Terra-cotta is awesome. But having too much of it can turn out monotonous. To change the look of terra-cotta pots, you can age them by spraying them with a moss solution and adding buttermilk to stimulate moss growth (a time-consuming process). Alternatively, if you want instant gratification, you can paint them.
Painting clay pots is an easy and cost-effective way of dressing up the garden and a thoughtful way to customize a plant gift.
When it comes to painting clay pots, the designs available at your disposal are endless. The paint can hold up for years with minimal fading, even when the pots are placed outdoors. However, they won’t survive freezing. Therefore, bring them in when it is cold. In this article, we look at how you can go about painting clay pots.
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What You Need When Painting Clay Pots
It would be best if you have the following supply in place before you begin painting your clay pots:
- Acrylic craft paints in assorted colours
- Clean terra-cotta pots
- Small or medium foam brushes
- Plastic plates
- Cotton swabs
- Small artist’s paintbrush
- Wire brush
- Clear spray acrylic
Steps to Follow When Painting Clay Pots
1. Prepping the Pot
Begin by getting rid of the stickers and price tags from the pot by soaking it in a tub of hot water for about an hour before scrubbing it with a stiff brush. Give time for the pot to dry completely before painting.
2. Apply the base coat
Place the paint for the base coat on a plastic plate and mix the color with other shades if desired. You can then use a small amount of water to thin the paint to make it easier to coat the pot evenly.
Use a foam brush to apply the paint, working around the pot in broad sweeps. Extend the paint an inch or two down into the top of the pot, but avoid covering the bottom, which needs to be kept clear for optimal drainage. The pot will absorb a lot of paint.
If you would like, apply additional coats, giving time for the pot to dry between coats until the desired colour depth is attained.
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a. Rich Black Pot
After the red base coat has dried, apply a thick coat of undiluted black paint, covering the base color on the outside surface of the pot.
Just before the black coat dries up, you can use a stiff wire brush in broad, light, sweeps around the pot, scratching off just enough of the topcoat to reveal the red color beneath.
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b. Antique Gold Pot
After the red base coat dries up, use a wide foam paintbrush to apply staggered patches of a muted antique gold shade. Avoid diluting the gold paint in this step. The undiluted paint will go on unevenly, giving streaks to allow the base color to show through, resembling a gold leaf.
Once dry, overlap the first set of patches with additional patches to cover the entire pot.
c. Celestial Pot
After the blue base coat has dried, select a color for the stars – silver, gold, or pearlescent white are good options you can consider. Using a cotton swab, apply a generous dot of the paint onto the pot’s side.
You can then use a small artist’s paintbrush to draw the paint out from the middle to create the star-burst effect. Begin with the longest rays and finish with the shortest to ensure that you will have sufficient paint for each. Ending each ray with a tiny dot of paint to make the stars seem to sparkle will give you a beautiful finish.
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You can make more starts at random spots on your pot until you have as many as you would wish to have.
After the painted pots have dried fully, apply two coats of clear water-based spray acrylic to seal the paint and protect the design from scratches.
Additionally, this layer makes cleaning soil from the outside of the pot a little easier. You can consider having a matte finish since it is less distracting than a shiny finish and tends to intensify the colors of the pot.