From Plain to Picture-Perfect: Transform Your Terracotta Pots

These simple hand dipped pots are an easy way to dress up a plain terra cotta pot. Use a variety of colors and paint shapes to make things interesting!

I've had a few people ask me about how I painted some pots I did for a pop up sale during the summer. I was thinking it might also be fun to give away some succulents for Valentine's Day gifts. So I decided to do a little tutorial on how to paint flower pots!

I've done succulents for a few events now and I really wish I could find terra cotta planters for a wholesale price. Alas, the cheapest place I've found them is actually at Walmart.

paint supplies terra cottaPin
Photo Credit: Succulents and Sunshine.

So, if you are looking to do any crafts with terra cotta pots, I'd recommend checking there first. They have a pretty good selection and the prices are the lowest I've seen, especially if you use a coupon.

For the paint, I used some sample paints that I picked up at Lowes. The size was perfect for dipping the miniature plant pots in and they were a good price! You could also use your standard craft paint for this project.

Honestly, painting these little flower pots is rather simple, but I did learn a few tricks after painting almost 100 of them. I love the looked of dipped pots but it was trickier than I thought to make them look good dipped. So, if you like the hand dipped look, read on to find out how I did it!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Terra cotta pots
  • Paint
  • Foam brush
  • Succulents

Start by cleaning off the pot. I just used a dry rag to wipe off any dust or particles. Next, you'll dip the pot in the paint container until you get the desired height of paint. You can also dip at an angle for a little variety. Slowly pull the pot out of the paint.

dip pot in paintPin
Photo Credit: Succulents and Sunshine.
remove pot from paintPin
Photo Credit: Succulents and Sunshine.

Next is the part that made all the difference for me: use a foam brush to wipe off any excess paint. If you just dip the pot and let it dry, the paint will run and bubble because it is so thick.

smooth paint with paint brushPin
Photo Credit: Succulents and Sunshine.

Using the brush, I slowly wiped off paint all around the pot. It was easy to follow the dip line and this also helped fill in any holes from bubbles that had already formed.

If you don't have paint deep enough to actually dip the pots, you can also just use the foam brush to apply the paint. That is what I did for the paint along the top rim of the pots.

painted mini terra cotta potsPin
Photo Credit: Succulents and Sunshine.

Turn the pot upside down and wait for it to dry. Once dry, fill it with succulents (or any other type of plant you'd like). I liked that it didn't really make a mess and I didn't have to worry about painting a straight line. The paint does a pretty good job by itself and if it's not perfectly straight it still looks great because it looks dipped!

painted terra cotta pots for succulentsPin
Photo Credit: Succulents and Sunshine.

So, if you're looking for a great gift, or just want a fun project for yourself, give this a try! These make great little pots for indoor succulents.

Does painting affect breathability?

Painting terra cotta pots does affect the pottery's ability to breathe, but this isn't problematic.

Terra cotta is an extremely porous material and naturally pulls water out of the soil and helps it evaporate more quickly. If your pot is painted on the outside, you may notice the soil doesn't dry out as quickly.

Just make a note of this and only water when the soil is completely dry. You may have to adjust your watering schedule slightly if your pots were un-painted initially.

This article originally appeared on Succulents and Sunshine.