How to Create a Realistic Faux Bark Planter: A DIY Gardener's Dream

3 Materials
25 Minutes

Welcome to the world of DIY planters!

In this project, I will show you how to transform a plain rectangular plastic planter into a charming "Faux Bark Planter" using caulk and acrylic paint.

This post was transcribed by a member of the Hometalk editorial team from the original HometalkTV episode.

If you have one of those common plastic planters lying around, this makeover will breathe new life into it, giving it a rustic and natural appearance that perfectly complements your garden or home decor.

Apply caulk to the outside of the planter

1. Applying the Caulk

To begin, grab your waterproof and paintable caulk and start squirting it all over the outside of the planter box. Don't worry about making it look neat; we'll be creating a textured bark-like finish later on.

DIY planter update project

2. Creating Texture

Take a putty knife and smear the caulk all over the planter's surface. This step helps build a base coat for the bark texture.

Add a second caulk layer

Once the first layer is evenly applied, go ahead and add a second layer on top.

Use a fork to create a bark like texture

3. Crafting the Faux Bark Finish

For this step, use a fork to spread out the second layer of caulk. This technique will help you achieve a faux bark-like finish and create the appearance of wood knots on the planter. Don't worry about covering every inch of the surface; remember, we'll be painting it later.

Faux bark planter idea

4. Allowing the Caulk to Dry

The caulk will need some time to dry properly. While waiting for it to dry, you can keep coming back and working on it.

Dollar store planter makeover

5. Painting the Planter

Once the caulk has dried, it's time to bring your Faux Bark Planter to life with acrylic paint.

Paint the planter

For a realistic bark look, start with dark brown paint and mix in a little cream to give it a natural appearance.

Add highlights

6. Highlighting the Bark Effect

After the first layer of paint has dried, use cream and olive green paint to highlight the bark effect you created with the caulk.

Take a fan brush and gently slide it across the surface to add subtle accents and enhance the realistic appearance of the bark.


Add bright green for a moss appearance

7. Adding Mossy Touches

To complete the natural look, incorporate touches of bright green paint using the same technique as before. This step will give the impression of moss growing on the bark, adding a touch of realism and charm to your planter.

More Planter Ideas

For more brilliant planter projects, check out this clever  rain boot planter tutorial.

Faux bark planter

DIY Faux Bark Planter Tutorial

With its textured bark-like finish and mossy touches, this planter is now ready to showcase your beautiful plants and flowers.

I hope you enjoyed this project and that it has inspired you to try your hand at creating your own Bark Planter.

If you have any questions or want to share your experiences with this project, feel free to leave a comment below.

Resources for this project:
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Julie McDowell - Design Artist
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Christina Christina on Apr 02, 2023

    Did you spray or cover it with something to make it waterproof? It seems like acrylic paint might flake off with rain hitting it.

  • Sandy Car Sandy Car on Apr 03, 2023

    I'd like to try something similar, but for round plastic planters. Any suggestions? I don't think the wood look would work in the round.

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