How to Age and Add Texture to Clay Pots

3 Materials
2 Hours
Hi Friends! I saw these beautiful clay pots in a cute little shop and since it’s Christmastime, I thought I could do that! So of course I had to figure out how to get the look and age terracotta pots for a fraction of the price. Here’s what I came up with using plaster of Paris. It’s a bit messy but inexpensive and super easy.

Materials to make aged textured pots:

  • Terracotta pots
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Popsicle sticks – for mixing
  • Paper towels – ball up a few
  • Sand paper (120 grit)
  • Craft paint
  • Stencil brushes
  • Rubber gloves
  • Clear sealer

I collected the clay pots over time at thrift stores, Joanne Fabrics and Michaels with a coupon, of course. I wanted varying sizes to create a layered look.
Start with gathering everything on a table or work space. This process can get a bit messy so you’ll want to lay out some newspaper or plastic in your work area. Wipe down the pots with a slightly damp paper towel.
I used an old plastic container to mix it up with the ratio of plaster of Paris to water of roughly two to one. It should have the consistency of and look like pancake batter. If it seems to thin at more POP. If it’s too thick, add a bit more water. 
While wearing rubber gloves, dip your fingers into the POP/water mix and start spreading in a thin layer on the outside of the pot.
Grab your balled up paper towel and dab it around on the wet plaster of Paris. As you lift the paper towel off the pot, you’ll create “peaks” or texture all over the pot. This dries fairly quickly so you have to move fast.
Keep repeating the process all around the pot until it is completely covered. You can go over it again until you are happy with the result.
The pot will be dry enough to paint in about 30 minutes. At this point you’ll grab the sandpaper and start lightly sanding and “knocking down” some of the peaks all around until you get the look you like. Here’s where you can choose to have it semi flat or really bumpy.
Once you have the desired amount of texture, you’re ready to paint. I used a stencil stippling brush to apply several layers of paint in different colors. These are great for dabbing on the paint and getting into the little nooks and crannies but also swiping a very dry brush as well when you just want to add a hint of color.Start with the darkest color on the bottom and work your way up with different colors…
Then I layered more white on top and mixed in some gold as well.I wanted kind of a moody, rustic feel for my Christmas centerpiece so I used black, dark green and gold. Here is one of the smaller ones with less texture.
Keep layering as many colors as you want until you get the desired effect.Once the paint is dry you’ll want to spray it with a sealer so the plaster of Paris doesn’t chip off.

The final product…

To create my rustic Christmas centerpiece, I first placed a long black tray down the center of the table. This was a simple DIY with an old board and two handles I picked up at Home Depot. I like the way the dark color pops off of the wood tone of the table. I then staggered the pots down the center of the board and added the mini trees in the pots. Then I added the gold candlestick holders and other accents.
I obviously used these for Christmas but they can be used for any time of the year.
A bit messy but super easy and inexpensive. Plus you get to make them one of a kind.

Resources for this project:

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info

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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions


Join the conversation

2 of 43 comments