How to Preserve Ceramic Garden Pots


Gardeners use ceramic garden pots as a form of decoration in the home garden. These lovely additions match outdoor furniture and serve as accents on tables or in gardens around the landscape. Ceramic pots not preserved lose the ability to withstand exposure to soil, water and weathering. Preserving ceramic pots involves sealing the entire pot to protect the exterior design and prevent degradation of the clay used to make it.

Step 1

Protect work surface areas with a plastic sheet or drop cloth.

Step 2

Remove all soil and scrub the interior of a previously planted ceramic pot with mild dish detergent. Remove built-up mineral deposits by applying a paste of water and baking soda. Scrub away these deposits before washing with detergent. Rinse completely and allow the pot to dry for 24 to 48 hours in a sunny location.

Step 3

Place the pot on a piece of wood slightly smaller than the base of the pot to raise it off the plastic sheeting. If the pot contains a drainage tray, detach it from the pot to seal separately.

Step 4

Wear a protective mask to limit inhalation of the strong fumes of the polyurethane sealant. Protect hands from the sealant product with plastic gloves.

Step 5

Shake the can of polyurethane sealant vigorously and open the lid/cap. Dip a small paintbrush into the mixture and begin painting a light layer onto the sides of the pot. Work with vertical strokes and overlap each stroke to ensure full coverage of the pot. Dab drips quickly because this product tends to cure fast when exposed to air.

Step 6

Hold a can of polyurethane spray sealant 12 inches from the pot and spray with a back and forth sideways motion if you choose this method of application. Use more than one position to discourage a thick application of sealant.

Step 7

Paint the interior of the ceramic pot with a similar method of overlapping strokes in thin layers. Apply the first coat of sealant to the drainage tray if necessary.

Step 8

Allow the ceramic pot to dry based on the recommendations listed on the polyurethane container.

Step 9

Apply a second coat of sealant to all ceramic pot surfaces if recommended on the sealant's instruction label.

Step 10

Let the pot and base cure for two to three days in a cool, dry location before adding soil and plants to the ceramic pot.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Scrub brush
  • Dish detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Small piece of wood
  • Mask
  • Plastic gloves
  • Paintbrush
  • Polyurethane sealant (brush on or spray)


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Keywords: preserve ceramic pot, sealing ceramic pots, sealing plant pots, container gardening

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.