You will need
1 Wipe the wooden planter clean. Paint the planter with a universal undercoat and leave to dry.
2 Paint the planter with two coats of a darker paint (we used Dulux Pearlglo in Highlands 2), leaving it to dry completely between coats.
3 For a distressed look, rub a candle over the corners and edges of the planter – the wax will prevent the white paint from adhering to the dark paint, making it easier to scrape off to make it look as if the paint is peeling in places.
4 Paint the planter with two coats of white paint (we used Dulux Pearlglo in Brilliant White), leaving it to dry between coats.
5 Use a paint scraper to scrape off white paint from the edges and corners so the darker paint shows through here and there.
6 You can now start stencilling. Apply spray glue to the back of the stencil or paint it with stencil glue and leave to dry for a few seconds until it is tacky. Now place the stencil in position on the front of the planter. TIP To ensure you place the stencil in the correct position, stick a strip of masking tape along the length of the planter, to make it easier to align the letters. Mark the centre point on the strip of masking tape.
7 Use a sponge to lightly dab craft paint in a colour of your choice over the stencil. Leave the stencil in place while the paint dries. Repeat to apply a second coat, then carefully pull off the stencil.
8 Seal the inside of the planter with wood sealant before planting your herbs, either directly into the planter, or in smaller pots that can be arranged inside the planter.
Text and image: Ideas magazine