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can you spray paint dead bushes

Can You Spray Paint a Dead Bush? (Explained)

Dead bushes can be an eyesore in your garden or yard, especially if the rest of your landscape is in prime condition. A dead bush will often lose its color and its luster, but it still may retain its shape. Instead of pulling out the dead bush and disposing of it, can you spray paint a dead bush?

Believe it or not, you can actually spray paint a dead bush or plant in order to transform it into something new. Spray painting bushes and other dead plants has actually become quite a trendy artistic endeavor. 

Before you start spray painting dead bushes, there are a couple of considerations to keep in mind. The last thing you want to do is spend your afternoon spray painting a bush only to find the paint fades away quickly. 

Can You Spray Paint a Dead Bush?

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Spray painting a dead bush is a fantastic way to bring new life to your landscaping and have it stand out. You can get creative with colors and patterns depending on your skill and your personal taste. One of the easiest and perhaps less complicated ways of reviving a plant with paint is to use a plant-specific spray, but these sprays usually only come in green. 

The type of spray paint you choose for this artistic project is going to be important. Not all spray paints retain their color when used outdoors, so you’ll want a formula that specifically states it’s suitable for outdoor use. Many acrylic spray paints are suitable for outdoor use, and more brands are even releasing spray paint formulated specifically for use on plants. 

Spray painting a dead bush can save you a lot of time and money and helps you repurpose something you love that wouldn’t have been salvageable otherwise. You won’t have to dig out the bush, break it down to dispose of it, and plant a new bush. Of course, the paint will block any photosynthesis, so be sure you want to stop an almost dead plant from drying. 

We recommend using Grass and Shrub Renew by Seymour if you want a realistic green. To check the current price and availability of Grass and Shrub Renew, click here.

Preparing the Dead Bush for Spray Painting 

An ideal day to spray paint a dead bush is one that is clear with no risk of rain or high winds. You’ll also want to take a lot of care to cover up any grass or plants around the bush since spray paint sometimes has a life of its own. Moisture or humidity in the air will also cause the spray paint to underperform. 

It’s also recommended to take a soft bristled brush or broom and swipe away debris, dirt, or broken pieces of the bush. You should also groom the bush before you start to paint it to make sure you’re satisfied with its shape. Be sure to check the soil and roots for any rotting or pests as you don’t want to keep the bush if those are present. 

Proper coverage of soil and roots are going to be paramount to make sure the rest of your garden doesn’t absorb paint or chemicals from the spray paint. Unfortunately, spray paints contain chemicals that can be harmful to the rest of your garden. Be mindful of the ingredients in your chosen paint as some plants are more sensitive to paint fumes than others. 

How to Spray Paint a Dead Bush

You will want to wear some protective equipment such as gloves, a mask, and perhaps even goggles. You’ll have to gently handle the bush in order to get the spray paint in all the nooks and crannies of the bush. It may take a couple of coats and journeys around the bush until you get it all covered. Spraying your bush with a primer is also recommended. 

When you’re ready to start spray painting, hold the spray paint about one foot away from the bush. Go relatively slow, but be sure to keep the bottle moving so you can cover as much surface area as possible with a light coat. Depending on the shape of the bush, it may also be easier to go over the bush in shorts spurts. 

For better control and consistent coverage, your best bet is to stick with light layers and apply multiple coats. Since the spray paint is being used outdoors, it’s not going to take very long for each layer of spray paint to dry if you don’t oversaturate it. 

After Spray Painting the Dead Bush 

Once your bush has been spray painted, it’ll no longer have to be watered. Depending on the specific bush and the climate you live in, the bush may actually be able to live outdoors year round while remaining lively. When you choose the right spray paint, you’ll seldom have to worry about touch ups due to heavy rains or bad weather. 

Spray paint essentially dries your bushes, keeping them preserved in their current state. You don’t have to do a ton of maintenance other than keeping the bush clean, which you can do easily with a soft brush or duster. You will also want to monitor any pets or pests that may have access to the yard to make sure they don’t ingest the plant. 

While this craft will extend the “life” of your dead bush, it’s not necessarily going to last forever. There will likely come a time that branches or leaves start to fall off. Be sure to pick them up and throw them in the garbage so they don’t become litter. 

Final Thoughts

One of the things to consider before you go spray painting dead plants is they will no longer be compostable. Even though your plants will have their life extended for decorative purposes, they will ultimately have to go in the garbage when you’re finished with them. 

If you just can’t say goodbye to a beloved bush but aren’t happy with the way it looks, spray paint is one of the many ways to transform it into something new. A spray painted bush is also much more low maintenance than your other plants so you can focus on keeping the rest of your plants and flowers alive.