How to Paint Terracotta Pots

How to Paint Terracotta Pots

Spring has finally arrived down-under! There is warmth in the sun and the days are getting longer. It is also the perfect time to spend working in my poor, rather neglected garden. I recently found a couple of terracotta garden ornaments abandoned on the neighbours’ nature-strip. They were in pretty good condition, although I did need to rinse out the snails … I have enough in my own garden without importing more. All they need now is … Annie Sloan Chalk Paint of course. I thought I would share with you a couple of different techniques I used to paint my terracotta garden finds.

How to Paint Terracotta Pots |

Here is the before photo … already washed and ready to go.  I scrubbed them down with water and a bit of grime remover (I like Sugar Soap). There was a funny little house, which looks like you could hang it from a tree … a bird house perhaps? A mushroom type ornament, which was home to quite a few snails … although I’m not sure what else you could use it for. Lastly, a wonderful plant pot with some pretty French inspired details. All in great condition and rather sweet in their own way.

1. Wash in “Duck Egg Blue”

For the little house, I applied a chalk paint wash in Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue. I mixed approximately two (2) parts paint to one (1) part water, although it really is a case of trial and error until you get the consistency you like. I applied the wash with a paint brush. Allowed it to dry for a couple of minutes, and then wiped it down with a damp cloth. Once I had the look I wanted, I allowed the piece to dry for a couple of days before putting it outside.

How to Paint Terracotta Pots |

2. Distressed Garden Pot in “Graphite”

For the “French” garden pot, I applied the same technique I used before on a similar pot (see here). I applied one coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite. I allowed the paint to dry for 24 hours, and then distressed with some fine grade sandpaper (about 180 grit). Again, I allowed the paint to cure for about 24 hours before placing it outside in the elements.

How to Paint Terracotta Pots |

3. Layered Chalk Paint

For the little mushroom, I wanted to try some layering. I started by applying some of the ASCP Antibes Green mixed with Old White I had left over from my Ikea Step Stool (see here). I added a bit of water to create more of a wash and applied with a paint brush. I allowed the wash to dry for a few hours and then applied another coat.

Next time I’ll skip adding the water and apply the paint “neat” as I wasn’t happy with the coverage. It did create a nice streaky look so not all was lost.

I allowed the wash to dry for about 24 hours. I then applied ASCP Louis Blue with a dry rag instead of a paint brush. In the end I was pleased with streaky look. Next time perhaps I would try a darker colour as a first coat to create a bit more contrast.

How to Paint Terracotta Pots |

I didn’t apply any finish, such as a wax, to any of the plant pots or ornaments as they were going straight into the garden.

Choosing colours for outside in the garden is always different to indoors … it must be the natural light. I think I’ll live with the light colours for a bit to see if they need to be darker.

How to Paint Terracotta Pots |

Now all I need is to wait for the flowers to grow … and the fairies to come!

How to Paint Terracotta Pots |

Nothing beats growing your own herbs. I’ve planted some thyme … now to find somewhere for the oregano.

How to Paint Terracotta Pots |

No terracotta pots are safe, I now have three more lined up for the ASCP treatment.

How to Paint Terracotta Pots |

Do you have any tips to tricks for painting or aging garden pots?

For more inspiration and ideas for painting garden pots, please visit my Pinterest board Garden Flower Pot Makeover

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3 responses

  1. These are so pretty. I forgot that you have Spring now. I am so busy with pumpkin fever over here. Well then, happy Spring to you!


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