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How to Paint a Terracotta Pot That Your Plant Baby Will Love

Painted terracotta pots.


You love your plant babies, so it's only natural that you want to show them off in adorable homes. Trendy, stylish planters can be expensive, but you don't have to spend a lot of money to create a beautiful space for your plant to live. With five easy steps, you can DIY your way to the cutest little painted terracotta pots that are sure to bring you and your plant joy.

Painting your own terracotta pot is not only an affordable option when it comes to housing your plant, it's also a way to seamlessly incorporate the colors of your home into your plant's home—and flex your DIY muscles.

Here's how to paint terracotta pots in five easy steps.

Materials Needed:

  • Newspaper or other protective covering
  • A large bucket of warm water
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Damp cloth
  • Primer
  • Waterproof sealant
  • Paint (acrylic or latex)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Tape (optional)
  • Clear acrylic spray sealer
terracotta pot

Step 1: Clean Your Terracotta Pot

To paint a terracotta pot, you may use a brand new, still-has-the-price-sticker-on-it pot or an older one you've had sitting around. Whether new or old, you're going to want to work with a clean terracotta pot when beginning this painting project.

If you feel your terracotta pot is pretty clean to begin with, you can simply wipe it down thoroughly with a damp cloth and allow it to dry before priming.

If you're working with an older clay pot or one that has a price sticker on it, you might opt to go the deep clean route.

  1. Simply place your terracotta pots in a large bucket of warm water.
  2. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Once they've soaked, wipe away any stickers or spots and allow them to sit in the sun to dry. This will usually take a few hours.
  4. After they are dry, you can use sandpaper to help you buff away any remaining spots or stickiness.

You'll be able to tell your terracotta pot is dry by observing its color change from a deep clay color to a much lighter tone.

Step 2: Prep Your Area

While your terracotta pot is drying, prep your area for painting. Use newspaper or any type of cover to place over a table or your work area, gather your primer, and grab your paintbrushes.

Painted terracotta pots.


Step 3: Prime Your Pot

Apply a primer to any part of the terracotta pot that you'll be painting. If you're planning on leaving certain parts unpainted, then apply a waterproof sealant to those parts. Basically, you'll want to entire outside of the pot covered with either primer or sealant.

If you know you are going to cover the entire terracotta pot in primer, you can also opt to spray paint primer on your pot. Simply turn it upside down on the newspaper and spray away. Allow your pot to completely dry before painting over the primer.

If you're painting a design, such as a sunset background, and you want the entire pot to be a specific background color, apply that color tint to your primer to save yourself a little time during the painting process.

Terracotta pots.


Step 4: Paint Your Pot

Now for the fun part. Painting your terracotta pot could be as simple as adding small designs with a paintbrush, such as squiggles or dots.

Alternatively, this process could take several steps if you're planning on painting a more intricate design. As with painting anything with layers, make sure each layer of paint dries thoroughly before adding to it.

If you're going with a geometric or striped design, you can use tape to help you achieve straight lines. To do this, tape off what part or shape you want to paint, then apply the paint and remove the tape.

terracotta pots


Step 5: Seal Your Terracotta Pot

Once you're done painting, it's important to apply a sealer to lock in your artwork. This is best done after waiting a day or two, so the paint is dry and locked in.

  1. When you're ready, spray a clear acrylic sealer all over your terracotta pot. Make sure to thoroughly cover it with the sealer.
  2. Let it dry.
  3. Then, apply a second coat for good measure.
  4. Allow your second coat to completely dry before adding soil and introducing your plant baby to its new home.

Your plant is sure to love its new sunset or squiggle-painted terracotta pot.