How to Paint Terracotta Pots

How To Paint Terracotta Pots

Learn how to paint terracotta pots with acrylic paint with this easy to follow tutorial. You can use any color acrylic paint for these pots!

Hello everyone! I’m Meghan from MeghanPugsly and I am here to share with you a DIY on How to Paint Terracotta Pots. I just did this with my indoor terracotta pots yesterday and thought it would be a great idea to share it with others. This is a great and easy way to turn your ordinary terracotta pot into one full of bright, vibrant colors! In a follow-up blog, I am also going to go over how I made the words I put on my pots after I painted them.

As an anxiety and depression sufferer, I try to find things that I can do to help me feel better and manage my depression and anxiety symptoms. I have found that DIY crafts help me with that, so I will also link this to my other website for those who suffer from it as well. It’s also great fun and easy activity to do with kids if you have children and want to keep them busy and away from technology screens for a few hours!

I have always disliked white decor until a few weeks ago when I painted my bedroom blue with a white frame. To say the least, I am now obsessed with white decor. I also use to dislike the farmhouse style look, and I have now fallen in love with it. It’s crazy how our interests change as we get older, huh? Anyways, because of my new obsession with white, I was staring at my terracotta pots and realized I wanted them to look more stylish so alas, this DIY was born.

Pro Tip: Use a moisture meter to keep your plants at the appropriate moisture level. Overwatering is the #1 indoor plant killer. I personally love this one and it only cost me a few bucks! There’s also a list with the meter for the most common indoor plants, their moisture level, and special needs they may have!


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The first thing you need to do is prep your terracotta pots. If you paint the pot without preparing it properly, the water and moisture from your plant will seep through and damage the painting and decoration on your pot. Let’s begin!


  • Terracotta Pots
  • Sponge or coarse brush
  • Water Sealant
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Spray Primer (Not required if you’re using acrylic paint, but a good idea if you have it.)
  • Spray Paint (If you want to go that route)

How to Wash Terracotta Pots

When you purchase terracotta pots at a garden store or craft store, they’re going to be dusty from sitting on the shelf or in the back room over an extended period of time. It’s important that you wash your pots before using them for this craft or any craft to ensure the surface is smooth and free of clay particles and dust for a better result. 

  1. Fill your sink with warm water and soak your terracotta pots for 30 minutes (don’t add soap to the water.)
    Note: if you’ve previously used the terracotta pot to plant before, add bleach to the water so that it kills any mildew or mold. If the pot itself is old and soiled, be sure to soak the pot for a few hours, instead of 30 minutes. 
  2. Take your pot out of the water once the time has elapsed. 
  3. Scrub the pot with a sponge or rough brush to wipe away all dust, dirt, or stickers or price tags. 
  4. If stickers or price tags still remain, soak your pot for another 30-60 minutes and repeat steps 2 and 3. 
  5. After you’ve washed your pots, use a cotton cloth to wipe away extra water. If it’s nice out, set them outside in the sun to dry quicker. 

Sealing Terracotta Pots

Once your pot is dry and there are no wet spots, it needs to be sealed tight. It’s important that you do not skip this step because these pots are porous and the water will seep through (I tried to skip this step the first time I did this and trust me, after the first watering it was ruined.) Water, paint, and other crafting supplies can ruin your project by soaking into the pot.

  1. Use a sealant spray and spray the inside and outside of your pots. Be sure to spray a full coat of spray. Read the instructions to see how far you should be from the pot, but most are 10-15 inches from the pot. 
  2. Apply additional coats. Because of the porousness of terracotta pots, you may have to repeat step one 3-5 times. I coated my pots 3 times and so far have not had any issues. Important: Allow each coat to try completely before applying another coat of sealant. 

How To Add Primer to Terracotta Pots

Painting terracotta pots a bright beautiful color can be difficult. Because the terracotta pots are such a dark shade of orange, getting the bright hue you want can be difficult. That’s why priming your pots beforehand is so important. Essentially, think of it as if you were painting your bedroom walls and you were going from dark blue to light pink. You would have to prime the walls first to get the light pink you’re looking for, the same goes with the pots.

  1. Put the open edge of the pot facing down completely then using a painting primer (opaque white paint works also) cover the outside of the pot completely. Allow the pot to dry fully before proceeding. 
  2. Flip the cup and paint the inside of the cup and the top edge as well. 
  3. Apply another coat of sealant to the inside and outside of the terracotta pot. 

Adding Paint to Terracotta Pots

  1. Choose the color of your paint and apply an even coat to your terracotta pots. If you’re going for a design, I would suggest using painters tape to tape off the sections accordingly.
  2. Allow each coat of paint to dry completely before painting a second coat or adding painters tape to the previously painted area. 
  3. I would suggest using multiple coats of paint to your pots. 
  4. When you’re done and the pot is the color and design you want, repeat the steps above for sealing your terracotta pots. I personally added two coats of sealer to the finish of my pots.

Pots that you put outside will be extremely vulnerable to wear and tear like the uncertainties of weather. If you plan on putting yours outside, be sure to add multiple layers of sealer and wait until each one dries before adding another coat of sealer.

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