DIY Vertical Cinder Block Planters

5 Materials
$80
2 Days
Medium

Need a way to spruce up your patio or yard?

diy vertical cinder block planters sculpture

I really needed a way to spruce up this bare spot in front of a fence in my yard. I have a bunch of plants and not enough room on my deck for all of them, so I decided to make a set of vertical cinder block planters, or planter sculpture.

  

STEP 1


First, set up your cinder blocks in the arrangement you want your final planter layout to be. Make sure to take a photo of your layout. Count how many of the block holes will require plants, then plan for one piece of landscape fabric and chicken wire per hole, as well as soil and the plant.

  

If you are placing your blocks in your yard, make sure it is a level spot, or you will need to make it level.

   

Hint: Make sure you do this step first. I set up my layout after painting them and the paint hadn’t fully cured so I had to repaint many spots. You will avoid having to add extra time if you decide on your layout first.

 

  

diy vertical cinder block planters sculpture

STEP 2


The blocks need to be washed. You can spray off most of the dust with a hose, but you will need to spot wash, using the nylon scrub brush where you see dirt. If you have a pressure washer, use it and skip the hand washing.

   

Wash the blocks on a driveway or paved surface, not on grass or you will end up doing extra work. Make it easier on yourself and stack a few blocks to use as a table so you aren’t bending down the whole time. They will be wet when you put them on the drop cloth. Don’t let them sit in a pool of water, move them around if necessary or they will take much longer to dry. If it’s sunny, stick them in the sun for speedier drying.

   

Don’t start priming and painting these if it will rain before you are completely finished, unless you are working in covered area. Moisture will get in and make it very difficult to paint and the tackiness may not go away for quite a while.

   

diy vertical cinder block planters sculpture

STEP 3


For priming, make sure the blocks are completely dry, otherwise the paint will peel off from the moisture leftover in the blocks. Apply the primer with one of the 9″ rollers. I used the second roller for applying the paint since it’s so difficult to get primer out of rollers.

  

After about an hour when the primer is no longer tacky, flip over and paint the remaining edges and sides. If your cinder blocks have grooves on the sides, use the foam brush to get between them.

  

Hint: It’s not necessary to prime or paint any of the bottoms or insides. I primed and painted the insides of the ones that would be visible, but didn’t like the way it looks. You are welcome to do so, but you will likely need more than 1 gallon of primer and paint.

 

  

diy vertical cinder block planters sculpture

STEP 4


After 4 hours, your primer should be dry enough for your blocks to be painted (check the manufacturer’s instructions). Painting may require more than one coat. I did 2 coats and probably really needed a 3rd because I didn’t have the forethought at the time to get my primer tinted.

  

diy vertical cinder block planters sculpture

I really needed a way to spruce up this bare spot in front of a fence in my yard. I have a bunch of plants and not enough room on my deck for all of them, so I decided to make a set of vertical cinder block planters, or planter sculpture.

  

If I had to do it again, it would be much easier this time, after going through a few mistakes. The parts where I didn’t end up going backwards, were really fun. If I have make another one, it will be much more enjoyable the second time around. I think I’ve filled in the blanks lacking from other tutorials and have the kinks worked out for you, so let me know how it goes!

  

Some people say you should wash cinder blocks with TSP, which I ended up doing. However, I am not recommending that for this project since it’s very time consuming and as it turns out, the primer I used covered it really well. Just make sure you use the same primer or a similar one that is for specially made for masonry.

  

Due to the length of drying times needed after washing, priming, painting and gluing, this project will take a minimum of 3 days in perfect weather, so plan accordingly. Washing the blocks ahead of time saves you a full 24 hours or more.


To see how to support the soil and finish these up, please come to my website where I have the full detailed tutorial and more finished pics at ArtsyPrettyPlants.com.


If you go here, you can see my other outdoor projects- planters galore!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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