We’re back with the final tutorial from our latest R. Home column all about reinventing thrift store items on the cheap: painting terra cotta pots. You’ve may have already seen this makeover in the magazine, but here’s the step by step breakdown for all you clever DIYers.
- Terra cotta pots (we picked up an affordable assortment from our local Goodwill and Salvation Army)
- Thompson’s Water Seal ($4 from Lowe’s, it’s specifically formulated for sealing terra cotta pots so they can be painted)
- Exterior Latex Paint (we used Olympic Exterior in High Gloss)
- Sponge (optional)
- Plants (not optional, ha!)
1. Spray the Water Seal all along the inside of the pot (the sides and the base) to lock the moisture in so it won’t seep through and cause your paint to bubble or peel. A few thin coats should do the trick. It will look like the pots have just absorbed it all when they dry (they don’t appear to be darker or shiny afterwords, but don’t worry- they’re sealed).
2. Use a paintbrush to apply a coat or two of your exterior latex paint. We painted some of our pots pale yellow (Like Butter from Valspar) and some of them got a darker tone below the lip (Amber Pearl by Valspar). Ours took only one coat, so it was a 15 minutes job.
3. To add a striped pattern for fun, we just cut a sponge into fourths to create a strip that was perfect for stamping our yellow on yellow pattern (we used a paintbrush to gently apply the paint to the sponge). It was a really quick way to dress one up!
4. Once paint has dried, apply a coat or two more of your Water Seal both inside and out to further protect your paint job before adding your soil and plants
Here they are in all their glory. The hardest part of the whole shoot was finding flowering plants a few months ago (since magazines are shot so far in advance, anything seasonal is hard to dig up). But we managed to hunt down some festive foliage to complete the look. Total cost for this project: $35 for the $2 pots, the exterior high-gloss latex paint and the sealer.
If you have an hour this weekend, you can totally tackle this entire project. And now that flowering spring foliage is in season, it should be a cinch to perk up your front porch or your back patio. What colors will you go for?
Looking for another tutorial? Check out our How-To page for everything from concrete floor-staining instructions to fireplace painting advice.