, turn the pots right side up and finish painting.

Dip-dye effect

Step 1: Lay out paper or a dropcloth to catch any drips. Dilute your lightest shade of paint with just enough water to achieve a light wash. Begin about two-thirds up the pot’s side, painting a wavy edge around the circumference and down to the base.

Step 1
Step 1

Step 2
Step 2

Step 2: Dilute the mid-tone with less water than Step 1. Starting well below the top band, use a clean brush to paint around the pot again.

Step 3: Dampen your third brush and paint the darkest shade of paint in a band around the base. Leave the pot upright to dry, allowing the layers to dribble and blend together a little for a subtle, watery dip-dye look.

Step 3
Step 3a

Step 3b
Step 3b

Colour me happy

Choose a base shade from Resene’s whites and neutrals range. I used Resene SpaceCote Flat in Resene Cararra for a hardwearing enamel finish. If the pots will be outside, use Resene Lumbersider. Next, pick three testpots in complementary colours. For these pots I used:

Words and styling Sarah Heeringa. Photography by Amanda Reelick.

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.