With buds and blooms slowly peeking through the landscape, it’s a perfect time of year for painting terracotta pots. I’m overjoyed to partner with some of my favorite blogger friends to bring you a variety of gardening projects today, all inspired by one Pinterest photo.
This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Special thanks to PLAID for supplying some of the paints and supplies used in this post. For more information, please see my disclosures.
A Gardening Pinterest Challenge
One of my favorite blogging collaborations is the Pinterest Challenge hosted by my charming friend Cindy at County Road 407.
Each month, Cindy sends us a Pinterest photo and double-dog-dares us to recreate it at home. Since I can never turn down a good dare, I keep coming back for more!
If you’re here visiting from Katie at Let’s Add Sprinkles, thanks for clicking over. Isn’t that the sweetest little succulent tower she made?
You can find all of my friends’ projects at the end of this post, so be sure to visit them for more wonderful gardening ideas!
The Inspiration Photo
If you’re a Pinterest aficionado, you know the whole point of the platform is to bring dreams into reality. Well, if you’re dreaming of a leaning tower of pots, these adorable topsy-turvy buckets from Cottage at the Crossroads will hit the mark! It’s like a gardening magic trick!
I love the simplicity of the galvanized buckets and vibrant flowers they chose for this project, but there was nothing simple about me gathering buckets or flowers with this stay-at-home order happening.
Instead, I bribed last year’s plants to eke out some blooms for me, and I convinced several terracotta pots to become their best selves. You can see all the details in this YouTube video I created.
Like the topsy-turvy tower, my stack of terracotta pots has a little tilt here and there, which gives it a fun and relaxed feel.
In place of galvanized metal, I used a blue-and-white patterned napkin on my pots to create the illusion of chinoiserie, which coordinated nicely with the outdoor pillows I made last year.
I also felt inspired to add a little sculpted friend to my stacked pots, in a nod to the original inspiration pin. Boy did it feel good to get craftsy again! I hope you’ll get motivated to do the same!
This polymer clay dragonfly took a bit of time to sculpt and paint. It’s far from perfect, but it was so much fun to make! My kids got a kick out of watching me and are now pestering me to make my salt dough recipe again.
In the process of painting terracotta pots, I gathered several tips to share with you.
Painting Terracotta Pots: Tips for Best Results
By painting terracotta pots, you can create a fresh, customized look on a porch or patio. Over the past few years, I’ve painted everything from beer bottles to DIY headboards, and I think this is one of my most satisfying paint projects.
You’ll notice I combined a mix of painted pots and decoupage pots in my final stacked pot tower. See my post on how to decoupage flower pots to get the full scoop on the blue-and-white pots.
Tip #1: Use a sealer on the inside of the pots
Using a clay pot sealer on the inside of your pots can help prevent loss of moisture and preserve your painted design. It’s a great product to have on hand regardless of whether you’re painting your pots or not!
Tip #2: Use chalk paint for base coating
After using both acrylic paint and chalk paint for this tutorial, chalk paint wins. It only took 2 coats of chalk paint (ultra matte acrylic paint) to fully cover a pot versus 3-4 coats of traditional acrylic paint.
You also have the option of using spray paint to eliminate brush strokes, but I prefer the subtle texture of acrylics.
Tip #3: Paint with foam brushes for even coats
I found that foam brushes help to achieve a smooth, even coat of paint on terracotta. You have the option of priming the pot to get a smoother finish, but I knew I planned to seal it with a topcoat at the end anyway.
Tip #4: Use painter’s tape, fine brushes or stencils to create unique designs
By using painter’s tape, you can create pots with alternating colored rims or other fun color-blocked designs. You can also use the wrong end of a small paintbrush to create polka-dots, as I did with my smallest clay pot.
Tip #5: Always seal the painted terracotta pots
I used Mod Podge Outdoor to seal my painted pots. It’s important to know that this formula is not waterproof but is water-resistant. You’ll still want to keep your pots in a covered area like a porch or patio.
I’ve used this same product for my outdoor garden stakes, and it works like a charm. Just make sure you allow it to fully cure before filling your pots with plants.
- Chalk paint, acrylic paint or spray paint
- Clay pot sealer
- Outdoor Mod Podge
- Painter's Tape (optional)
- Foam brushes
- Before painting, make sure you remove any dirt or tags from the pot and let it dry completely. Immerse the pot in warm water to loosen any grime.
- If necessary, sand the pot with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth any rough ridges.
- Prime the inside and outside of the pot with 1-2 coats of the clay pot sealer and let it dry.
- Paint the pot with 2-3 coats of acrylic paint or spray paint until you reach the desired level of coverage. Wait for the paint to dry between coats, per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Add any desired designs or stencils to the pot.
- Once dry, seal the pot with Outdoor Mod Podge. Make sure the pot is fully cured before exposing to the outdoors and filling with plants.
Outdoor Mod Podge is water-resistant, not waterproof. Painted pots should only be used in covered areas not directly exposed to rain/sun.
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Continue Your Tour
You won’t want to miss the Pinterest-inspired crafts and decor my friends are sharing, too!
Your next stop on the tour is Lora B with a beautiful ladder garden display. She always has the best upcycled projects, so you’re in for a treat!