Friday, May 23, 2014

diy . . . aging clay pots with paint

I adore the look of aged terra cotta pots.

I have a small collection of them that I've gathered over the years from one of my favorite shoppes that my mom, sister, and I visit every year on our annual trip to Solvang.

I buy them from a charming garden and gift shoppe that's nestled in the beautiful historic town of Los Olivos, California . . . J. Woeste.

I bought this lemon cypress (and pots) there last November. If you follow me, then you probably recognize it from my December and January posts. Since buying it, I've transplanted it into a larger, taller aged terra cotta pot . . . and it's doing well. I think it's grown about 3-inches since last November.

I recently discovered (and purchased) a Greek Basil Topiary tree. I'm over-the-top in love with it . . . and knew that I needed to find a beautifully aged pot for it. A large one, that is.

Although I have several aged pots, they're all on the smaller side . . . and I've had a hard time finding larger aged ones, locally. So, I thought I would try 'aging' one myself, using chalkboard paint.

I fell in love with this clay pot for it's curved rim, stepped sides, and tapered bottom. It's quite pretty.

Disclaimer . . . I didn't research, or study, any diy tutorials for this . . . I just looked at my aged pots . . . and then gave it a go myself.

After I decided what colors I wanted to use, I stopped by my local craft store and bought all the supplies I needed for less than $5!

.     .     .    .     .
chalkboard paint
*I bought grey and taupe.
.     .     .    .     .

Ok, here's where I'm not too great on diy tutorials.

Let me explain my thinking here . . . 

Painting is an art. It's free form, and everyone interprets it differently. 

Even if I gave you a step-by-step-by-step-by-step on how to age a clay pot using paint, yours is still going to look different than mine . . . and it should.

So in this 'diy tutorial' I'll share why I chose to use chalkboard paint, and what kinds of finishes using a paint brush and sponge make on clay pots. 

I hope that my photos and diy help you 'age' your clay pots just how YOU envision them.  

And my best advice . . . have fun with it! There's no right or wrong here.
.     .     .     .     .     .     .

Ok, let's start . . .
I chose to use chalkboard paint for its versatility and matte finish, which I really like.

I mixed equal amounts grey and taupe to make the color seen below.  

If you like a 'mossy' finish, then you might want to add green paint to your mix.

The texture seen in this photo was made by using a paint brush, 
and then I used the sponge to 'feather out' the edges to make it look more smooth and natural.

I used a sponge to create this appearance and texture.
Using a sponge is a great way to add more paint, giving it a more rich, 'calcified' look.

Here is a photo of the paint brush AND sponge technique 'feathered out' and dry.

Using a sponge, I added white paint to create brighter, 'calcified' looking areas to the pot.

'Feather out' the white paint using the sponge for a more natural look.


I hope this diy gives you the confidence to try 'aging' your clay pots.

Since painting mine, I've already seen changes in the colors . . . making it look even more natural.

I love simple and fun diy's like this one!

LET'S STAY in touch!



  1. Beautifully aged pots... you did such a great job... and did not have to wait year and years for the finish! I'll be aging my clay pots this year!

  2. I love the look of aged pots, too. These look great and look like they were fun to make. Very creative!

  3. I love this look. Your plants are beautiful as well.

  4. I like the richer look you achieved by layering with the sponge. Is chalkboard paint the same as chalk paint? If so, apparently I can quit making homemade chalk paint with plaster of paris at least for small projects.

    1. Hi Teddee,
      Thanks so much for coming by! Good question.
      I don't paint often, however, so I'm not able to give you the proper answer.
      I bought the small bottle of chalkboard paint for approximately $2.25 at Michael's . . . I recommend buying one and checking it out. Maybe you'll find the answer you're looking for, and it will help you with future small projects.
      Have a great weekend,

  5. What a great idea. It's great to be able to have a bit of fun with this, and experiment to see how it turns out. None of the pots are going to be identical and that's what makes them even better :-)

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday at Smart Party Planning. Hope to see you again next week :-)

  6. Great DIY and thank you for sharing your technique....I am pinning it, now!

  7. Your pots look gorgeous! LOVE their aged style!

  8. These look fabulous and so realistic! I must do this. Thanks for the tutorial :)

  9. Beautifully done. I love the look of Terra Cotta just as it is; adding the paint makes them shine! Thanks for the great idea. I am sharing on all my social media. Something so beautiful should always be shared!
    Blessings...Shari @

  10. Great look Suzanne! I have done a similar look using regular acrylic paints. The chalkboard paints sound fun! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  11. I love your ideas/tutorial Suzanne! And I love playing with paint. Thanks for giving me another excuse. [wink]

    Thanks for sharing your antiqued pots with us at Project Inspire{d}!

  12. Hi Suzanne,

    the colors you used look wonderful! and I remember seeing a topiary tree herb a few days ago and wanting to go back now to get it since I was dumb enough to pass it up the first time...Love the terra cotta pots they look great!

  13. Thanks for this information. I have a large plant that I am repotting and I adore clay pots, so I will "age" mine - adding the much need character to a bland clay pot. Love what you have done with your pots.

  14. I love the look of aged clay pots....I have several I've found at garage sales that are just waiting to be painted! Pinning. :)

  15. Great tutorial, Suzanne - the pots look wonderful as do the plants! I do appreicate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  16. Another gorgeous post! I’m pinning this right now. Thanks so much for joining the Say G’day Saturday linky party.

    Hope you can join us again this weekend.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  17. Found this on Hungry Hypo! Would love if you linked this project to Friday Favorites going on now! laura

  18. These are so neat! Love the look! Don't forget to link it up to the Feature Friday Link Party!

    Danielle @ Blissful & Domestic

  19. Hi Suzanne! I saw your beautifully photographed tutorial over at Metamorphosis Monday blog party. Your pots surely HAVE metamorphed into great looking pots. Thanks for sharing those tips like using chalkboard paint and to brush AND sponge the paint on to achieve the look that you got.

  20. Just gorgeous - and you made it look so easy and natural! I'm going to have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I really love this idea! Since it's garage sale season, I've been on the lookout for a larger pot for my peace lily I keep in our bedroom. This would be a fantastic way to age one if I happen to come across one. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  22. Hi Suzanne! This is a feature this week at Friday Favorites! Thanks for linking up and hope to see you again on Friday!!! laura

  23. What a great post and a lovely idea. I look forward to seeing you at My Dream Canvas.

  24. Love how you aged your pots. They turned out so beautiful.

  25. They look very natural! I like how you layered the gray and taupe under the white. :)

  26. Thankyou for this wondrous post, I am glad I observed this website on yahoo. paint factory


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