How to Age a Clay Terra Cotta Pot with Paint

I love seeing a garden with aged clay terra cotta pots and fresh blooms. I’m not much for gardening, but mix anything “antique” or “vintage” with pretty flowers and I’m in awe.  I notice that I always stop scrolling Pinterest or a magazine to stare at a picture of anything with a vintage, worn looking clay pot. That brings me to my dilemma; finding a good aged terra cotta pot. I’ve been unsuccessful on my hunt so far, so when I saw the perfect size clay pot in Target, I snagged a few up and decided to share how to age a clay terra cotta pot with paint.

How to age a clay terra cotta pot with paint

A quick note before we get into the details of adding antique charm to a pot with paint; If you are looking to add texture to a pot for a vintage look, check out my post {HERE}.

Let me share with you the clay terra cotta pots I found at Target. I love the clean lines of the pots with no extra “frill” or edging like you see on most terra cotta pots.

I purchased two because my purpose for these clay pots was to hold my faux fiddle leaf trees.

This is a super simple project, so I’m going to keep this post short and simple.

Before I share the supplies, I want to share a little secret about this craft. The purpose of “aging” something is to make it look more unique and antiqued. Every pot will look different after this process. Just like I don’t think there is a perfect type of paint for this. The different types of paint will create different effects, which adds to the “authenticity” of creating your own aged clay pot.

Am I making sense or just rambling? All that to say that any paint will work and it really just depends on your own paint preference.

Materials to create a faux terra cotta finish:

  1. clay pots
  2. white paint – I used milk paint, but any paint should do fine.
  3. dark wax
  4. paint brush
  5. lint free rag

How to age a clay pot with paint:

  1. Use a paint brush to put a light coat of white paint around the pot
After a quick coat of white paint
  • Let the paint dry. It doesn’t have to be completely dry, but mostly dry. Take a lint free wipe and wet it. Wipe the pot with the rag until it removes some of the paint. You want to wipe in the direction of the paint strokes.
    How to age a clay terra cotta pot with paint
  • After you’ve removed the desired amount of white paint and it looks more “aged,” let the pot dry.
    How to age a clay terra cotta pot with paint
  • Use a dark wax with a lint free rag to LIGHTY rub over the pot. A little bit of dark wax goes A LONG way, so don’t over do it. I’ve learned to add just a bit of water to the rag before I dip it in the wax so when I apply it to the piece it won’t look as dark.
  • After you let the clay pot sit for a bit to dry, then style your clay terra cotta pot as you wish and enjoy!
  • I use this technique to distress or age lots of my decor pieces. It’s so easy and it doesn’t take a lot of time to transform a piece of furniture or a decor piece to match the rest of my vintage style.

    If you look closely at my final pictures you will see I barely used any dark wax on the pots at all. I didn’t want to make the clay pots any darker, I just wanted to create that vintage aged look.

    Here are a few final pictures. I’m so pleased with how it turned out, what do you think?

    How to age a clay terra cotta pot with paint
    How to age a clay terra cotta pot with paint
    How to age a clay terra cotta pot with paint

    If you want to know more about this “vintage bench” I transformed from a computer hutch (yes, I said computer hutch) check out my post {here.}

    As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope I’ve inspired you to repurpose or up cycle some of your own home decor. If you have any questions, please drop me a note in the comments.  I love helping others recreate beauty from blemishes.

    If you enjoyed this post I would be thrilled if you pinned the image below to Pinterest.

    How to Age a Clay Terra Cotta Pot with Paint


    42 thoughts on “How to Age a Clay Terra Cotta Pot with Paint

    1. This is beautiful! I just found these pots on sale and wanted to make them prettier, and now I can! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday.

      1. You differently inspired me, to go out the box!! Wax that works like magic when trying to create that “ VINTAGE LOOK” especially on clay!
        I love your technique, lovely!!

    2. Yes, I love what a little bit of white paint can do for a terra cotta pot! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    3. Totally agree that the simple lines make that pot look very unique. And I love that you added even more character with this technique. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    4. These are beautiful — love those Target pots with no rim. The process looks simple and while I can see the dark wax and it looks great, adds depth, you probably could get away without it if you didn’t have it on hand. I’m pinning, too. ~ jeanie from marmelade gypsy

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    6. Oh those pots look like ones you’d pay a lot for in a home boutique or garden store. Beatiful! Featuring when my party opens tonight!

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