Gardeners who have been pursuing their hobby for any length of time will no doubt have accumulated several pots and planters that have seen better days. Maybe they are cracked or the terracotta is crumbling away and appear fit only for the dump. But before throwing them out you may like to read this article by Danielle McCleod in which she shows how these old pots can be restored to provide attractive containers for a second time around. I came across her article on the Backyard Boss website.

Most garden enthusiasts have a few old pots tucked away somewhere. In fact, I often see old cracked pots horded into a corner because they ?might have some use eventually?! I do. In fact, I generally stack them up and forget about them, and then buy more whenever I see a yard sale, or really good deal at a garden center.
But what if I told you you would save a great deal of money by digging out your unusable pots, and making offers on the cracked or decaying pots you find in a yard sale? Go on, go take a look at what you have. Is the terra cotta decaying? The clay cracked? The plastic getting weak? Put away your wallet, and don?t waste your money on expensive new replacements. For a small fraction of one good pot you can fix up as many as you have to look like new.
This DIY is going to go over the three most common defects you can fix at home with only a few supplies ? and make your old pots look brand new. Stop terra cotta rot, fix your cracked clay, and reinforce cracked plastic with these few simple tricks.

Clay Cracks? No Problem

Nothing is worse than dropping a good clay pot and watching it thud to the ground. Most likely you?ve cracked it, and if it?s still holding itself together, this is a simple fix ? so hold off breaking it up to use in the bottom of a new pot.

What You?ll Need

Everything you?ll need you can pick up easily at a local hardware store, but first dig around in your garage, because chances are you might have some of these supplies already.

  • All-Purpose Joint Compound
  • Spray Paint
  • Fine-grained sandpaper
  • Textured Spray Paint : choose your look

Step One: Sand Off The Area Around The Crack

This is a simple enough step to get started with. Begin by cleaning off the area around the crack with some fine sandpaper. Be sure to knock any loose clay off as you sand and blow out the fine dust to allow for a good bond when you begin to fill it in.

Step Two: Fill In Cracks

Using the joint compound, use your finger and rub it into the cracks. You really want to make sure it gets into the areas that have weakened, so make sure you check both inside and outside the pot, and it doesn?t hurt to spread it around below and above the crack as well. Any cracks that fill with moisture in the winter and freeze will widen, so it?s important to make sure you get these well covered.
This stuff dries fairly quickly so spread more over it and smooth it out a little. Don?t worry about how it looks right now since you can sand it down again later. If you have any major chunks missing (like my pot does) fill in the area, letting the compound dry before adding on more layers until you are happy with the coverage. As it dries it does shrink and will pull back from it?s placement. I added three layers to my large crack before I was happy with the results.
It is suggested to let this dry for a good 24 hours, especially if you have been layering compound to fill in missing pieces.

See more at Backyard Boss

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