Painted Terra Cotta Pots

 Terra cotta pots are just so boring.  They do have a great "earthy" look, but I live in the desert where lush colors are certainly not abundant.  Terra cotta just blends in.  After looking at all the beautiful fall front porches on Pinterest (all back East where they get fall weather), I decided I needed a little pop of color on my entryway.  This project was much easier than I expected, and if your weather is getting pleasant, it's a great activity to do outside.  So, here it is in 5 easy steps:

1.  Pick your pots - This was easy for me because I already had a bunch, but you can find terra cotta at any Home Depot or Lowes.

2.  Clean your pots - You may need a scrub brush, but it's important to get them as clean and smooth as you can.  Use steel wool if necessary.  Don't worry about discoloration, just make sure they are dirt free and smooth.

3.  Use a sealant on the inside of your pots - Most terra cotta pots are not sealed and after cleaning the pots, this is the most important step.  Sealing the pot will help it retain moisture, but it also helps the paint stay on the pot.  I wish I could tell you the exact sealant product I used, but my dear husband was so efficient cleaning up, the empty can went to the garbage.  Anyway, I found the product in a spray can near the paint at Home Depot.  I looked for a Thompson's Water Seal, but finding none I found this product that is used on gutters or along roof lines to seal cracks.  Make sure you get the clear coat and apply it to the inside of the pots.  Make sure you are in a well ventilated place!

4.  Paint your pots - I used Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Paint + Primer.  It comes in a spray can in lots of beautiful colors - some bright and others more natural.  I really liked this product and chose deep blue, bright yellow and orange (so I could have a little blue and orange action for my Illini).

I used cardboard under the pots to protect the garage floor and left the garage doors open because you need good ventilation.  (Seriously, these products can make you sick if you sniff them.)  This paint product was exceptional - I barely needed a second coat.  I painted three large pots with one can of blue and had left over yellow and orange after painting two slightly smaller pots in each color.

The pots need to dry at least overnight, preferably 24 hours or more so they aren't tacky.  If you live in a humid location, it might take a little longer.  Flip them over and paint the inside down about 3-4 inches from the lip so you can still see the color after the flowers are planted.

5.  Seal the Paint - This is a step I did not do when I originally painted these pots, but I highly recommend it.  The paint on my pots eventually began to chip and peel, probably because of weathering without a sealant.  Terra cotta pots should be easy to repaint if you remove the paint with a wire brush, but sealing them with the same sealant you began with or a water proof polyurethane will keep your pots bright and colorful longer.

Now plant some pretty flowers and enjoy! This is the best part!  These look great with fall mums on your autumn porch.

This is going to be great when I finally get pumpkins and my other Halloween decorations!

Now if the flowers can just survive the javelinas . . .



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