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Can You Paint Plants: Good Or Bad? [Decor Ideas 2023]

Wondering whether to paint the houseplant or pots? Well, the choice is yours unless you choose a paint that suffocates your plants.

Generally, you can dye succulents and plants with monstrous leaves like Monstera, using non-toxic paint for plants. However, there should be a limitation as excess use blocks photosynthesis pores and restrain the air supply.

Choosing safe paint among various brands in the market might be tricky. So scroll down the article to learn the safe paints for plants and pots.

Is It OK To Paint Plants?

If you plan to paint a portrait of your houseplant, you do not need anyone’s permission. However, applying paint over the leaves of it might require some research.

Frankly, painting plants is OK if you abide by the criteria of not covering leaves’ pores and harming plant growth.
A person is holding on an aloe vera plant with pink paint over it
Leave free space in the foliage while painting to allow proper aeration.

The pores on leaves allow the plant to function correctly as they perform transpiration and photosynthesis.

So, paint leaves partially to ensure the survivability of plants even after color coating.

Also, it will not last long as new plant growth gains its original color, not the paint color.

However, following the trend is never wrong since plant vendors and online stores have started to sell dyed succulents for decoration.

But say no to painting edible crops as the paint chemicals can trigger harmful reactions if they contain mercury or lead.

What Happens When You Paint a Plant?

Rumors have that painting a plant means throwing them to death as if we do not care.

Such rumors surfaced because the harmful paints had toxic effects on plants. And many used the paint without thinking about the plant’s health.

Here, the side effects due to the synthetic paints include disturbed food preparation process and damaged cell activity.

Also, the thickness of coated layer hinders growth speed. While the spray paint for plants, with carbon black, tampers the heat and increases the leaf temperature, leading to burnt leaves.

However, using a safe water-based paint like Acrylic, with low to no effects on ornamental houseplants, can boost the aesthetic value.

Thus, with proper paint selection and painting technique, nothing severe will happen even after painting a plant.

How Do You Paint Potted Plants? [DIY Ideas]

You might want to paint the plants when spraying some over the planter. But the requirements for both are different.

Moreover, better to go with painting the pots as the paint adheres quite nicely to terracotta and ceramic pots and is safer.
A terracotta pot containing plants like succulent and painting over the surface
Painting the pot is also an option if you wish to enjoy your free time.

You can start by cleaning the pot and leaves with a damp rag so that no dust appears between the coating layer.

Then choose the right paint that is durable and weather resistant, like Acrylic.

Spray inside and out of the pots with clay pot sealer and let it dry for a day. Now give the pot two to three paint coatings and a thin leaf coating.

Remember to maintain an interval of 1 to 2 hours between each coating in pots.

You can cease the steps for leaves but move further to choose a precut stencil design for pots.

Now, apply the water paint coating of different shades or spray paint over the design for the final look. Wait an hour or two before placing it at the desired spot.

DIY Ideas

Here are some DIY ideas you can apply to paint your plants and plastic or clay pots with the utmost precaution.

  • Monochrome design: Use solid colors like black, white, or grey. Give them a modern look by using varieties of shades of the same color.
  • Striped design: Using painter’s tape, give the planter and leaves a striped look with diverse colors. It allows you to get a festive ambiance.
  • Floral pots: Hand paint the flowers design or carve cut flowers to depict the look and give planters a natural element.
  • Geometric pots: Using geometric shapes gives the pot and leaves a playful and modern aesthetic look. You can provide angled edges and geometric patterns using painter’s tape.

How To Protect Plants From Paints?

Plants with water-based paint are your choice, but they can fall victim to synthetic paint if you have recently painted walls.

Meanwhile, even water-based paints can also harm plants if you cover the leaves entirely. Thus, maintain gaps between the painted areas on the leaves.

So taking precautions beforehand is better than regretting later. Follow the steps below to protect your plant from this hazardous paint.

  • Cover the plant with fabric, cloth, or plastic with enough holes for respiration.
  • Place the plant in an open area with proper ventilation to not suffocate them with harmful fumes.
  • Use a water-soaked cotton cloth to remove paint from succulents like Haworthia.
  • As for the oil-based paint, use rubbing alcohol to remove the stain, as it is a safe inorganic solvent.
  • Give a few sprays of water when the paint falls upon it.

Non-Toxic Paint For Plants

After concluding to paint the indoor or outdoor plants, you need to get hold of the significant role player, the paint.

You can find a wide range of non-toxic paint for plants in the market but look at the table below for a sorted list.

Non-toxic NameDelivery Time
Milk Paint2 to 3 business days
Acrylic Paint5-8 business days
Pristine Green25-30 business days
Grass Paint5-6 business days

From Editorial Team

Extra Tips!

Finally, you can choose a paint that is specifically designed for plants. These include Milk paint and Latex paint, which are less likely to harm the plant.

Meanwhile, avoid using fingernails or hard scrappers to remove the paint coating, as it can damage the leaves.