DIY Painting Terracotta Flower Pots

diy painted terracotta pots

The Spruce / Caylin Harris

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr, 15 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $25

Plants are the perfect finishing touches for any and every room in your home. While it might be challenging to find the right vessels to fit your decor, don’t let that deter you. It's easy to learn how to paint terracotta pots for a unique look. It’s so easy to create custom flower pots that are just your style with a little patience and some thicker, bold opaque or thinned out, delicate craft or acrylic paint and you're ready to get started. Here’s everything you need to know to make these pieces of art yourself.

The great thing about this project is that the materials are so affordable. For the cost of one decorative planter from your favorite home store, you can make three or four of your own custom versions.

Before You Begin

  • Prior to painting, wash the pot in warm water to loosen grime. Remove any tags on it and let it dry fully.
  • Sand the pot with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth rough ridges if needed.
  • Prime the inside and outside with one or two coats of clay pot sealer and let it dry.


Make Terracotta Planters Truly Unique With This Simple Trick

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Paintbrush
  • Foam brush


  • Terracotta pots
  • Craft paint
  • Plants
  • Rubber bands
  • Painter's tape


Terracotta pots and paint supplies
The Spruce / Caylin Harris
  1. Make a Plan

    As tempting as it is to go into this project with a childish sense of wonder, it’s not the best way. We promise. You’ll want to pull some inspiration, figure out what colors you want to use, and think about what you want to paint on each pot before you get started. Also, keep in mind that a nice tight color palette helps to tie the whole look together.

    In our experience, unless you’re exceptional with a paintbrush, it helps to use guides to get straight lines. Since we wanted to do stripes, we started by either taping off (for the flat straight rim, painter’s tape works best) or using rubber bands to do stripes on the curved body.

    Painting dark green on terracotta pot

    The Spruce / Caylin Harris

  2. Apply the Paint

    To create stripes, use two rubber bands, and paint in the center. Be sure to wait in between coats to let the paint dry, so it doesn’t pull. Here are a few tips on the paint:

    • Lighter colors will need more coats to cover the terracotta.
    • For thin stripes, use a paintbrush to fill in between your rubber bands. The foam brush works really well for large surfaces because it helps to minimize brush strokes.
    • When you’re using the painter’s tape or the rubber bands, remove them while the paint is still wet. If they dry, they can pull tiny pieces of paint off with them. Instead of trying to slide the rubber bands off, cut them off with scissors instead.
    Painted terracotta pot

    The Spruce / Caylin Harris

  3. Let the Paint Dry

    It shouldn’t take too long. Craft paint dries really fast. To layer colors, let the coats dry in between and then paint over them. It’s better to layer dark colors over light colors instead of the reverse.

    painted terracotta pots

    The Spruce / Caylin Harris

  4. Add in Your Plants

    There are two ways you can do this. One, you can put the plants directly inside the pots. In this case, you might want to consider sealing the inside with something waterproof. Otherwise, the Terracotta will absorb some of the moisture. You’ll also want to purchase the accompanying tray to place underneath each pot to catch extra water.

    The second option is to leave plants in their little plastic containers they come in and then slip them inside the planters. Then when you go to water, you can pull them out and give them a good soak in the sink instead of playing the will-these-overflow game.

    Enjoy! These little beauties will look fantastic in any room you place them in.

    Arial view of pots and plants

    The Spruce / Caylin Harris