Deborah Lynn

May 27, 2020

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Easy DIYs to Age Terra Cotta Pots

It's no secret that I love flowers and french antiques. After strolling through the streets of France a few years ago, I decided I wanted to recreate that same feeling here at home by making my own aged terra cotta pots that so many of the French had in front of their homes.  This easy DIY was so much fun and the kids absolutely loved to help with this one too! I have two different methods that I have used in the past and both work equally as good as the other and it is even fun to do a few of each to mix up the textures a bit! So grab those kiddos and let's make some aged terra cotta pots!

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a garden station full of beautiful aged terra cotta pots or various sizes and plants

What Is Terra Cotta?

Terra cotta is a type of ceramic clay that is used for many different purposes. From flower pots to bricks to pipes, terra cotta has been around for many years and is still widely used today!

Are terracotta pots good for plants?

Due to the porousness of clay terra cotta pots, they make excellent containers for both indoor and outdoor plants, flowers and succulents! Especially those that need good drainage and are prone to root rot!

white cosmo flowers and eucalyptus and eucalyptus in a variety of aged terra cotta pots

Should you soak terra cotta pots before planting in them?

Terra cotta is a dry, porous clay that will absorb water so you can absolutely pre soak them prior to planting in them but it isn't' a huge deal if you don't! As long as you stay on top of watering your flowers or plants that are in them. You can soak terra cotta in a sink or bucket of water for approx 30 minutes or so before you plant something in them. This allows the clay to absorb water and will stop it from wicking away water from the plant. 

FIND EVERY THING YOU NEED FOR BOTH OF THESE EASY DIY TUTORIALS HERE

Aged Terra Cotta Pots Using Tile Adhesive and Stain

Supplies

Step by Step Tutorial

1. Begin by removing all the stickers and labels on the pots

2. Apply the tile adhesive in a dabbing motion using a paint brush. This will ruin your brush so be sure not to use a high quality brush for this part. You can add a lot or a little depending on how you want your pots to turn out. Remember, this will not come off so if you are looking for an authentic look, don't go overboard.

adding paint to terra cotta pots

3. Mix a bit of Plaster of Paris into some wood stain to produce a watery paste like consistency. Apply this pasty paint all over the pots and let them dry!

4. Once the flower pots are dry, generously apply the darkest stain and then begin to wipe the pot using a paper towel or rag! You don't want to let this part dry before you begin wiping.

diy aged terra cotta flower pot

5. Continue to wipe the pots until you are happy with the look of the flower pot.

  • Optional - You could add a bit of green paint to the edges of the pot with a separate brush for a different look. 
Tile Adhesive and Stain Project Tips** 
  • If you use the tile adhesive method be careful not to apply too much of the tile adhesive to the pot. This adds texture to your flower  pots which can look unrealistic if you use to much. 
  • If you don't want your pots to loose any of the finished look, you can spray them with polyurethane after you are done. This will seal them up for good.
  • Look for pot at the store that already had cracks and chips and then ask for a discount and save yourself some money. In the end, these pots will look the most realistic anyways!
beautiful potting bench full of aged flower pots and different plants

Aged Terra Cotta Pots Using Drywall Compound and Paint

Supplies

sandpaper options for ageing flower pots

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Step by Step Tutorial

1. Take any size of terra-cotta flower pot and you may like to sand a few of the sides of the pot. If you are feeling brave you can even take a hammer and chisel and notch out pieces of the top of the pot. Of course you can easily break the pots doing this.

2. Take a rag and scoop up some drywall compound. Begin wiping the drywall compound on the terra-cotta pot. It all depends on the look you are trying to achieve with how much you apply to the pot. Britt also suggest leaving it thick it places to give the pot texture.

3. Let the pots sit and dry.

compound used to aging terra cotta pots

4. You can take the sander at this point and remove some of the drywall compound if you feel you put too much on.

5. Use a couple different colours of paint ... usually whites, cream, beige or olive greens will look best. 

paint options for aging flower pots

6. Again use a rag to apply the paint to the pot. Dap the rag on the pot to create a textured appearance. The different paint colours should overlap in spots to really create depth and a vintage appearance. 

7. Let the paint dry.

8. You can take a sander again at this point and remove some of the paint if you feel it was too much colour on the flower pot. 

different sized DIY aged pots

Get your garden on track with this FREE Garden Check list and Planning Chart

Drywall Compound and Paint Project Tips**
  • Do not get the drywall compound on the bottom of the pot as this will cause the pot to sit lop sided and also will leave marks on your surface when watering the plant.
  • Let this pot "weather!" The more this pot is left out to the elements, the better looking it will get! The drywall compound will begins to wash off with water, so letting it get rained on will cause an "aged" affect. 
  • You can also rub the pot in the grass to get "grass stains" on it! This also gives a fun effect on the pot. 

I hope you enjoyed my two ways to age terra-cotta flower pots. Both are super easy and come out with very authentic looking aged pots. Let me know if you try either of these fun DIYs below! I always love to hear what you think!

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easy diy terra cotta pots pinterest

Easy DIY Aged Terra Cotta Pots

easy diy terra cotta pots pinterest

Quick and easy DIY Aging Terra-cotta Flower pots to look like real french antiques. The perfect little DIY to kick off the growing season! This is such an easy affordable DIY craft!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $15

Materials

  • Terracotta flower pots of any size or shape
  • Tile adhesive
  • Wood stain in a few colors, one a very dark finish
  • Plaster of Paris - dry mix

Tools

  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper towels or rags

Instructions

    1. Begin by removing all the stickers and labels on the pots
    2. Apply the tile adhesive in a dabbing motion using a paintbrush. This will ruin your brush so be sure not to use a high-quality brush for this part. You can add a lot or a little depending on how you want your pots to turn out. Remember, this will not come off so if you are looking for an authentic look, don't go overboard.
    3. Mix a bit of Plaster of Paris into some wood stain to produce a watery paste-like consistency. Apply this pasty paint all over the pots and let them dry!
    4. Once the flower pots are dry, generously apply the darkest stain, and then begin to wipe the pot using a paper towel or rag! You don't want to let this part dry before you begin wiping.
    5. Continue to wipe the pots until you are happy with the look of the flower pot.
  • Optional - You could add a bit of green paint to the edges of the pot with a separate brush for a different look. 

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  • when aging terra cotta pots, what do you use as “tile adhesive”? Mortar? If so, what color?

    • Any Brand will work. And they will be a shade of off-white and any of them will work!

  • I love this!! When buying vintage isn’t an option and you get clever to make your own “vintage”, makes for a great day.
    Thanks for sharing this DIY:)

    • Yesss!! Sometimes finding vintage finds isn’t always an option! Thanks for your comment.

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