DIY: Painting Terracotta Pots

Potted flowers add interest and life both indoors and out, but you make them pop even more with this easy DIY paint idea.

Here’s how to paint outdoor pots and add some extra charm to your flower displays.

Skill Level:



 24-48 hours (including primer, paint and polyurethane drying times)


 Less than $50

Tools & Materials:

  • Norcal 10-inch terracotta flower pot
  • Primer made for terracotta (or another appropriate primer, depending on the material of your pot)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • 1-inch painter’s tape
  • Hobby knife
  • Paint brush
  • Artist’s brush
  • Exterior paint or project paint
  • Exterior water-based polyurethane (if using your pot outside)


Step 1

Prime the pot with a primer that is appropriate for the material of your pot.

Follow the instructions on the primer container.

Once the primer has dried, create a harlequin pattern on your pot.

Draw the pattern in pencil using measuring tape, or you can purchase ready-made stencils in the paint department of your local home improvement or paint store.

Step 2

Tape off the lines with painter’s tape.

Trim off the excess tape with a hobby knife.

Step 3

With a paintbrush, paint over the tape to create your diamond pattern.

Don’t use too much paint, though, or it will bleed through the tape.

Step 4

Once the paint is dry, switch the tape to the outside of the pattern, and then fill it in with an artist’s brush.

Step 5

Simply remove the tape, touch up any imperfections and enjoy!

If you plan to set the pot outside, seal it with water-based, exterior-grade polyurethane.

Use two or three coats for extra protection.

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