An Imperfectly Pretty Painted Pot

By | June 14, 2016

A week or so ago, I started working on a little project for a friend who was moving to a new house. (She’s a friend in real life and a blogger friend—go check her out HERE, or on INSTAGRAM!)

I wanted to customize a little ceramic pot and give her a baby from my growing Christmas cactus collection. Pretty straightforward. I knew she liked turquoise, so I went with that as my base color and since I’m super into gold spray paint right now, I figured that would be a fun accent.

(CLICK HERE for more examples of me using gold spray paint all over everything.)

Anyway, I don’t need to do a full step by step post for this, because I’m not here to talk about the process, I’m here to talk about the finished result. That said, if you’re interested in the quick tutorial for how to take cuttings from your Christmas cactus and create a little planter of your own, CLICK HERE.


But, back to my project. I selected my spray paint color and set up my painting station and got started. I also grabbed the navy paint because I think navy is super hot (cool?) right now, too, and I wanted to make one for myself. I like to do little projects like this outside when the weather is nice to avoid fumes in the house, but the bugs WOULD NOT STAY AWAY and I had to keep wiping tiny gnats out of the wet paint and then respraying to get even coverage. So frustrating.

I finally managed to get a good finish on the base coats and then moved inside to get away from the bugs and the heat to add the gold accent, but for some reason, I couldn’t get a good finish on anything. The paint kept cracking and bubbling, no matter how much I shook it ahead of time or how perfect I tried to make the painting conditions. Seriously, so frustrating.

I let the paint dry and then sanded the cracked areas smooth with sand paper to give me another shot, but that made it worse and I was left with even more cracking and bubbling than before. At this point, I gave up on this one and started a whole new little pot with the turquoise base coat, spraying in the thinnest layers possible and letting them dry for hours inbetween. SO FRUSTRATING.

It did end up looking pretty good when I was all done though. Here’s a quick shot of it in my friend’s house. (Alongside her awesome colorful animals—CLICK HERE for her post on that.)

DIY Gold Accented Flower Pot

Want to see what I was dealing with? This was after we had attempted to scrape and part of the icky part off to start fresh…and then I gave up because that was a dumb idea and I had an extra flower pot anyway.

messed up spray paint

The navy one wasn’t a gift, so Wyatt finally suggested I stop fighting and try to just embrace the bubbly look. I gave him a crazy-eyed stare for a minute but then realized that was probably the safest option for my overall sanity. So, I started giving it additional coats of gold paint in an attempt to encourage the bubbling…and then, of course, it stopped. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to crack and bubble across the entire surface. SOOOO FRUSTRATING!!

But, I finally just put it down and walked away. A day or so later, I pealed the tape off and inspected the finished result. There were a few little bleeds under the tape (because of all the crazy layers when I was trying to make it bubble) but overall, I think it turned out…interesting.

Bubbled Textured  Gold Spray Paint Finish

Certainly not a look I was going for, but it’s interesting enough to stick a baby cactus in for awhile I guess. I can always get rid of it later on if I start to get ragey every time I look at it. I actually don’t mind the sort of textured look, though. I think it’s sort of fancy…and honestly, it catches the light and looks extra shiny. And am I crazy, or does it seem sort of “Egyptian” in the finished look. Maybe that’s the gold and navy combo? Wyatt didn’t see it…but I am getting some sort of interesting vibe from it…I just can’t place it.

Bubbled Textured  Gold Spray Paint Finish on Flower Pot

I’d love to say that through this frustrating project, I learned a valuable lesson about embracing our imperfections and not trying to cover up our flaws, but you know what? That’s a really hard lesson to learn.

(Says the 10-month-postpartum momma who wore a swim suit in public for the first time this past weekend.)

And honestly, I knew I needed to embrace my flaws long before this frustrating project reminded me. I still know I need to do it now. Having an imperfectly painted little pot, no matter how pretty it is, doesn’t make it any easier.

Bubbled Textured  Gold Spray Paint Finish on Flower Pot 2

Although, I did learn one little lesson and it’s that you should never take spray paint for granted. I’m going to go around and say a silent prayer of thanks to the spray paint gods over all my successfully painted projects tonight.

Just kidding. That’s ridiculous, of course.

But I did pat the little gold birdie on his shiny, perfect head while reaching into the candy dish several times this morning.

(And thus, you see why the swim suit didn’t fit all that well…oops.)

DIY Gold Accented Candy Dish 2

Ever have a spray paint project that fought back the entire time? Any idea why I had this cracking and bubbling problem?  Suggestions for how to embrace the imperfections? Let’s hear all those helpful ideas!


2 thoughts on “An Imperfectly Pretty Painted Pot

  1. Jillian

    The bubbling/cracking gives it sort of a Southwestern chic look, which is fitting since it’s a cactus.


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