Painting Terra Cotta Clay Pots

Terra cotta pots are inexpensive and can be painted and transformed into pretty decorative containers. This is a guide about painting terra cotta clay pots.

November 8, 2010 Flag
24 found this helpful

I have SO many terra cotta pots that have just accumulated over the years. So like all my other craft projects, I decided through trial and error to explore the possibilities.

All you need is:



  1. I had a large terra cotta pot. I painted it black. I gave it a few coats; 2-3 is ideal. I thought it would be perfect by my front door.
  2. I decided, what better way to display my house number. So I went to the computer chose a font I liked and typed out No. and my house number. I printed it out, cut it out and then used it to trace it out on the terra cotta pot. I am sure there are easier (much easier) methods, but this one worked for me and my resources. I traced out the No. and the numbers and then used both a small paint brush and a tooth pick for some of the smaller details. I used a white paint we had on hand. I put some mums in the pot and I think it gives a very polished much more expensive look. Seriously, who would have guessed those were once plain terra cotta pots?
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  4. I have done some smaller ones as well. Same concept, paint the pot with black enamel or whatever color you want. I used some vintage French stamps I had, stamped them in the white paint and applied to the front of the newly painted terra cotta pot. Again, so simple and the end result is so unexpected!
  5. By Amy from Wheaton

    November 11, 20100 found this helpful

    Those are beautiful. Your front porch looks just like mine. I was noticing also the flower box on your window sill. Something I never would have thought of. Did you make it also? If so, can you give instructions for that? Thank you for sharing.

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    June 18, 20140 found this helpful

    I cannot find the instructions for making the terrra cotta lighthouse with the smaller pots. I find the picture of the yard lighthouse but not how to put it together. Please help. thank you. kass @

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    February 20, 20150 found this helpful

    The image on the flower pot looks like the Eiffel tower to me, not a light house! : )

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    February 22, 20150 found this helpful

September 2, 2009 Flag
14 found this helpful

Tired of those orange clay pots? Buy some acrylic paints and give them some color. Add a plant, and you can use them in-doors or out, plus have the enjoyment of a hobby. I did not take classes, just start experimenting, its fun and creative.

By Gardener10 from Santa Barbara, CA

painted clay pot

September 4, 20090 found this helpful

Beautiful painting, I have a question: How does, or does, the paint affect when you water the plants, does it cut down because the paint keeps moisture in?

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September 4, 20090 found this helpful

Beautiful pots. You have a wonderful talent. God bless your hands. Thanking you for sharing

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Anonymous Flag
September 4, 20090 found this helpful

Wow! You're quite talented! I'll give your idea a try but mine will be simple doodles ;-)

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September 7, 20090 found this helpful

September 30, 2009 Flag
9 found this helpful

I like to dress up terra cotta pots with acrylic paints. One technique is to use three colors or more and a sponge. You only need a small squirt of each color, making it great for using those leftovers.

Make sure your pot is dry. First, spray inside and out with a good coat of polyurethane or lacquer and let dry. You'll want to use three or more colors of paint. It just takes a small amount of each. I squirt my darkest shade onto a paper plate.

Start with a slightly damp sponge, dip it into the paint, then blot onto a newspaper a few times. Lightly press the sponge to the pot to apply paint. You don't need to totally cover it. Each coat needs to dry completely.

Next, repeat with the next lighter shade. Be sure to let some dark show through. Keep repeating dark to lightest. I usually paint the rim and inside just past the dirt line. It's finished when it's to your liking.

After the last color is dried, use a coat or two of clear lacquer or polyurethane inside and out to seal paint from moisture or your pretty paint will bubble and peel.

At the DIY TV site, there are all kinds of projects to do using clay pots. I've made bird feeders, light houses, and even a clay pot boy. These make terrific, low cost gifts out of pots folks want to toss or give you for cheap. My friends all say this would be a good moneymaker at bazaars or craft fairs.

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October 9, 20090 found this helpful

It's the lacquer or poly that really makes it. I've done a few without that protection and the paint just wears off.

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October 7, 20100 found this helpful

While I have never painted clay pots, I have used the Krylon fusion paint on plastic pots, and they turned out fabulous! Not having the tangerine color I wanted in fusion, I simply used pumpkin in a regular spray-on and it has worked out well! The fusion paint will literally BOND with the plastic in 7 days. I used it on the patio table and much more! It has worked out extremely well. I would not believe how some old scarred and marred pots turned out looking fabulous!

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October 9, 20100 found this helpful

My granddaughters and I have done this for years. My 8 year old was 4 when she started and the 4 year old was 2. Beautiful keepsakes for catchalls in the house too. They use acrylics but embellish with their fingers, finger tips, makes dandy violets, centers, polka dots, etc We use strips of masking tape to mark off designs too for colors.

However, our clear acrylic spray paint is the last coat on it. Mine are outside all summer with flowers potted and they never loose their paint, colors. One of our cutest is the jelly bean pot. All black and then one pinkie finger dipped in the colors and applied here and there. Most of our pots we choose a wash color--clear, mist, gold, bronze, etc and mix half with water. it gives it a glaze look.

Tegan did one with alternating strips, painted them orange, black, etc. Calls it her Tigger pot, as her Tigger hangs over the edge of it and catches things on her dresser.

We do these and put beanie babies in them. Paint accents the color off the animal used. We donate these to ACS Relay for Life auctions. They are snapped up quickly. We charge $10 and they go. We do all sorts of different sizes, depending on the need.

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April 11, 2006 Flag
Kelli Mahoney2 found this helpful

I love painted flowerpots, and I think in the spring they make a fun statement. One of the most popular outdoor motifs is watermelon. I have watermelon cups, plates, and pitchers, so I decided that I wanted to make watermelon flowerpots to match.

Completed flowerpots.

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September 17, 2011 Flag
3 found this helpful

Christmas (or any occasion) is getting closer, and it is time to start making some homemade gifts. This hand-painted terra cotta flower pot can make a nice gift for a colleague or friend.

Add plant to hand-painted pot

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January 8, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

Do you prime your flower pots before painting? I find with some colors I need to do multiple coats, not just 2-3, but more like 8-10 when using lighter colors that I want to cover most of the pot in. Do you recommend some sort of primer first?

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January 13, 20160 found this helpful

I usually prime my pots with Mod Podge first.

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July 15, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

Do you need special paint for terra cotta?


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May 12, 20150 found this helpful

Just plain acrylic will do, they sell special paint but don't waste your money on it. The terra is so porous that regular paint will hold. If you use a black matte finish paint it will make your pot like a chalkboard without spending extra money on special paint.

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April 22, 2014 Flag
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How do I marblize a clay pot? If I paint it first with white, then put water in a tub, with spray paints of various colors, do I need to seal it or will the paint from the cans do that?

By Barb

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April 23, 20140 found this helpful

I use either modpodge or a spray can of clear sealer.

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April 16, 2008 Flag
0 found this helpful

I am doing the flowers for a wedding on May 17th. My sister-in-law (to be) wants mossy terra cotta pots. What is the best way to do this faux or not, in a month? Help! Thanks.

Cher from Provo, UT

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April 17, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Cher! These instructions are on HGTV. I hope they help! ... article/0,,HGTV_3421_1370692,00.html

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April 18, 20080 found this helpful

Smear some plain yoghurt over them and leave them outside in a damp area. The moss forms as if by magic!

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April 19, 20080 found this helpful

With your time schedule spray paint the pots with mossy colored craft paint and then use spray glue or paint with tacky glue and roll in loose moss. I've covered green oasis blocks this way and it works great. You can buy thin sheets of plastic covered with moss, too, that you could wrap around pot, but the other way is a lot easier.

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December 6, 2005 Flag
0 found this helpful

Easily make a beautiful pot for a plant. Everything you need to make it can be bought at Walmart craft dept. except the clay pot, that is the garden department.

Clay pot gift.

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