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When I set about doing this project, I planned on doing a long, involved tutorial on the blog. As it turns out, it was just about the easiest project I’ve ever done so no tutorial is needed.

Remember these pots I found on a super sale in fall at the Restoration Hardware outlet?

I knew when I bought them that the color wouldn’t work at my house. I think it would be lovely in a lot of places, but they just look like big bananas in my yard. I searched the Internet unsuccessfully for a DIY solution for staining pots so I ended up just kind of winging it.

I sanded them lightly with 220-grit sandpaper and then I stained them with Minwax Classic Gray stain (affiliate link) (the half-pint container was enough for two pots). I tried out several combinations of Weathered Gray, Classic Gray and those with other colors mixed in and ended up liking plain old Classic Gray the best.

I used a saturated staining pad to quickly cover the pots, let them sit for a minute or two and then buffed them with a rag to remove any excess stain. I liked the color after one coat, but once it dried it was too light so I did another coat. But that coat didn’t go on very evenly, so I ended up doing three coats.

After three coats of Minwax Classic Gray stain.

After they dried thoroughly, I ran the hose over them to see if the stain would wash out and it didn’t. So that’s all I’m going to do to them. I can’t be sure how this will hold up but if some of the stain fades I’m OK with a mottled effect as well. In the end, they ended up a little darker than I had hoped, but I think it will be fine and it’s much better than the original color.

Windermere‘ starts as cream but fades to white and is said to have great fragrance.

The plan for these pots are a pair of ‘Windermere’ roses at the corner where the patio meets the driveway apron. I’ll underplant them with annuals, especially for the first few years while they are getting established. I’ve had great luck with the ‘Prairie Snowdrift’ rose that I’ve been growing in a pot and overwintering in the unheated garage, so I’ll treat these the same.

Until I get a chance to see how my stain job holds up I guess I can’t really vouch for this method, but if it works it’ll be about the easiest project I’ve done.

13 Responses

    1. They are fiberclay, which is sort of ceramic (pottery? terracotta but not?) mixed with fiberglass on the inside to make them lighter and more frost resistant. The outside is smooth like a clay pot.

  1. I'm interested to see how well stain holds up over a season – spray paint is usually only good for a season, but I feel like stain would last longer?

    1. The stain definitely seems to have absorbed into the pot so that should help, but I guess only time will tell. I figure I can always add more stain later if I really have to.

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