How to Age Terracotta Pots

2 Materials
$20
1 Hour
Easy

I don’t know about you, but I’m not too keen on the orange sheen of new terracotta pots. However, they are much cheaper than the aged-look pots at the garden stores. I’ve seen projects with a variety of ways to ‘age’ these pots yourself, so I thought I’d give it a try with paint. The look I was going for was a vintage French garden pot that would fit in with farmhouse style. Follow these steps to create the same look...
Supplies:
Terracotta pot(s)
Plaster of Paris
Paint that is light (white or light gray is great). I used Marilyn’s Dress by Benjamin Moore, because I already had a quart on hand.
Chalkboard paint (green). I used ‘schoolhouse green’ tinted chalkboard paint that I already owned. You could probably just add any green paint you own, but I already had this paint and liked the idea of the added chalkboard texture.
Black craft paint. I used a small bottle I had on hand that I had purchased from a craft store.
Small paint brush, sandpaper, paper towels, container to hold paint.
Sand your new terracotta pot a little bit and wipe away dust. (I used an 80-grit coarse sandpaper because that’s what I had available, and just sanded lightly with it)
Mix Plaster of Paris with the light (white or gray) paint and water. I used a mix of 2 parts Plaster of Paris to 1 part paint/water combo. Next add about a tablespoon of the green paint (or to your liking) and mix that in. My mixture looked like the photo above.
FIRST LAYER
At this point I lightly and sporadically painted the mixture onto my pots, including the top of the inside. You don’t want to use broad strokes to cover large areas. Just dab the paint mixture on with the bristles of your paint brush and spread it on the pot in random areas. You can also leave a bit of terracotta showing at this point, as I did.
Let dry a few minutes. Meanwhile, add 1-3 squirts of the black craft paint into your paint mixture (your preference as to how much). I added 3 squirts of the black paint. The mixture will look grayish now.
SECOND LAYER
Dab this new grayish paint mixture onto your pot in a variety of spots. Blend this latest layer in with a damp paper towel. Let dry a few minutes.
Sand various dark spots on your pot if you want a lighter look, and to achieve a variety of layers of color. Wipe off dust from pot.
FINGER PAINTING LAYERS
Next comes the fun part – finger painting! I felt like a kid again with this step. I poured small amount of my green chalkboard paint into an empty yogurt cup, and used my fingers to dab it onto various spots to achieve the look of aged moss green. If you would also like that look, feel free to dab some green around. Next, also dab small amounts of the grayish mixture with your fingers here and there, too. Blend these areas in with a damp paper towel. Have fun with this step! This is where you’ll blend the various colors and layers to your liking. During my ‘dabbing’, I decided to (mostly) cover the terracotta orange color instead of leaving it peeking through. You may decide to let more show through. 
Lastly, sand the pot to remove any unwanted dark spots of paint and to let a slight amount of terracotta peek through. Again, sand the pot to your liking. Let the pot dry.Wipe off the sanding dust, and you are DONE! You could seal the paint here if you’d like, but I didn’t bother. 
Now display them with your favorite plants. I chose lavender.
What a difference a little paint makes - from bright orange terracotta to vintage French garden pot!
If you like this project, you may also like my other DIY crafts found here.
Be sure to visit my blog to get a free guide 'A Year of Farmhouse Crafts'!

Suggested materials:

  • Garden pots
  • Paint

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

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3 of 9 comments
  • Rynn
    on Jan 24, 2020

    What a great look! Love it!

  • Bishop J
    on Feb 8, 2020

    Looks good but the inside should be sealed with some type of water proofing.

    My mom painted some pots very similar to what was done here and the water bled through making the pots quite gross looking. Hers were out doors and watered every day and exposed to weather, but it's up to you to decide

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