How to Line a Wooden Planter

wooden planter filled with flowers
  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-50
What You'll Need
Wooden planter
Wood sealer
Black refuse bag
Small stones
Binder clips

Wooden planters are a popular option for decorating gardens and window sills. They are not only functional, but also aesthetically enhancing, as the wood gives a rustic feeling and complements the natural setting.

The only drawback to an attractive wood planter is the fear that a wood container won't hold up to the weathering outdoor planters are subjected to. However, installing a proper lining and sealing your wooden planters is a simple and effective way to keep them in protected, pristine conditions for years to come.

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Step 1 – Preparation

Choose your wood sealer. In terms of effectiveness, a common commercial sealer that is specifically meant for wood is your best choice. If you are concerned that any substances in a sealer may become toxic to your plants, plant-safe sealers are also available on the market.

Keep in mind that these plant safe sealers deteriorate quickly and need to be reapplied frequently.

Step 2 – Applying the Sealer

Apply an even coat of wood sealer to your planter. Remember to cover all surfaces including the inside, outside, and underneath. Take special care to completely cover any knots, corners, or pockets to make sure that the planter is completely sealed. Let the sealer dry for a few hours, or however long your product's instructions suggest, and then reapply another layer in the same manner. Leave the sealer coating to dry completely.

Step 3 – Testing the Sealer

Considering that the entire point of the sealant is to make sure the planter can stand up to elements like rain, the best way to test it out is to use some water. Get a little bit of water and wet a small area of the planter. Your water may bead up immediately, but even if it doesn't, give it a few minutes to make sure that the water does not get absorbed. If water does get absorbed, wipe away the water and apply additional coats of sealer to properly seal the wood.

Step 4 – Lining the Wooden Planter

Since you have applied a commercial sealer to protect the wood planter, now you need to line it to make sure that your actual plants are safe. Your lining can be something as simplistic as a black trash bag. These bags are an easy and cheap alternative to ground liners. If the bag is too big or has a lot of extra length for your wooden planter, you can cut away the extra length with your scissors. Place the bag in the planter to check how much of the bag you need to eliminate.

Step 5 – Keeping the Lining in Place

Use the binder clips to affix the bag to the top of the planter. When everything is in place, punch in a few holes at the bottom of the lining so water can easily flow through. Two or three small, well-placed holes should be enough. Once the holes are cut, you can place small rocks at the bottom of the planter so that the bag will be kept in place once you remove the clips while preventing the holes from getting clogged.

Step 6 – Finishing Up

Your wooden planter is almost ready. All you have to do now is to fill the planter with soil. Do not overfill it and make sure to keep the soil at least a couple of inches below the lining level. The clips can now be removed.

By installing and maintaining this lining your planters, you will keep them looking beautiful for a long time even though they are exposed to the elements.

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