How to Paint Terracotta Pots - Geometric Design with Latex Paint

If you’re anything like me and what I’m assuming is nearly everyone else based on the parking lot at Lowes on the weekends you’ve been sprucing up your outdoor space. With warm weather and the hope of spring it is so nice to be outside in the sunshine and pollen filled air.

I also try to take advantage of spring because the bugs aren’t out yet. The threat of swarming cicadas has me a little nervous that I’m going to spend too much time indoors this year.

We built an enclosed deer proof garden this year and I am in love with it! It is a smaller garden, so I wanted to grow our herbs in planters on our patio.

two painted herb pots

Cute planters can get expensive quickly, especially if you want to have several of the larger ones for herbs. (Most herbs should be in pots 10-12 inches deep.) I did a quick DIY where I refreshed some of these simple terracotta pots with some paint and I love how they turned out!

terracotta pots before painting

This is a super simple and fun DIY. To start you just need some terracotta pots. I like these ones that don’t have the lip on the top. But if it’s May you may just have to go with whatever your local gardening or hardware store has in stock. They sell out so quickly!

cleaning the pots

Before you paint anything you always want to clean it with soap. If there is any dirt or grime on the surface the paint won’t adhere well and can peel and chip off later. Save time for your future self by just throwing them into the sink really quick!

four colors of paints

All right, let’s talk paint. You can absolutely use acrylic paint if you have some lying around. They are cheap and easy to pick up at the craft store. My new favorite paint to use is just latex paint from Lowes. Yes, just like normal wall paint. I love that a sample size is only $4 and I can get them in such gorgeous colors! They are great for using on all different kinds of surfaces!

The colors in the above photo are: Grays Harbor, Secret Cove, Coral Clay, and Blue Seagrass from Sherwin Williams. I did also use some leftover paint I had from painting the exterior trim of my house. It is like a warm white color: Skyline Steel.

base coat on terracotta pots

First I applied a base coat of my warm white color. I used a sponge brush because they are a little less streaky. I didn’t paint to the top of the pot and I definitely didn’t paint into the pot. I’m planting herbs in these pots that I want to eat.

If you plan on eating what you are planting in your pots, DO NOT add paint to where the soil or plants will touch. Paint can degrade and it’s just not something you want to eat.

Since this is a curved pot, I can’t easily tape off the top to make a straight line. The tape will also curve around the pot. So I just did my best to freehand it! You could also make marks a few inches down from the top around the entire pot to keep things even.

first stroke painting pot

To create the design for my pots I just started out with a freehanded squiggle or curve shape. I tried to make it so that the two sides weren’t close to being identical. If you try to make the same shape across the pot it can become quite difficult. Small changes compound and by the time to reach the other side, things can look quite different. Just something to keep in mind.

vertical stripes mid paint

Continue to add stripes around the pot until it is filled!

one coat of paint

I left one pot with just one coat of paint. I liked that you could see the brush strokes and it added a bit of texture to the pot.

two coats of paint

For my other pot I did two coats of paint. This gives it a more opaque and less organic look.

final pots on ground

After the pots were dry I potted a parsley and mint plant. They look so cute and I love the pop of color that they add to my patio. These pots were so easy to do and you may already have the supplies. It is a great way to add custom herb pots to your patio space if you are on a budget or having trouble finding exactly what you want!

If you do this tehcnique or something similar, please share it with me on Instagram!

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