Terracotta gives our gardens and balconies a Mediterranean look that reminds us of the Mediterranean climate all year round. But sometimes a bit of variety is needed. Once you’ve had enough of the reddish brown of unglazed ceramics, it’s time to make a change.
Fortunately, flower pots are easy to paint. And in this article, you’ll learn step-by-step how to paint terracotta pots the best way.
Basics: How to paint Terracotta Pots
If you’re on a creative journey anyway, you probably won’t have a problem finding a motif. Before you rush to the pot think about what you want to create and what colors you can use.
Green is a color that (to our taste) doesn’t match very well with the already abundant green of the plant. Particularly detailed or intricate details should not necessarily be painted on a flower pot, which later stands almost invisibly in the back of your garden. Beautiful motifs with a lot of love for detail should be presented where they are seen – for example in the house on a shelf.
With a little practice, you’ll quickly see what belongs where and how you can show off your flower pots best. The possibilities for painting are almost endless. The layer of paint lasts almost forever (even outside) if you take them inside before freezing temperatures in winter.
- Terracotta pots cleaned from dirt
- Acrylic paints of your choice
- (If necessary a sponge brush for applying the primer)
- A piece of cardboard or other supporting surface as a pallet
How to paint terracotta pots with a night sky motif
As a big astronomy fan I decided to paint a picture of the starry sky on my pot. With a dark first layer of paint and the stars it is relatively easy to paint and it looks spectacular.
Step 1: First you need a suitable pot
If you want to paint a flower pot, you first have to get rid of the dirt on it. Only if the surface of the pot is as smooth as possible can the acrylic paint stick to it permanently. Either you get new pots in the size of your choice or you sift through old pots and find a good one.
Rinse the pot thoroughly with warm water from the in- and outside, then remove any residues on the surface with a cleaning brush. Set the pot aside for some time so that it is as dry as possible when you apply the paint.
Step 2: Grab your acrylic paint and start painting
Mix it with a little water in case its consistency is too thick. Then apply a basecoat in the color of your choice on the pot, which will be worked over later. You can use a sponge brush to apply the paint to the pot very fast. An ordinary wide brush will do the trick. Also apply the paint to the edge of the pot and to the upper centimetres of the inside of the pot, so that no remains of the terracotta-colored surface can be seen.
A wet-in-wet technique on the flower pot is possible but not really easy for beginners. It is therefore better to work in separate layers and allow the individual layers to dry before continuing.
Step 3: How to paint terracotta pots
When the layers that will later be in the background have dried the details need to be refined. Now it depends on which motif you have chosen and how exactly you want to paint it.
In my case I chose a night sky with shining stars. So there are still some celestial bodies missing on the flower pot.
Stars, moon, planets – anything you like is welcome.
I painted the stars in two different colours. Very bright, large stars are painted with clear white in order to show the luminosity of the celestial bodies. The smaller, more distant stars are brought to the surface in a light yellow.
Both stars were pressed onto the pot with the back of the brush. Of course you can also paint them with the bristles of the brush.
Last but not least I emphasized some bright, big stars. For this purpose I have transformed the white dots into bright strokes, which should accentuate the brightness of certain celestial bodies.
Step 4: Use a fixative to make it more durable
After working out the details you can spray on a fixative. Normally it is enough to let the acrylic paint dry completely before you put it outside. Acrylic paint is based on a polymer that is very weather resistant and can withstand UV radiation much better than most other plastics (e.g. the more expensive polycarbonate).
If you decide on a fixative for extra protection, you can choose between a glossy and a matt finish.
If you want to expose the painted flower pot to the outside world, a matte spray will help reduce reflections from the colored surface. Especially in direct sunlight a matte fixative will enhance your motif.