painting terra cotta/clay pots

rhonnieNovember 7, 2001

hello all! Need some advice on painting terra cotta. Do you have to put a sealer on it FIRST, before painting anything on it? Also, do you always paint the inside or stop at the rim? what about a sealer? what is the cheapest place to find bare terra cotta pots? any help you could give me would be MOST appreciated!!!!! i have done a few without sealer, and did do a light satin top coat and all seems well, but............


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If you want to put plants inside it's best to seal them inside & out. Any acrylic spray or brush on sealer will do.

I always keep an eye out for terra cotta pots at thrift shops but your best bets for the better deals are probably dollar and discount stores. Sometimes even hardware stores are pretty reasonable for simple clay pots.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2001 at 9:36PM
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Oh GOOD! I can finally contribute to something I KNOW about..I LEARN sooo much here, and see beautiful crafts, now and then I pipe up and say a thing or two, BUT THIS IS MY THING!!! :) I seal after I paint, Patio Paint has already got sealer in it too, and they make a clear coat sealer. I paint my pots COMPLETE, that could be because I'm a little "anal" though!:) I have done a lot of differebt versions where I only paint the rims and bottoms, or only the top inside rim along with the entire pot. LET ME TELL YOU....THE BEST deal I found was at Wal-Mart about three weeks ago on terra cotta pots, they were practically FREE! The most I paid for one was $1.25, and that was the BIG 16 inch pot. The standard sizes were a dollar or less, I STOCKED UP because I paint the pots and sell them. The most expensive place I have found for pots is JoAnn Fabrics, and Michael's...any craft store of course will cost more. The pots are on clearence now though at Wal-Mart, you should go check it out!! You will SAVE money no matter what!!! The pots soak up the paint so well, I have found that the ones made in Germany give the smoothest finish may sound strange, but I have done A LOT and have learned which pots are better. Let's see, I reccommend the Patio Paint brand completely, it isn't thick, it's easy to work with and it's inexpensive too. Wal-Mart sells bottles for .99 each. You can pay up to $2.00 a bottle at craft stores for the same brand. HAVE FUN!! Good luck and I certainly enjoyed sharing!! Thanks!!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2001 at 11:55PM
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Watch the sales at Hobby Lobby when they put them on sale for 1/2 price. Also, feed stores have them cheap.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2001 at 3:45PM
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Hi I found your post helpful.Do you know if you can use oil paints on terra cotta pots,as I have loads of old oil paints. When I used my good acrylic paint it needed so much paint. I don't think we have a Wal-Mart store in the uk.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 9:47AM
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Welcome newbies!! Looks like a lot of good advice has been given! Glad to have you here and hope you'll stay and post pictures of your pots for us to ooh and aah over! =) ~Anj

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 1:34PM
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Hi Sheila64, so nice to have someone from the UK joining in here.

I've never used oil paints so can't advise you on using them on the pots. To save on the amount of paint that soaks in, you could use a sealer on the inside and outside of the pot first. It will help the paint stay on better too.

Hope you will come back and show us pics of your pots when you get them all painted. We love to see everyone's projects.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:46PM
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I second the Patio Paints. That's what I use on most of my outdoor projects and indoor flower pots - it's foolproof. Using the right paint for the right surface can save you a lot of time and aggravation.

How about sharing some pics? :-)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 11:58AM
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Adding my two cents worth....I always wash my new pots with just plain water and let them dry before painting. And I seal the inside on all pots. Following the directions on the paint is always best. Using oils? Why not try it and see...if it's old paint, and it doesn't work, you aren't loosing much and you might like the results.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 1:11PM
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