Faux Bark Planter

3 Materials
25 Minutes

Let’s makeover one of those rectangular plastic planters that we all seem to have. You will need some caulk and acrylic paint for this project.

Here is the plastic planter I gave a makeover to.  

To start, I squirted some waterproof (and paintable) caulk all over the outside of the planter box.  

Next, I took a putty knife and smeared it all over. You don’t need to worry about making it neat.  

When I had the base coat smeared around, I added a second layer.  

This layer I spread out with a fork so that I could create a faux bark-like finish and some wood knots on the planter. Don’t worry about covering it all as we are going to paint it later.  

The caulk will take a little while to dry so you can keep coming back and working on it as it's drying.  

Once I had let the caulk sit for a couple of hours it was time to paint it. I used acrylic paint in dark brown, cream, and a couple of greens since my planter was going outside.  

To paint the box, I started with the brown and mixed in a little cream to give it the look of bark.  

Once the first layer was dry, I highlighted the bark effect that I made by using cream and olive green. To do this I just picked up a little bit of paint on a fan brush and then just very carefully slid it across the surface. 


Finally, I added touches of bright green the same way to give the impression of moss growing on the bark.  

Here is my finished planter with some fabulous pansies. I think it looks quite stunning. I hope you've enjoyed this project and I have inspired you to have a go. 

Resources for this project:
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Julie McDowell - Design Artist
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3 of 24 comments
  • Grace Hutchinson Grace Hutchinson on May 30, 2022

    Not a question but a comment. One can use quick set cement on the planter too and you can buld hills and valleys easily. It is light weight as well then go ahead and paint it! We used quick set on styrofoam to make a lot of things and it worked well. It did not crack either over time as it was outside.

  • Shirley Barnett Shirley Barnett on Jun 06, 2022

    I think it is very pretty. I may try your method as I have an old green plastic planter not being used right now. Thank you for sharing.