How to DIY a Faux Concrete Finish on Terra Cotta Pots

8 Materials
$7
10 Minutes
Easy

Here's a Fast DIY from an episode of Workshop Wednesday. You can easily and quickly transform boring terra cotta pots with a little sanding and paint. The technique also works on vintage ceramic pots. Those are readily available at thrift stores and yard sales, but often aren't the 'style' that will fit your decor. With this technique you can transform them to coordinate with your decor.

Read on or check out the video segment which can be found at the 5:24 mark. Sign-up for our email newsletter here.

We are starting with an ordinary terra cotta pot. Before painting, I am going to add some texture to the pot with a Dremel rotary tool. First, I'm going to draw in some guide lines to help me keep the design as balanced as possible. With a pencil, mark the bottom of the pot into four equal parts and then use those marks to draw a straight line from bottom of the pot to the top.

I put a sanding accessory on the Dremel rotary tool to create the texture, as a simple free-hand design. I'm using the rotary tool on a low speed so that I can maintain more control of the tool. Be sure to wear safety gear when operating this tool as sanding on terra cotta will produce a lot of fine dust.

You can choose whatever design you want. I'm filling the sides with a series of columns of three and two sanded marks. They do not have to be perfect. You're wanting an aged, weathered look and that is best achieved with imperfection!

The secret of this project is using this new Chalky Gesso by DecoArt. Artists use this as a primer for canvas, but I've found it worked great as a primer for projects like this. I'll be using this for the base coat as well as the final coat.

Once the base or primer coat is dry, paint on a coat of DecoArt satin enamel in Charcoal Grey. (You could use any color based on the look you want), but since this is a concrete like finish, grey was a must. Let that dry and then add a thin layer of the gesso on top of that.

Once the top layer of gesso is dry, it's time to lightly sand. I'm using 320 grit sandpaper. When sanded, the texture is revealed and really pops!

Once finished, I added some foam to the pot (this is styrofoam although floral foam actually works way better) to hold the faux succulent in place.

A little bit of sheet moss added to the top of the pot completes the look. The larger pot is actually a vintage planter, originally yellow, that I finished with the same faux finish minus the sanding. This look is much better for my home decor, and bonus, no plants to water!


For a complete list of the materials we used, please go to our blog post.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Penelope
    on Apr 6, 2019

    Would this work on plastic pots?

    • Sandra Ross Warren
      on Sep 15, 2019

      The dremel works perfectly on plastic. You would have to make sure not to gouge all the way through the plastic.

  • Jjqq
    on Sep 15, 2019

    I have tried this exact method - MINUS the sanding of the pot. The result looks the same - I'm not sure what the sanding did for the project. What did I miss?

Join the conversation

3 of 16 comments
  • Nancy
    on Jul 13, 2019

    I really enjoyed both mother and daughter. They also inspired me to make a better craft and art supply set up.

  • Carol Cole
    on Sep 15, 2019

    I'am a DIY . I'am 72. Growing up we kids were involved in a lot of DIY work at home. My father had us right in there working with him on roofing, tearing rooms apart and redoing them and you learn a lot.

    I have taking out a window and boarded

    it up the right way. I have taken out walls that aren't load bearing . I have redone rooms (Tearing them apart and insulating them then sheet rock and wall paper) I ship-lapped my bathroom and did my dinning room over.The dinning room was with help.

    I love you 2 and keep up the good work.

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