How to...Paint Terra Cotta Pots

Don't you just love those cute little painted terracotta pots? Me, too! A couple of weeks ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Jessi over at Practically Functional, posted a tutorial on how to seal painted flower pots. I was positively inspired by her pretty little pots!

brightly painted terra cotta pots

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I really wanted to do some pretty pink pots like hers, but unfortunately, they wouldn't have coordinated with anything here - inside or out. So I had to settle for basic colors: red, blue, yellow, orange, and green - which is okay, because those are the colors we'll be using in our deck makeover!

Gus picked up eight 6" terracotta pots at Home Depot. We didn't get the drip trays because the pots would be sitting in a wire "basket" on the deck.

What we used:

I pretty much followed Jessi's instructions completely.

The first four steps in painting terra cotta pots

1. This is what we used!
2. I lightly sanded the pots with fine grit sandpaper, then removed the dust with a damp microfiber cloth.
3. Once dry, I painted about 2" down on the inside of the pots.
4. Then I sat the pots upside down on Trenta cups from Starbucks (I might just have a few...)

stenciling painted terra cotta pots

5. After the pots dried overnight, I positioned the stencil (which had adhesive on it).
6. Then I dabbed on paint with the foam brush.
7. I removed the stencil immediately & carefully.
8. Then I allowed the paint to dry.

planting herbs in painted terra cotta pots

 9. I decided my pots looked too much like something you'd see in a preschool room, so I gave them a very thin whitewash with some watered down white paint on a damp paper towel.
10. I sprayed the pots with sealer, both inside and out - and let them dry for 24 hours.
11. Then I put coffee filters in the pots so water drains through but the soil stays put!
12. Lastly, I filled the pots with potting soil and planted herbs & flowers.

painting/stenciling terra cotta pots

painted terra cotta pots

painted terra cotta pots containing flowers

Originally, I intended to put a cocoa liner in the wire baskets, but we couldn't find the size we needed anywhere. So Gus improvised! After cleaning and painting the black wire planter baskets:

adding boards to wire baskets
  1. He measured two 2X4's to fit in the bottom of the baskets.
  2. Then he cut them with a handsaw.
  3. I sat the pots on top of the boards and marked the drainage holes, then Gus used a boring bit to drill drainage holes in the wood! 
  4. Genius!! We'll be staining the deck in the next couple of weeks, so I'll stain the 2X4s with the same stain when we're doing that.
painted terra cotta pots with herbs

Herbs in painted/stenciled terra cotta pots

Flowers in painted/stenciled terra cotta pots

I think they're adorable - and they're so cheerful, too!

Herbs in  terra cotta pots

Flowers in the terra cotta pots

Pretty easy, huh? There are so many stencil options - or you could paint something freehand (if you're more talented than me). My favorite is the little swirly one that I used on the red and yellow pots in the above picture.

Are you planning to give this a try? Let me know how it goes! Leave a comment here or find me on Instagram or Snapchat!


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