How to make a DIY plant stand

Want a plant stand for your garden, living space or even bathroom? You can make a DIY plant stand for next to nothing, customised to your home's colour scheme

Plant stand: colour shelving unit painted in Cuprinol paint with herbs and plants
(Image credit: Cuprinol)

A plant stand is such a simple idea and a great way to display your favourite indoor plants or garden plants on the patio. And it's an easy thing to DIY if you’ve got a wooden ladder shelf that’s looking a little worse for wear or have bought a cheap ladder shelf to customise. Why not transform plain or tired storage into a statement display for your finest herbs and plants this weekend? 

Simply choose a selection of stand-out colours to paint the shelves and some plant pots, creating a vibrant focal point that gives your plants the attention they deserve. Whether you’ve got a large patio, small balcony, bland kitchen, plain bathroom it’s the perfect way to maximise your space (and the beauty of your plants) on a budget. 

Find more garden ideas at our dedicated page.

shelving unit painted in Cuprinol paints with plants and herbs

(Image credit: Cuprinol)

You will need:

  • 2 x 1ltr Cuprinol Garden Shades in your choice of colours
  • 2in paint brush 
  • Small roller and tray
  • Unpainted wooden ladder shelving
  • Terracotta pots which you can paint to match your colour scheme
  • A selection of your favourite growing herbs or plants

1. Sand and clean your shelves

Before you begin your DIY plant stand transformation, ensure its shelves are as smooth and clean as possible. Any textural imperfections now will show up after you've painted, so it's worth spending a little extra time getting this right. Brush away any dust and ensure your shelves are completely dry before your start painting.

2. Paint two coats of your first colour onto the legs

Using a brush, paint your first coat on to the legs of your shelving unit. Allow to dry completely before adding a second coat. Two coats will ensure a quality finish, and also make your paint job more durable and last longer. Follow the wood grain for a neat look.

3. Tape off the edges where the legs meet the ladder steps

To ensure a pristine finish, use a good-quality masking tape to cover the edges you have just painted, where the legs meet the ladder steps. This means you don't even need to have a steady hand when painting around the corners, as the masking tape takes the strain and does all the hard work for you, guaranteeing (in an ideal world) a straight line. 

4. Apply two coats of your second colour to the ladder shelves with a small roller and brush

Use your roller to paint the shelves, again rolling in the direction of the wood grain. Try not to put too much paint on your roller, as it could end up looking a little gloopy, and also make a mess. This is where your masking tape comes in handy as you can just roll straight onto it. Again, wait to dry before applying a second coat. Peel off the masking tape and voila!

5. Paint your terracotta pots and allow to dry

Don't let your paint go to waste. Paint your plant pots in corresponding colours to draw your little shelving scheme together. 

6. Select your plants, arrange them on the shelves and watch them grow

Whether this will be a herb station for your kitchen, a green display for your bathroom, or a statement feature on your patio, select your plants accordingly. Basil, parsley, coriander, mint, rosemary and thyme are great to have within grab–able distance to your cooking area. Trailing ivy, string of hearts and string of pearls are pretty trailing plants which will grown down from your higher shelves, creating an elegant feel.

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Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith

Amelia has worked on Real Homes magazine since 2016 and is now Deputy Style Editor. She takes style inspiration from her city breaks and is on a mission to be bolder with print and colour.