How to Paint Terra Cotta Pots

How to Paint Terra Cotta Pots

Everyone knows about terra cotta pots, right? They're super affordable, cute and unique because they are super customizable (if you do it right)! I started realizing I had a lot of terra cotta pots around and decided I wanted to dress them up a bit. There is one step I forgot to take a picture of though, and it's actually a pretty important step, sealing the inside of the pot before you paint. But we will get to that below (don't judge me), shall we continue? 

STEP 1
Start off with a clean and dust-free pot, if you are working with an older pot it's recommended that you soak it in warm water (no soap!) to really get everything off it so you have a nice clean painting surface.

Clean and bare Terra Cotta pots

STEP 2
This is the part where I forgot to take a picture of so I am borrowing one from the sea of the internet, this is not my photo but I wanted to clearly show that this step is important. The problem with painting terra cotta pots is that if you do not prepare your pot properly, your project will go downhill fairly quick. Terra cotta is clay and is super porous. It will retain moisture like nobodies business, good for plants - bad for your artwork. So spray away! (This stuff is super good!)

Thanks random google image search for this photo! *Not my hand*

Thanks random google image search for this photo! *Not my hand*

STEP 3
Gather those supplies! I used acrylic paint and acrylic paintbrushes but I did notice a lot of people use foam brushes, apparently they're easier to paint with. I ended up buying paint pens as well to add some cooler handwritten details near the end of this project. 

Terra Cotta Pot Painting Supplies

Supplies

- Clean Terra Cotta Pots
- Acrylic Paint + Paintbrushes
- Clear Acrylic Sealer Spray
- Optional: Rubber Bands or Blue Painters Tape for detailing

STEP 4
Get to painting! Use the painters tape or rubber bands as guides and/or options to section off some spots if you're into geometric shapes. I toyed around with a few designs over the course of this project, some freehand - some guided. I wasn't trying to win any drawing awards here, so just do what feels right!

STEP 5
You can choose to seal them with either a water-based spray acrylic or matte/glossy sealer.  Let your pots dry for a day or two, planting in them too early may cause the paint to seep into your plants, which is a big no-no and will probably kill the little guys. 

All done! ( Apparently the far left pot needed a few more spritz of sealer because it ended up being a little leaky, I have since removed the plant and repot it until that planter dries out.)

All done! (Apparently the far left pot needed a few more spritz of sealer because it ended up being a little leaky, I have since removed the plant and repot it until that planter dries out.)

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