If you’re in the market for large, ceramic planters, you’ll know that the variety is a bit limited, and the prices are really high. For a year now, I’ve been neglecting my two blueberry plants, each still in its original nursery pot, but each also producing lots of flowers and tiny berries. I had to do something to take better care of these plants, but with the propect of a fourth raised bed on hold until next spring, I thought large pots would be a good interim solution.

Instead of paying $40 or more for a ceramic pot, though, I thought I’d paint some $13 14″ terra cotta pots from Lowe’s. By painting the pots, I can add some year-round color to the garden. Terra cotta is a very porous material, and it absorbs moisture readily. Often, older pots develop a whitish  patina from the salts that leach through from the soil inside. For this project, it’s best to use new pots that don’t have much moisture content or patina. You can always try older pots, but your results may vary.

The first step to creating a paint job that will last a long time is to seal the pourous terra cotta. Sealing it prevents absorption of water, and thus prevents expansion and contraction, which may crack a paint finish. I used a simple can of clear acrylic spray paint. Make sure you give your whole pot one coat, but the inside should get two coats. Don’t forget the bottom.

After those coats dry (about 30 minutes for each coat,) it’s as simple as finding a high gloss spray paint in a color you like. There are tons of colors out there, so you can get almost any shade you want. It isn’t necessary to paint the entire inside of the pot, but make sure you paint past the eventual soil level. Give the outside of the pot at least two coats of paint. I chose a dusty yellow, and I think they turned out pretty great! High gloss paint gives the pots a custom, glazed look at a fraction of the cost.

Painted Terra Cotta Pots

Painted Terra Cotta Pots