Crafts, gardening

Painted Terracotta Gardening Pots

Upcycle and rehab your old terracotta gardening pots with this technique.


1.) A terracotta pot, old or new, of any kind.  TIP:  If you’re using an old pot (and I did, with the larger pot pictured above), terracotta pots are fairly easy to clean.  I simply used a sponge, warm water, and dish detergent to scrub away dirt.  After washing, it’s important to allow the pot to dry completely, before applying paint, otherwise, your paint will appear less vibrant and distressed.  If you want it to look more distressed, feel free to apply paint when the pot is partially dry.

2.) Oil-based paint markers.  I love the look of oil-based paint markers.  They’re vibrant and easy to control, once you’re used to the outflow of paint when pressure is applied (you may want to practice with them first, before applying them directly to the pot).  My preferred brand of oil-based paint markers is Uni-Paint (available on Amazon); however, oil-based Sharpies will work, as well.  In my experience, oil-based Sharpies are not as bold, but they’re much more accessible at craft stores, such as Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s.

3.) A clear, glossy sealant.  You can use your run-of-the-mill Mod Podge dishwasher-safe gloss, for this project.  I’m pretty sure I got this batch from the dollar store.  It’s something that I always have around.  It’s inexpensive and indispensable, if you ever plan on dabbling in the crafting world.

4.) Something to apply your sealant.  A clean, dry sponge brush or regular paint brush should do.  I used a sponge brush.

1.) Prep your terracotta pot.  If you’re using an old terracotta pot, clean it as directed above.  If you’re using a new one (fancy!), just wipe with a slightly damp sponge.  Wait for the pot to dry completely.

2.) Paint your pot.  If you haven’t used oil-based paint markers before, practice the design of your choice on a piece of paper.  I recommend choosing a design that has strong, distinct lines and lots of negative space.  Use bright, bold colors that will stand out against the terracotta shade.  Using the oil-based paint markers, paint the design of your choosing on your pot, applying the paint one section at a time.  Allow the paint to dry before moving on to the next section, as this paint is easy to smear with your hand.  I would not recommend using a stencil, in this instance (be brave; free-hand it).  Once it’s completely dry, feel free to go back and embellish, in sections, as seen above.  I went a little crazy with the dots.  Whatever.  Sue me.

3.) Seal your pot.  Once it’s completely dry (I let mine bake in the hot sun for several hours), dampen your clean paintbrush or sponge.  Dip it in the Mod Podge and apply a light, even coat of sealant.  (If you’re using aerosol sealant, forget everything I just said and spray away.)  Wait for the first coat to dry completely, and then repeat the process.  Allow the pot to dry, and then you’re ready to roll.

Here are a few of mine:



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