Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DIY Painted Terra Cotta Pots

I am finally wrapping up my Christmas gift projects and I saved one of my favorites for last. J and I worked together to spray paint two terra cotta pots for my mom. Her backyard currently has a lot of different pots, but none like these. I wasn't sure she would like the paint job so I only painted one side that could easily be turned to face the wall. I knew she would love the shape and color of the terra cotta, though. Fortunately, she does like the gold.

Pots on Mother's back porch, taken Christmas morning

This project is extremely simple, especially if you choose a straightforward design like mine. And I'm sure quite a few of y'all are far more artistic than I am, so get creative! The materials list is also very simple.

Two terra cotta pots - I bought these for $5.88 each, but they are 50% off right now!
Gold spray paint
Tape - I used masking, but any kind of painters tape should work well
Scrap paper

The steps are just as simple. I wanted my center gold stripe to follow the curve of the pot, so I marked off dashes with my pencil the same distance in from the edge. You can see the dash marks in the picture above. Then, I freehanded a curve following the dashes. I taped along the curve using smaller strips of tape. The smaller pieces of tape are better than larger ones because it allows you to really get a curve rather than connected line segments.

Once I got my stripe taped off, I covered the rest of the pot with scrap paper so that the spray paint would not accidentally touch other parts of the pot. I also taped off the top rim of the pot because i only wanted the gold on the outer face. Then I took the pot outside and sprayed it with light layers, allowing for drying in between. One thing to note: the pot face is curved so if you move your spray can in horizontal swipes, you will be closer to one part of the pot than the other. Take into account how close your can is to the pot because you want your spray paint to be even. I thought I had more pictures but I can't find them. This project was a lot of fun, though, and very cheap considering I only had to buy the pots.

Another thing to note: many tutorials mention that the paint may bubble off as you use the pot. Bubbling happens because the terra cotta is porous and water seeps through, which is one of the reasons why plants love it so much. If you don't want this to happen, it's recommended that you seal the inside of the pot. I chose not to do that step because I wanted the plants to still be happy inside the terra cotta. That is why I chose terra cotta in the first place. Also, if my gold paint starts to chip or bubble it will only add to the charm; that look will definitely fit into my mom's outdoor style and I know she prefers her plants to be happy. I will update y'all on any bubbling or flaking, but so far the paint job is in perfect condition.

Enjoy this post? Read about our other DIY projects and gift ideas!