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Painting Terra Cotta Pots and Planting Pretty Flowers

How do you feel about terra cotta pots? Painting terra cotta pots is something I do to get the colors that I love and to make our backyard prettier.

Sometimes I think terra cotta pots are cute and sometimes I just don’t think so. But the pot (please no pun intended) you’re given is not the pot you are stuck with. You can paint your terra cotta pots or your ceramic pots or even your plastic pots. I know because I’ve been there.

We have eight hay racks across our back iron fence, two metal urns, two metal planters, a metal baby stroller, and various pots of several colors, finishes and sizes.

We had a few extra terra-cotta pots stacked on the side of the house because (just in case you didn’t hear me loud and clear) I DON’T LIKE TERRA COTTA pots. Or maybe I should say I don’t like the color of terra-cotta. As you may have guessed, I’m more a blue and green girl with pops of pink and yellow for good measure. Planting season is upon us, so it’s time for painting terra cotta pots and planting pretty flowers.

 If you’ve been reading Bluesky at Home for any length of time, you know that I love to paint and repurpose.

Chalk paint works especially well on porous terra cotta pots. It’s so versatile, so easy to use, comes in so many pretty colors, and you can use it on so many surfaces – including terra cotta pots.

I’ve used a few brands, and I have my favorites, but last summer when I was ready to banish the terra cotta pots from our collection, I thought using up some of the leftover chalk paint I had would serve two purposes.

  • Painting terra cotta pots make them prettier and brighter in our landscape.
  • I could use up some almost empty paint jars.

Painting Terra Cotta Pots and Painting Pretty Flowers

Whatever brand of chalk paint you use, be sure to prepare your painting space first. I covered a large section of our patio with newspaper. Looking back, it would have been just as easy to put drop my drop cloth. If it’s the least bit windy, secure the paper or drop cloth with weights ~ like other pots. If it’s really windy, it’s probably not a good idea to paint.

I had about 1/4 of a sample size (8 ounces) jar of Annie Sloan Provence, one of the prettiest colors ever. 1/4 cup is about 2 ounces or 4 tablespoons ~ not much paint. But this chalk paint goes a long way, especially when it’s watered down a bit. So that’s what I did: diluted the paint with 50% water, gave it a good stir and I was ready to go.

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Painting Terra Cotta Pots

Painting Terra Cotta Pots

I laid down some newspapers on the patio. I hosed off the terra cotta pots and then set them upside down to dry in the sun.

Painting Terra Cotta Pots

I used a plastic bristle brush to paint on two coats of paint on two matching pots.

Painting Terra Cotta Pots

After the paint dried I turned the pots right side up. Then I taped  Frog Tape around the bottom of the rims. Then I painted a band of Old White.

Painting Terra Cotta Pots

I had one more round pot that I had always liked for its shape and size, but not for its terra cotta color. So it got a couple of coats of paint too.

Painting Terra Cotta Pots
Painting Terra Cotta Pots

Finish Touch on the Terra Cotta Pots

As a final touch, I sprayed a coat of clear gloss sealer from Lowe’s just to give the paint some extra protection from the elements.

Painting Terra Cotta Pots

Planting Flowers in My Painted Pots

Now that the pots were painted ~ pretty blue is much better than terra cotta, in my humble opinion. It was time to plant. First came some good potting soil.

Painting Terra Cotta Pots

And then came the plants.

Painting Terra Cotta Pots
Painting Terra Cotta Pots
Painting Terra Cotta Pots

I love how plants look when they have just been planted – fresh and neat.  We have so much more to do to get our backyard ready for spring and summer. This project was just the beginning and if the weather stays warm, we’ll be little worker bees. I may have some more pots to paint first.

Painting terra cotta pots and planting pretty flowers – like a horse and carriage, butter and biscuits, chips and salsa. A perfect pairing.

Happy painting and planting.

Painting Terra Cotta Pots

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  1. Oooh! I love how your pots turned out, Carol! I do love painted pots; however, since moving here to Texas I have kept all the terracotta pots their reddish brown. Actually I picked ones that have a whiter and pinkish tone to them so I like them as they are… for now. 😉

    Happy spring and I’m coming over from the Spring Garden link party with Stacey and Poofing the Pillows,
    Barb 🙂

  2. Brilliant idea using chalk paint on terra cotta pots! You chose a pretty color, too.

    I’m linking from Poofing the Pillows.

    Ricki Jill

  3. Yes, I love painted terra cotta pots. Love the color you chose! Just so cheery and noticeable, when the original terra cotta just kind of gets lost. 🙂 Thanks for sharing with the Garden Party.

  4. I do like terracotta but only in the right place. I’m thinking a tiled Mediterranean terrace for example, I’m pretty sure it looks great there! In my garden, not so much!
    I have a few that I tend to tuck in towards the back, maybe this spring I could give them a makeover instead,
    I’m interested in how ling this will last, do you ave any idea? Do you think they’ll need a fresh coat every year or would the sealer you suggest make them last longer? Thanks.

  5. Carol, these pots are just beautiful. I would never have known how to do it myself without this post. I am so glad! This spring I will be painting some of my own. BTW, I was in the mood to add a feature pick of my own to tonight’s party on my blog and I picked yours!
    Have a blessed weekend
    Sinea ♥

  6. I’ve painted terracotta pots before and just love the way they turned out. Even after wintering outside three years in a row they still look terrific. Although, I went with a distressed look so maybe that is helping more than I realize! I just adore the blue you picked for your pots. They are pretty all on their own.

    1. Audra, it’s amazing how well the paint lasts outside. Thanks for the comment and visiting. The blue is Provence by Annie Sloan. It’s an awesome color that I’ve used on a big hutch in one of our great rooms. Such a versatile paint.

  7. I didn’t realize you could do so much with a small amount of chalk paint. These pots are so pretty and I think I’ll paint a few before it’s time to plant. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, and have a great weekend.

  8. I remember my grandmother used to paint the terracotta pots too, it’s a great spring/summer craft. Thank you for joining The Really Crafty Link Party this week. Pinned!

    1. Meg, glad you liked the idea. When I made the mosaic top for that table over 10 years ago, I was into rusts and browns and Southwestern decor. Boy, have my tastes changed! White paint fixes everything.