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How to Age a Clay TerraCotta Pot with Paint

I love seeing a garden with aged clay terracotta 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 terracotta 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, I’ve got another method in another post.

What is a terracotta pot?

Wikipedia says;

Terracottaterra cotta, or terra-cotta is a type of earthenware, a clay-based unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the fired body is porous.”

So basically a porous clay pot. You’ll see these types of pots everywhere!

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.

terra cotta pot from Target

Disclosure; this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not affect the price you pay. This disclosure statement refers to the rest of the Amazon links in this post. See more on my disclosure page.

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 terracotta finish:

  1. clay terra cotta 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 get the “aged terracotta pot” look with paint

  1. Use a paint brush to put a light coat of white paint around the pot. Let the paint dry. It doesn’t have to be completely dry, but mostly dry.
painting terra cotta pot white
After a quick coat of white paint

2. 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.

wiping paint off of terra cotta pot

3. 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

4. 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.

5. 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. You can see where I gave a bench a “weathered wood look” with this technique.

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. If you want to know more about how to use furniture wax, I’ve got a full tutorial post for you.

Since this post was written, I’ve created a few more “aged pot” looks with joint compound! Make sure to check them out too.

How to Age a new terracotta pot with joint compound.

DIY Faux Stone Hanging Outdoor planters with joint compound

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
aged clay terracotta pot with paint
How to age a clay terracotta 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.

How to Age a Clay TerraCotta Pot with Paint


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Carol Cook

Thursday 15th of February 2018

These are gorgeous! They look like pots you'd find at PB or a high end garden store. Love. Featuring when my party opens tonight .

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Thursday 15th of February 2018

Thank you Carol! That is the sweetest compliment.


Thursday 15th of February 2018

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!