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How to seal a painted terracotta pot

Updated February 21, 2017

Terracotta is a common material for outdoor plant pots. The material is a reddish-coloured clay that can withstand the elements. Some homeowners paint their terracotta pots to make them match their landscaping or interior design. Once you paint a terracotta pot, it is important to seal it so the paint does not chip over time. A water-based sealant is the best choice, because oil-based sealants can sometimes have a coloured tint.

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  1. Wait for the paint to dry completely on the terracotta pot.

  2. Wipe the exterior and interior of the pot with a soft cloth to remove any dust or debris.

  3. Paint the inside of the pot with a water-based polyurethane varnish using a small paintbrush. Paint the varnish on in an even, thin layer. Set the pot in a sunny spot to speed up the drying time. Let the pot dry according to the packet directions. Sealing the inside of the pot, even if it is unpainted, will prevent the porous material from leaking water in case you use it as a planter.

  4. Turn the pot upside down. Paint the bottom of the pot with the varnish. Paint the sides of the pot with the varnish, applying it with even strokes. Let the varnish dry. Paint on two more coats of the varnish to the sides of the pot, letting each coat dry between applications.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Water-based polyurethane varnish
  • Paintbrush

About the Author

Dawn Gibbs

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on GreenDaily.com and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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