Clay pot painting is perfect for beginner crafters! Learn how to decorate terra cotta using these tutorials great for both kids and adults.

Terra cotta clay pots are fabulous surfaces for a variety of art forms, such as pot 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. 

When I think of clay pot painting and decorating, I typically think about spring and summer. I picture getting ready for warm weather and bright flowers.

But what I’ve learned over the course of time is that decorating clay pots isn’t just a hobby for warmer weather. Plenty of creative people like yourself are looking for ideas to decorate flower pots all year ’round!

There are a few reasons to decorate and paint pots besides flowers – not limited to but including gift containers, home decor, and crafts (like clay pot animals!).

Pot Painting and Decorating

I absolutely love decorating clay pots! They are such a fun surface and you can use almost any craft supplies with terra cotta – paint, Mod Podge, glitter, ribbon, tape, and more. Not only that, but they are an inexpensive! Every time I see them in the craft or home improvement store I try to think of different projects that I can make. I pulled together a list of 10 brilliant ways to decorate clay pots and thought you might be interested in these ideas as well. From paint to decoupage, there are all sorts of great projects here. Scroll down to learn more!

Is it ok to paint terracotta pots?

Which paint to use on pots?

If your terra cotta will be used outdoors, I recommend using either FolkArt Outdoor or FolkArt Multi-Surface paints. Both paint formulas deliver rich color and coverage in a very creamy consistency making it easy to brush onto your clay flower pots. Both formulas were also created to be weather resistant, tested for UV protection, dry to a satin finish and cure to the surface within 48 hours. Best part …. there is no need to apply a sealer or varnish over the completed design because the paint is self-sealing. However, if you would like to give your artwork an extra layer of protection to keep it mar or scratch resistant, you can apply a coat of FolkArt Outdoor Sealer once the paint is completely cured.

How do you prepare terra cotta pots for painting?

Let’s talk about “new” terra cotta. Clay pots found in craft stores, garden shops, and DIY home improvement stores are unglazed and porous. This means they are not waterproof.

Unglazed or unsealed terra cotta will draw moisture from the plant and soil keeping the pot moist. Extra moisture may affect the external decoration allowing paint to blister if not properly sealed.

The first step in preparing new clay flower pots is to wipe away dust or dirt.  The second step is to carefully seal both the inside and outside.  Not only will this help your decorated design on the outside of the pot resist blistering, it will also help the interior to keep moisture in the soil.  I can recommend two different sealing techniques:

1.  Spray seal the entire pot, inside and out with a couple coats of Clay Pot Sealer.  Allow each application to dry before applying the next.

This one-of-a-kind sealer lets you water your plants and not your floor!  Simply spray your clay pots and saucers.  Clay Pot Sealer is available as a 12 oz. aerosol and can be located in many craft stores or at        

 2.  The second method I recommend is to apply FolkArt Outdoor Sealer over the entire surface. For extra protection, apply a second coat on the interior walls of your pot to help create a waterproof barrier to protect your exterior decoration.     

 This polyurethane based sealer will provide the maximum durability for outdoor projects.  It is available as a brush-on sealer in three finishes;  Matte, Satin, and Gloss; and can be found in craft stores as well as at

Where to buy clay pots?

How to Clean a Used Clay Flower Pot Before Painting

To repurpose a used terra cotta pot, be sure to thoroughly clean it first before sealing and decorating.
Thoroughly remove dirt and salt residue; if needed, scrub the surface with a wire brush.
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.
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

Clean the flower pot by wiping away any dust and dirt with a slightly damp sponge or rag.
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.
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.
For best results, use FolkArt Outdoor, Apple Barrel Acrylics, FolkArt Acrylics, or one of our multi-surface paints when painting terra cotta pots. 

Clay Pot Painting and Decorating

Do you like painting terracotta pots? Get several ideas to paint and decorate this unique surface - here are 30+ projects you'll want to try. Perfect for the garden, front porch, and more.


Flower Pot Decoration Ideas

Three flower pot decoration ideas including paint and stencils, washi tape, and Mod Podge! Use these methods on clay pots; they're so easy.

Continue Reading


Dripping Paint Clay Pot

Photo Credit:

Turn a clay pot into a bright and whimsical container for markers, crayons, and other craft items. All you have to do is drip paint.

Continue Reading


Photo Flower Pot

This Mod Podge DIY flower pot is a great Mother's Day gift for moms and grandparents alike - and would also make a great table centerpiece!

Continue Reading


Shabby Paisley Clay Pots

Photo Credit:

Create this shabby clay pot using stencils and blended paint. You can distress this project as much or as little as you like.

Continue Reading


DIY Chalkboard Clay Pots

Photo Credit:

Create DIY chalkboard clay pots you can customize! You can write anything on the base; these are perfect for giving spring and summer hostess gifts.

Continue Reading


Colorful Cactus Painted Pots

Photo Credit:
Pretty Life Girls

Make these easy painted pots using terra cotta planters and your favorite paint colors – the cute sayings will brighten up any dreary days!

Continue Reading


Mod Podge Terra Cotta Pots

Use pretty fabric on these Mod Podge terra cotta pots for the perfect EASY spring craft project! Makes a great container garden – or gift idea.

Continue Reading


Rainbow Painted Flower Pots

Photo Credit:
Jacy Pulford

Use a variety of colors to make painted flower pots with rainbow ombre awesomeness! Both children and adults alike will love this easy craft. So fun!

Continue Reading


Lighthouse Bird Feeder

Learn how to make a lighthouse out of terra cotta pots - and use it as a bird feeder.

Continue Reading


Queen Anne's Lace

Photo Credit:

Do I love the texture of this clay pot painting? Absolutely! It's super simple to make using texture paint and I love the effect.

Continue Reading


Confetti Washi Tape Clay Pot

Photo Credit:
Cathie FIlian

Add small pieces of cut washi tape to a clay pot to create a modern confetti design. Seal it with Mod Podge to finish off.

Continue Reading


Clay Pot Critters

Photo Credit:

I love reptiles and insects in the garden when they look like this! This family of clay pot friends is so fun for both kids and adults to make.

Continue Reading


Paper Mosaic Clay Pot

Photo Credit:

Create a faux mosaic look with cut pieces of watercolor papers and Mod Podge.

Continue Reading


Decorate Clay Pots with Gold Leaf

Photo Credit:
Steve Carrell

Turn clay pots into pretty storage using paint and gold leaf. The saucers become lids in this unique project – you’ll love it!

Continue Reading


Crackle Clay Pot Makeover

Photo Credit:

If you've never used crackle medium before, you're going to be amazed at how cool the effect is. Great for both rustic and farmhouse style decor.

Continue Reading


Painted Girls Flower Pot

Photo Credit:

Clay pots aren't just for holding plants - they're great for storage! This painted clay pot is perfect to hold items on a little girl's desk or dresser.

Continue Reading


Terra Cotta Fairy Garden

Use terra cotta pots and your favorite (bright) paint colors to make these unique fairy garden houses! Your kids are going to love painting these.

Continue Reading


Clay Pot Photo Transfer

Photo Credit:

Create some hair-raising planters with Mod Podge photo transfer and fun family headshots.

Continue Reading


Tiny Neon Pots

Photo Credit:
Jenni Yolo

The littler the pot, the cuter it is - and the easier to paint! I love these mini pots from Jenni. You have to see her darling, tiny succulent garden.

Continue Reading


Painted Clay Pot Fox

Photo Credit:

Create a clever little fox with two clay pots and some foam sheets! This is one of my favorite clay pot decorating projects ever.

Continue Reading


How to Stencil a Clay Pot

Photo Credit:
Pretty Life Girls

Learn how to stencil these pretty distressed pots for fall – they look perfect on your porch, planted with colorful mums.

Continue Reading


DIY Sugar Skull Flower Pots

Photo Credit:
Allison Murray

A little paint and some markers and you'll be celebrating Day of the Dead all year 'round! I love calaveras skulls, and turns out they look great on the side of planters.

Continue Reading


Upcycled Scarf Planter

Photo Credit:
Katie Nathey

This post is proof that you can Mod Podge just about anything to a terra cotta pot! Grab an old scarf, a bottle of decoupage medium, and get creative.

Continue Reading


Fabric Plant Pots Using Mod Podge Ultra

Photo Credit:
Angie Holden

Adding fabric to plant pots is one of my favorite ways to decorate them. Grab a bottle of Mod Podge Ultra to gussy up some pots in a way that is nearly waterproof.

Continue Reading


Unicorn Iridescent Terracotta Plant Pots

These terracotta plant pots are unicorn inspired, with iridescent cello wrap applied with Mod Podge and confetti. Perfect for parties!

Continue Reading


Chalkboard Paint Label Clay Pot

Photo Credit:

Personalize the banners on this large clay pot to fit any occasion. I love how chalkboard is used as just an accent rather than covering the entire surface!

Continue Reading


Watermelon Clay Pot

Photo Credit:

It's hard to deny the cuteness of a cheery watermelon pattern, whether it's summer or not! This is such a fun idea, and perfect for gifts. What other fruits can you paint on a pot?

Continue Reading


DIY Scalloped Painted Pots

Photo Credit:
Geneva Vanderzeil

Geneva was so happy to find a super simple way to add a design to a pot is perfect for people with shaky painting hands (like me . . . ). Your scallops can be perfect too, yay!

Continue Reading


Hand-Painted Planter

Photo Credit:

You don't need any painting skills to make this cute floral planter! Here you'll learn how to paint abstract patterns and then use Sharpie to create the details. So easy.

Continue Reading


Herringbone Flower Pots

Photo Credit:
Tonia Larson

Painting pots is fun - and sometimes it's even more fun with paint markers! You can make more intricate patterns with paint markers, like the herringbone in this post.

Continue Reading


Stars & Stripes Flower Pot

Photo Credit:
Kelli and Kristi

If I could be a flower pot, I would be this stars + stripes patriotic flower pot. I love the chippiness of it, the old aged look of it, and the fact that it is all about the U S of A!  

Continue Reading


Buffalo Plaid Painted Pots

Photo Credit:
Stacey Garska Rodriguez

These DIY buffalo check painted pots are a gorgeous holiday decoration or handmade Christmas gift idea. I want to make several of these for my mantel.

Continue Reading


Broken China Mosaic Pots

Photo Credit:
Carrie Ypma

Learn how to make broken china mosaics using old plates with flowers and patterns. These pots look especially good with succulents (and make great gifts)!

Continue Reading


Dip Dye Succulent Pot

Photo Credit:
Jenni Yolo

When I dip, you dip, we dip! Can you believe you can decorate clay pots just by dipping? You can! It doesn't get any easier.

Continue Reading


Decoupage Flower Pots

Learn how to decoupage terra cotta pots with napkins! This is such an easy and pretty craft idea.

Read the Guide

The post Clay Pot Painting and Decorating: 30+ Unique Ideas appeared first on Mod Podge Rocks.

#ModPodgeCrafts #BudgetCrafts
ModPodgeCrafts BudgetCrafts