Distressed Terra Cotta Pots

4 Materials
1 Hour

When Spring finally arrives, I feel the need to brighten and freshen up my home decor. I like things to be light and bright. Living in the PNW, I get enough “moody” tones...here’s one way you can brighten a space using painted terra cotta pots.

First, gather all your supplies. I like to use different sizes of pots. Depending on where you are putting them and how you are going to style them will depend on what sizes you want. Because I’m using them on a buffet and then later on a mantle I’m going to use smaller sizes.

Note: the mini pots came in a pack of 6 for $2.99, the extra small were $1.37 each and the small/med pots were $2.17 each. Use your coupons and watch for sales at your local craft stores as these items go on sale regularly.

Decorators tip: buy an odd number of pots. When decorating, grouping items in odd numbers is more pleasing to the eye.

I like to use brown paper or newspaper to cover my work area. You’ll also want a piece of tin foil or paper towel for excess paint.

I used Americana brand chalk paint because I already had some on hand. You can use acrylic, chalk, furniture, spray paint; honestly any paint you like to work with. I chose an antique white. Next- your brush. You want a stiff bristled paint brush. Your local home improvement store usually will have them priced around $1 each or you can find them at your local craft store as well.

Make sure to remove all price tags tags and stickers off your pots. Then dab your brush lightly into the paint. The tip of the brush will look like the above picture.

Then, using the foil or paper towel, dab the paint on the foil until it looks as if there’s no paint left on the tip of the brush (see above photo). Don’t worry- there’s plenty of paint still in the brush. {this is a dry brushing technique}

Then you’ll very lightly start to tap the brush to the surface of the pot. I like to brush the paint on using very little pressure and an x pattern to begin with. Spreading the paint around the surface of the pot. Some spots maybe thicker, that’s ok. If it’s too thick for your taste, try spreading it out more, if there’s too much paint on your brush, go back to the foil and dab more off. When you need more on your brush...dab the foil picking up more. You can always add more paint to your brush, repeating the dabbing off then painting the pot.

Working in x patterns, diagonal patterns or in circular motions apply the desired amount of paint.

TIP: loosen your wrist and just “flick” your wrist using as light of pressure as possible. It takes some practice and getting used to, but it’s not hard to do.

Make sure to paint the bottoms and the insides. Again...you don’t need a lot. We are going for the distressed and aged or worn look so having some color showing through is good. You’ll have to play with it a little bit to find your desired look. Remember when starting out less is more because you can always add another coat of paint.

I like some with more paint and some with less. If you end up with a thick spot, you can place a drop of water on your foil, dab your brush in it just to make the tip damp (not wet as this is a dry brushing technique) and then brush over the thick spot, thinning it out.

Note: you can also use sandpaper and sand thick spots.

Variation: you can paint a thick layer, one coat, {or use spray paint} cover everything...then use sandpaper to sand distress the pot. I feel like this takes more time and makes a bigger mess for me to clean up.

Let them dry completely. It doesn’t take too long but will depend on the type and amount of paint you used. Then you are ready to style.

Here are my pots on the buffet. I used the different sizes to create levels and interest. You can use greenery and faux flowers to decorate. I used a thick lace ribbon as my runner and added a few succulents.

You could use burlap ribbon or buffalo checked ribbon as well. Try placing the pots on their sides, upside down, inside each other or stacking on each other. I love how these turned out, I think I need another set for the mantle.

There are so many possibilities to decorating with terra cotta pots. Add in some different types of pots to create visual interest. Let me know in the comments what you plan to do with yours!

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2 of 9 comments
  • Joleen | Beaus and Belles
    on Jun 4, 2019

    Thank you! They were fun to make and decorate with. I’m so glad you like it!!

  • Mcgypsy9
    on Jun 4, 2019

    I love it! So cute and love the way you decorated with it! Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

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