terracotta pot designs
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I’ve been obsessed with all the cute painted terracotta pots I’ve seen on Etsy and Pinterest lately, so I decided to give it a try and make my own.

It’s a fun, creative way to personalize my space without breaking the bank. Plus, it’s a great DIY project to tackle over the weekend! In this post, I’ll walk you through how to paint terracotta pots and turn them into colorful, customized masterpieces.

I chose trendy and adorable designs that you can easily copy or use as inspiration for your own creations.

Whether you want to use them as planters, storage, or just cute decor pieces, these painted pots are sure to add a touch of charm to your home. Let’s dive in and get painting!

Supplies you will need

I got all of my supplies on Amazon with 2 day shipping!

Supplies you will need (linked above)

Choosing designs for your pots

I looked on Pinterest for inspiration for my pot designs, looking for illustration styles I could replicate.

When looking for inspo, I’d recommend looking for simple styles of illustration like line art or with minimal details. It can be really tricky to get smooth lines when painting the pots, especially on a 3d surface!

Feel free to copy or use any of my designs as inspiration for you! If you get the paints I recommend, you’ll have all the colors you need to make these designs.

Step by step instructions

Now that you have all your supplies ready, it’s time to get started on transforming your terracotta pots. Follow these step-by-step instructions to create your own adorable, trendy designs.

Step 1: Prep your terracotta pots

First, we need to prep the terracotta pots so that they are a smooth surface to paint on. Terracotta pots can come with dust and debris on them which will prevent you from achieving a smooth finish, so it’s important to properly clean them.

  • Soak your terracotta pots in warm water for 30 minutes
  • Scrub the pots to remove any excess dirt and rinse
  • Let dry fully before moving on (this may take a few hours)

Step 2: Prime your terracotta pots

Because terracotta pots are naturally porous, it’s important to prime them before you paint them. Priming helps to seal the surface, preventing the paint from being absorbed and ensuring a smooth, even finish. This will help prevent the paint from peeling or flaking over time.

Priming creates a barrier that protects the paint from moisture, extending the life of your painted design.

To prime your terracotta pots:

  • Use a large brush to coat each pot in a layer of gesso. Paint every part of the pot you intend to paint with a color later.
  • Wait for this to dry completely before moving on

*note that the gesso may go on a milky white color, but when it is completely dry, it will be clear. This is how you will know when it is dry and you are ready to move on.

Step 3: Paint a solid color background

This step depends on the designs you want to do. For me, I wanted each of my pots to have a solid color background to put my designs on. I chose colors for each pot and did the base colors first.

You could also paint designs on the pot and let some of the natural clay color to show through.

  • Paint your pots a solid color with a large brush. You can use a color from the bottle or mix your own.
  • You can choose to paint the inside of the pot or leave it the natural clay color. I painted a couple of the insides, but left most of them the natural color. I did this because I knew I would eventually be planting plants in my pots anyway.
  • You may need two or three coats depending on the color and opacity of paints. Wait for the pots to dry between coats.

Let fully dry before moving on.

Step 4: Paint on the designs

Now the fun part! I mixed colors for my designs on a cheap plastic paint palette I had laying around. I mostly used colors from the tubes but added white to make them a bit lighter and more opaque.

  • Use a smaller detail brush to paint on designs of your choosing. For some of the larger shapes, you may need to layer two coats of paint for it to look nice.
  • Let your designs dry before moving on

Here are my designs for you to use as inspiration.

I free handed my designs but you can also lightly sketch in pencil before you paint.

I also used acrylic paint pens for some of the details that were more difficult with the brush. This may be a good option if you are not as comfortable with a paint brush!

Step 5: Seal your designs

This last step is so important so please don’t skip it! Once you are done painting, it’s important to seal your designs with a spray gloss. Not only will this protect them and make them last longer, it will also give them a glossy, professional look.

If you do prefer a matte finish, you can also get sealer sprays that come in matte and will work just as well.

Then you are done! Enjoy your beautiful terracotta pot creations. You can use them as planters, storage, or just set them out as decoration!


Can I still use my painted terracotta pots for plants?

Yes! The only thing to be aware of is that terracotta pots are naturally porous, which is good for plants because it reduces the amount of excess water in the soil preventing root rot. When you paint the pots, the paint acts as a barrier and the pots are no longer porous. Which is okay, it just means you will need to be a little more careful with watering. The good news is the pots I used have drainage holes which will also prevent overwatering.

How long does the paint take to dry between coats?

The drying time can vary depending on the humidity and temperature, but generally, acrylic craft paint dries pretty quickly. I had to wait about 20 minutes between each coat for the base coat . Ensure each layer is completely dry before applying the next one to avoid smudging and to achieve a smooth finish.

Can I leave my painted terracotta pots outside?

Yes, you can leave your painted terracotta pots outside! However, it’s important to use an outdoor-safe sealer to protect your designs from the elements. Acrylic gloss varnish works well, but make sure it’s labeled for outdoor use. This will help protect your painted pots from moisture, UV rays, and temperature changes. Even with a good sealer, you might notice some wear over time, so it’s a good idea to bring them indoors during extreme weather conditions to keep them looking their best.

I hope you have as much fun creating these painted terracotta pots as I did! It’s such a satisfying and creative way to add a personal touch to your home decor.

Whether you’re using them as planters, storage, or just for decoration, these cute and trendy designs are sure to brighten up any space. Plus, it’s a great way to spend a weekend and unleash your inner artist. Happy painting!