It can be frustrating to spend years decorating your home to perfection, only to have it muddled up by easily preventable fading and dust build-up. Artificial plants are among the more troublesome household items to care for, due to their delicate nature, vibrant colors and intricate designs. The good news is that there's a wide range of products to help you keep your artificial plants looking fresh and new with minimal effort and cost.
Acrylic Craft Spray
General-purpose acrylic craft sprays are an excellent choice for protecting and maintaining artificial plants. They're very inexpensive, with an 11 oz. bottle usually costing less than $10 as of 2011. After just one coat, plants get a tough, glossy finish that prevents fading; the permanent, non-yellowing formula won't affect the vibrant color of your flowers. These products dry to the touch in about 10 minutes and you can return the plants to their display location in two hours or less.
UV Resistant Acrylic Craft Spray
Artificial plants that get a significant amount of direct sunlight exposure need protection from a product with extra UV coating. Protecting a non-treated plant with a general-purpose, UV-resistant craft spray at a cost of $10 is a bargain --- you can buy pre-UV-treated artificial plants, though they tend to cost considerably more than standard artificial houseplants. In addition to protecting plants from sun damage, these product help keep plants from bending or breaking too easily. The sprays dry in minutes, leaving a matte finish and providing permanent, non-yellowing UV protection for your plants.
Foliage Sealer for UV Protection
Foliage sealers that are made specifically for use with artificial plants are formulated to revive the original color of silk or fabric plants while filtering UV light to prevent fading and cracking. This product is available for professional application from some retailers at the time you buy the plant. Running approximately $45 per treatment, it can be a bit costly but it's still cheaper than replacing an expensive artificial houseplant.
UV Sunblock for Artificial Plants
If your goal is simply to prevent fading, rather than applying treatments that prevent general damage and cracking, a simple UV sunblock for artificial plants will do the trick. At less than $15 per 22 oz. bottle and with a recommended coverage of about 1 oz. per 8 to 10 sq. ft., this type of spray is a great value. Simple to spray on, the product dries to the touch in two to four hours and completely sets within 24 hours.