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How to Prepare a Terra Cotta Clay Flower Pot for Painting Projects

How to Paint on Terra Cotta Clay Pots

Terra cotta clay pots are fabulous surfaces for a variety of art forms such as painting, stenciling, decoupage, and mixed media. Clay pots are smooth, offering the perfect crafting surface for all ages! Keep reading to learn how to clean and repurpose clay flower pots, prepare terra cotta pots for paint projects, and how to seal them. 

How to Clean a Used Clay Flower Pot Before Painting

  1. To repurpose a used terra cotta pot, be sure to thoroughly clean it first before sealing and decorating.
  2. Thoroughly remove dirt and salt residue; if needed, scrub the surface with a wire brush.
  3. Once clean of dirt and debris, soak the flower pot in a solution of 9 parts water to 1 part bleach for 24 hours in order to kill any lingering bacteria.
  4. After soaking, thoroughly rinse the pot with clean water and allow it to dry completely. Follow by sealing your terra cotta pot before decorating.

How to Prepare a Terra Cotta Clay Flower Pot for Painting

  1. Clean the flower pot by wiping away any dust and dirt with a slightly damp sponge or rag.
  2. Next, seal the flower pot by applying two coats of sealer—inside and out—using either Clay Pot Sealer or FolkArt Outdoor Sealer. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat.
  3. Once the sealed clay pot is dry, it is ready to be painted. For flower pots that will be used outdoors, use either FolkArt Outdoor or FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint. For painted flower pots that will be used inside, use any of our premium-quality acrylic paints—FolkArt Acrylics, Delta Ceramcoat, or Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint.

Tips for Painting on Clay Flower Pots

  • Most clay pots found in stores are unglazed and porous—meaning they are not waterproof. Unglazed or unsealed terra cotta will draw moisture away from the plant and soil, keeping the pot moist, which in turn may affect the external decoration by causing the paint to blister.
  • Not only does sealing your flower pot prevent blistering of your decorated design on the outside of the pot, it also helps the interior of the flower pot keep the soil moist.
  • If intending to use the painted flower pot outside, opt for FolkArt Outdoor Sealer, available as a brush-on sealer in three finishes: Matte, Satin, and Gloss; the polyurethane-based sealer provides the maximum durability for outdoor projects.
  • To give the painted design an extra layer of protection, apply a coat of FolkArt Outdoor Sealer after 48 hours when the paint has completely cured.

How to Prepare a Terra Cotta Clay Flower Pot for Painting Projects

Purchase Products for Sealing and Painting on Terra Cotta Clay Flower Pots