How to Paint a Terracotta Flower Pot

By   | Last Updated :   February 17, 2022 | Filed In :   DIY & How To

Beautifully decorated flower pots are the perfect way to set off your new house or garden plants but they can be quite expensive to buy. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to paint a terracotta flower pot and give you some design inspiration!

Terracotta pots are made from baked clay and are porous, meaning water can pass through them. They’re a good choice for plants that don’t like to be kept moist and help to prevent root rot and other problems caused by overwatering.

how to paint terracotta flower pots

Image credit: @gardenandwood

Because terracotta is a natural, pliable product, it’s used to create a range of different shaped pots, so you can choose a huge range of sizes and shapes for your painting project.

Clay flower pots provide a perfect surface for paint but if you want your artwork to last, place your plant in a plastic pot and saucer within the clay pot to prevent water from damaging the paintwork over time. Some terracotta pots are already glazed on the inside or you can varnish it yourself. Take care not to over-water your plants once the inside is sealed.

More on this: How to Get Proper Flower Pot Drainage

How to paint a terracotta flower pot

What you will need:

  1. Make sure your pot is really clean before you start. If you’re using an old pot, give it a good scrub and let it dry completely before you begin painting. Terracotta is extremely porous so it may take a day or two to fully dry.
  2. You don’t have to seal your pot before painting, but if you do, apply a few coats of acrylic, water-based varnish to the inside of the pot to provide a protective layer and help your paintwork last longer. Make sure to allow each coat to dry thoroughly.
  3. Once the inside of the pot has been sealed, you can begin painting! I’ve suggested using acrylic paint as it’s ideal for painting onto clay, it dries fast and it comes in an amazing range of colours, including metallics.
  4. If you’re following a pattern, you may want to draw it out first in pencil or use masking tape to section off different areas.
  5. Apply the paint with a brush, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly. You may need to thin the paint slightly with water if it is too thick.

    paint terracotta flower pots

    Image credit: @artisanatbyandrea

  6. When you’ve finished your design, apply a layer of clear varnish to protect your paintwork. You can use a matte or gloss finish, whichever you prefer.

Painted flower pot ideas

From on-trend animal print to painting your pampered pets, we’ve rounded up some of the most eye-catching flower pot designs to inspire your creations:

1. Creative calligraphy

caligraphy terracotta flower pot

Image credit: @aditi.designs

Take inspiration from these beautifully hand-lettered pots and get creative with the plant puns. If you’re new to calligraphy, there are many online tutorials and templates to follow. Try drawing the design on with a pencil first and then using a paint pen as it’s much quicker than using a brush.

2. Paint your pet

paint terracotta flower pots with pets

Image credit:

We love the idea of painting your beloved pet’s portrait onto a flower pot. It doesn’t have to be hyper-realistic, go for a simple, stylised design and have fun!

3. Get fruity!

fruit terracotta

Image credit: @paintingwithcait

This sweet strawberry design works perfectly on a plant pot. You could also create a watermelon, orange or blackberry pot.

4. Keep it simple

simple paint terracotta flower pots

Image credit: @wildlovepots

Sometimes, the simplest designs can be the most effective. These sweet face planters would make gorgeous gifts for a loved one and best of all, this design is easy to paint! You could use a paint pen for the eyes and lips.

5. Make it monochrome

monochrome paint terracotta flower pot

Image credit: @houseofowls

Always in style, have fun with black and white paint. You can go for simple patterns, abstract designs, dalmatian print, whatever takes your fancy! Paint a few pots and group them together to instantly brighten up a corner of your patio.

6. Paint the rainbow

rainbow paint terracotta flower pot

Image credit: @southsideatelier

If you’re wondering what colour to paint your flower pots, how about painting a few pots in a range of hues? I love the simplicity of the above designs and you can create something similar using tape to mask off sections of the pot before painting.

7. Walk on the wild side

wild paint terracotta flower pots

Image credit: @proudlypotty

Who doesn’t love a bit of animal print? These beautifully painted pots include a golden sheen to add a bit of extra pizzazz. You don’t have to stick to leopard print, try zebra stripes, dalmatian dots, cow print even snakeskin if you’re feeling really creative! Also try using different colours, red print on a pink background or mint green on white would look striking.

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1 Comment
  1. paula
    September 18, 2023 at 9:46 am

    What varnish would you use which is plant safe.which also protects your paint work


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