How to paint plant pots

Updated April 17, 2017

With their rich and earthy colour, terracotta flower pots are the most common pots found around the home and garden. However, with the simple use of paints and designs, you can add depth, texture, colour and beautiful imagery to enrich the look not only of the flower or plant it holds but the household in general. Designing and painting a pot is a fun, inexpensive hobby that anyone can enjoy.

Wash off the pot. Make sure to clean off any dirt or price tags by scrubbing the pot in warm water. Let the pot dry completely before applying paint.

Choose a colour to apply as a base coat. Squeeze your paint colours onto a plastic plate. If painting a sky backdrop, use blue as a base colour and add darker hues such as purple or navy to give the colour of the sky some depth. If your paint is too thick, then thin it out with a bit of water. Use the foam brush to apply a coat of paint around the exterior of the pot. Paint about 2.5 cm down into the interior of the pot. Do not paint the bottom portion of the pot to allow for drainage. Apply two to three coats and wait for the paint to dry.

Paint a design on your plant pot. This can either be hand painted with an artist's brush or can be painted on using stencils. Patio paint and stencils can be found at any arts and crafts shop. Patio paint is a weather-resistant, acrylic-based paint that adheres well to terracotta pots, as it adapts to changes in temperature without damage. Apply a second coat of paint, if needed. Let the paint dry completely, which may take several days.

Spray two or three coats of the acrylic sealant on your pot. This will seal in your colour. Wait for each coat to dry before applying another layer. The acrylic sealant comes in matt and gloss finishes. The sealant combined with the patio paint will make the pot weather resistant and will make it easy to clean any excess dirt off of the pot.


Added texture by applying a base coat and then using a metal brush to scrape off paint to reveal the terracotta pot's colour. The entire pot doesn't have to be covered in paint. Painting just sections of the pot can add a unique and decorative look.

Things You'll Need

  • Terracotta pot
  • Patio paint
  • Foam brush
  • Artist brush
  • Plastic plate
  • Acrylic sealant
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About the Author

Nikki Cash graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's in film/TV, where she won an MPAA Scholarship. Since graduating, she has written and produced an independent feature film starting her career as a writer in 2005. Cash enjoys writing eHow articles with topics ranging from home improvement to crafts.