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Vinegar painting

A single coloured plastic flower pot is painted with a vinegar paint solution. You can change the pattern and colours as well as applying the technique to other plastic objects.

Change your simple and cheap plastic flower pots by applying a vinegar paint solution onto a glossy base coat on a decorative object. The technique shown can be used on all surfaces which accept gloss paint. Due to the fact that plastic generally has a smooth surface, the plastic must be roughened with sandpaper so that it can take the gloss paint. Decorate your flower pots and flower boxes to give them special colour effects. Vinegar paint is not resistant which means that it must be sealed with a coat of clear polyurethane varnish to protect it. The varnish gives the surface a light shine and makes the surface look more expensive.


  • A white plastic pot
  • Sandpaper
  • A paintbrush
  • Yellow and white gloss paint
  • White sugar
  • Distilled malt vinegar
  • Washing up liquid
  • Red and yellow powder poster paints
  • Balck enamel paint
  • Clear polyurethane gloss paint
  • Spirit for cleaning the brushes

The vinegar paint effect is applied to a glossy base coat. The pattern is painted into the vinegar paint while it is sill wet. Make a pattern around the edge with your finger tips.

How to do it:

  1. Sand the surface of the flower pot. Paint the area below the rim with yellow gloss paint and the rim in white and let the paint dry.

  2. Mix the vinegar solution using a mixture of ½ cup of vinegar, ½ teaspoon of sugar and some drops of washing up liquid. Add a sufficient amount of the solution to two table spoons of red powder poster paint in order to make a creamy paste. Apply this over the yellow gloss colour. A coat of clear varnish followed by a second layer of matt pain makes the surface more resistant.

  3. Dip your finger in the vinegar paint and make regular finger prints around the flower pot. Let the paint dry.

  4. Mix an orange tone from the vinegar solution, two teaspoons of red powder paint and ½ tablespoon of yellow powder paint.

  5. Cover the white rim of the pot with this paint using your fingertips to decorate the rim.

  6. Paint the edges of the rim with black enamel paint and leave this to dry.

  7. Protect the vinegar paint with a coat of clear varnish. Apply the vinegar paint over the yellow gloss paint.

It is a good idea to lay some stones in the bottom of the pot so that the water can run away. Fill the pot half with plant soil, add the plant and fill the rest of the pot with soil.

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