DIY—Painted Terracotta Pots

Inexpensive, Better Quality & Customized –

Terracotta Pots & Saucers
You might be wondering…why paint terracotta when you can just buy something ready-made? Well, first, terracotta is surprisingly inexpensive. I bought all three sets of terracotta pots and saucers for about $10. Second, although I don’t usually prefer the look of plain terracotta, I think it’s better quality than most plastic alternatives. Lastly, most ready-made glazed pots are expensive and lack variety. Usually they’re lacking in one or more of the following: size, shape, and/or color. (I want what I want, when I want it…Is that too much to ask? Ha!)

So, what better way to get exactly what you want…than to make it yourself! I’m not gonna lie though, sometimes it’s hard to know what you want. There was literally half an aisle full of spray paint brands and colors to choose from. (The horror! I mean…THE OPTIONS!) And, like usual, last minute I changed my mind after being “inspired” by a pair of electric blue potting stools. (I may, or may not, have daydreamed a whole potting station around them… So pretty!)

And then I had to pull all the similar blue spray paint cans from the shelves for comparison. My poor husband…he also had to help me compare my way through the shelves of terracotta pots and saucers. (As he likes to say with a grin: “I don’t have a problem, you have a problem!”) Needless to say, this painted terracotta pot project is ready to see the light of day!

The Time Has Arrived –

Step 5 – Apply 2nd Enamel Coat
I’ve been sitting on this project for over two weeks now, waiting for the sun and weather and my schedule to re-align. And yesterday, the perfect time finally arrived. (Okay, it wasn’t perfect…but I persisted in the cloudy, sweater clad conditions.)

As with any new project I’ve ever attempted, the struggle to start has been weighing heavy on my shoulders. With the question, “Will this turn out well?” pressing on my mind. But, as I’ve been learning more and more, I’ll never find out unless I try! Alas, the great “Painted Terracotta” event of 2017 has commenced! (FYI—Another DIY terracotta project will be coming to the blog next week. Stay tuned!)

Join me and make your own custom painted terracotta pots! Detailed instructions follow below.



Duration: 3 Hour Project / Day Project
Difficulty Level: Easy

Painted Terracotta Materials


3 Terracotta pots, 4” tall
3 Terracotta saucers, 4.3” diameter
Sandpaper, 220 grit (very fine) sheet
1 – 12 oz can Spray paint (indoor / outdoor), 17007 Clear Gloss*
1 – 12 oz can Spray paint (indoor / outdoor), 2329 Patriotic Blue*
Color Coding Labels, 3/4” circles
Masking or painting tape
Dust mask
Potting soil, 8 qt.
1–3 Seed packets, Cilantro, Sweet Basil, Parsley*

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES (but highly recommended):

Scrap newspapers (to keep spraying surface clean and interior of terracotta pots free of unwanted spray paint color)
1 Hex screw, 3/8” x 8”
1 Flat washer, 7/16”
1 Wingnut, 3/8” (together these three items make a great handheld tool for spray painting)


1. Sand the terracotta –

Step 1 – Sand the Terracotta
Lightly sand all surfaces of the terracotta pots and saucers. This is to ensure a smooth surface that doesn’t have any noticeable nicks, or clay particles. Afterwards, wipe clean with a damp cloth and let dry for a few minutes.

2. Apply one coat of enamel –

Step 2 – Apply Enamel Coat Step 2 – Enamel Coating
Follow the application instructions from the back of the spray paint can. First, spray paint the interiors of the pots. Wait 15 minutes to handle, then use the combined hex screw, washer, and wingnut (optional) as a handheld hanging tool to spray paint the exterior of the pots. Wait 15 minutes to handle.

Alternate the above instructions with spray painting the interiors and exteriors of the saucers. Wait 15 minutes in-between coats to handle.

3. Design & apply stickers / tape –

Step 3 – Design & Apply Stickers
Now is the time to be creative! Think about what look you’re going for, and imagine the finished product in your head. Do you want three of the same designs, an alternating design, or three completely different designs? You can always change your mind as you go, but it’ll be easier and less time consuming if you have something in mind beforehand.

Whatever design(s) you choose, start applying the stickers and/or tape. If your design is asymmetrical or random, no worries—place those stickers and tape wherever you feel! If your design is symmetrical, take your time—look from above to determine and divide into equal sections (i.e. mark halves, then quarters and so forth). Make sure to stick the stickers and tape firmly to the surface so the adhesion holds during the spraying painting process.

4. Apply one-to-two coats of color –

Step 4 – Apply Color Coat Step 4 – Color Coating
Follow the application instructions from the back of the spray paint can. First, make sure all the stickers and tape are adhered to the surface. Then use the handheld hanging tool to spray paint the exterior of each pot. Wait 15 minutes to handle, then spray paint the interior of each pot if desired. Wait 15 minutes to handle.

Alternate the above instructions with spray painting the interiors and exteriors of the saucers. Waiting 15 minutes in-between coats to handle.

5. Apply second coat of enamel to seal the deal –

Step 5 – Remove Stickers Step 5 – Remove Tape
Carefully remove all the stickers and/or tape from the pots. Then repeat Step 2 for added protection against the elements.

Note: Since terracotta is porous and tends to suck out the moisture, the enamel helps to seal in and retain the moisture instead.

6. Start potting & planting –

Step 6 – Planting Materials Step 6 – Start Potting & Plating
Fill up the pots with potting soil, and follow the planting instructions on the back of the seed packets. Or, if you’re like me, consider: the more seeds the merrier! If all the seeds take, it’s easy to thin them out by replanting later.

7. Water & wait –

Painted Terracotta PotsBe sure to give the seedlings a nice dose of water, and continue to follow the upkeep directions as stated on the seed packets. Finally, find the perfect place outside for your painted terracotta pots, and wait to reap what you’ve sown!

Notes / Descriptions:

– The spray paint finish is up to you—matte, semi-gloss, or gloss! And the spray paint color should be chosen at your own discretion, with your own personal preferences, style, and surroundings in mind.

– I would recommend you choose whatever plant(s) you want to see grow. Whether it be flowers, herbs or vegetables, choose what’ll make you happy!


– The handheld hanging tool goes to: Life With A Side of Awesome
– The painting technique goes to: Do It Yourself




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