Using aged terra cotta pots is a great way to bring farmhouse style to your porch, deck, or garden. If you don’t have time to wait for your pots to age naturally, try this tip for how to age terra cotta pots with paint instead!
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to age terra cotta pots, then you aren’t alone. There are a lot of different ways to do it and I’ve seen quite a few different tutorials explaining different processes for getting that aged look recently. I’m really committed to trying to improve my game a little bit when it comes to my planters and flower pots this year, so I decided to give aged terra cotta pots a try!
Actually, I’d love to try to age a few pots naturally and grow some moss on them one day because we seem to have the perfect climate for it, but since it’s still really early in the season, I thought I’d go the (seemingly) easiest route and see if I can get that aged look with paint for now.
I actually thought this was going to be a pretty straightforward project and that I wouldn’t really have too many tips to offer to others who want to try this out, but of course, like most seemingly simple projects, there’s a trick to this one as well.
How to Age Terra Cotta Pots With Paint
For this project you’ll need a plain terra cotta pot, some white paint, some light grey paint, a paint brush, and some paper towel.
If you’re going to be using this pot outdoors, definitely use a paint made for being outdoors like this patio paint that I used. You can also use regular craft paint, or even chalk paint, and then go over the whole pot with an outdoor topcoat if you want. If you’ll be using this pot indoors or on a covered porch, go ahead and use whatever matte finish paint strikes your fancy. 🙂
The process is pretty simple. First, dip your paint brush in the white paint and use a piece of paper or a paper towel to dab off any excess. You’ll then dry brush the paint around your terra cotta pot in a horizontal motion. Try to keep things fairly uneven, with more paint in some areas, and less in others.
Important Tip to Remember!
The important thing that I learned about this process is that the paint dries almost instantly because it’s absorbed so quickly by the clay. So once you apply paint to an area, you can’t really wipe it off very easily. The rule of thumb to follow here is to apply paint fairly lightly and layer it up to make it heavier in some areas. You can always add more paint, but you can’t take it away.
How to Age Terra Cotta Pots: Finishing Up the Look
Some people may find that they like this look and choose to stop here, which is great. I found that this look was a bit too “brushstroke-y” for my liking, so I decided to layer on a bit of light grey paint as well. I used a paper towel dipped in the paint to apply the top layer of grey paint so that I could avoid those brush strokes and try to blend things a bit better. Well, the blending didn’t really happen of course because, as I said before, the paint really just sticks in place almost immediately. I still like the look I ended up with though!
If you find that you’ve applied too much paint, you can use sandpaper to remove a bit of it. You’ll need to use quite a coarse grit, because finer grit sandpapers don’t seem to do a darn thing. 🙂
A Great Look
I like the look of a mostly greyish white aged terra cotta pot, with just a bit of the terra cotta showing though, so that’s what I went for. If you’re feeling creative though, you can try adding in a bit of green to mimic the look of moss, or even another color to give the look of old chippy paint.
I definitely plan to do a few more of these this year in different sizes, especially since terra cotta pots are so inexpensive and easy to come by. I’ll try to show you how to age terra cotta pots in a few different ways as the season continues as well!
So that’s how to age terra cotta pots with paint! Have you tried something similar with your pots?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.