How to paint a clay pot: 15 steps (with pictures)

How to paint a clay pot: 15 steps (with pictures)
How to paint a clay pot: 15 steps (with pictures)

You like plants and you have many pots that contain them. Only you find these rows of clay pots of the same color lacking in charm. Why not paint these pots? The process is very simple. On the other hand, it is spread over several days, because there are several phases of drying. You will need to sand the pot first, then remove the stains. Then comes the step of waterproofing the pot with a varnish, followed by a primer, then a coat of paint for which you can do simple or very elaborate. Finally, you will finish with a last coat of varnish so that the paint does not deteriorate too quickly.


Part 1 of 3: prepare the pot

Paint Clay Pots Step 1

Step 1. Prepare the surface of the pot

Find an open space, like your garden, if you have one. This will save yourself a hassle of cleaning up. You can also do this in your garage by placing newspaper on the floor. Remember to dress in clothes that don't worry about getting damaged. Then, remove any roughness around the edge of the pot by sanding it.

  • You don't have to spend a lot of time smoothing the outside of your pot. Check for any bumps or rough areas and sand them down. If the jar looks good, skip this step.
  • If the jar has a few dents, you may decide to keep them to give your jar some relief after it is painted.
Paint Clay Pots Step 2

Step 2. Soak the pot

Let the pot soak in water for an hour. This will clean it well and make it easier to peel off stickers afterwards. However, if the jar is clean and doesn't have stickers on it, don't bother doing this step.

  • To save time while the pot is in the soaking phase, you can gather all the materials you will need and also prepare the space you need to paint the pot.
  • If you don't want the pot to sit in the water for an hour, you can check if your pot is near every ten minutes to move faster to the next step in the process.

Step 3. Brush the pot

Normally, the soaking step will remove dirt from the pot. However, for used pots, soaking may not be sufficient and may require brushing. Be aware that the paint will not be able to hold properly on stuck-on residue or dirt.

  • It is best to use a soft brush to clean the surface of the pot so as not to scratch it. On the other hand, if you have well encrusted stains, use a wire brush.
  • Don't worry if you create scratches on the pot with the brush, the paint you are going to apply later will hide the scratches.
Paint Clay Pots Step 4

Step 4. Wait until the pot is completely dry

Before proceeding to the next steps, allow the pot to dry. It must be completely dry before proceeding. Otherwise, the paint will not be able to adhere properly to the pot. If the weather is sunny outside, place your pot in the open air to dry faster. Note that the drying time will vary depending on whether the pot is small or large.

Note that the drying time will be a few hours. Remember to incorporate this data into your schedule to optimize your time and do other things

Part 2 of 3: Seal and primer on the pot

Step 1. Lay out the newspaper sheets

If you plan to work on a kitchen table or counter, you are going to need to protect the surface from paint with newspaper, cling film, or fabric. Cover the area where the jar will be placed and the area where you are likely to put paint with the paint cans and brushes.

If you want to paint outdoors, it will always be a good idea to cover the workspace to avoid leaving paint stains

Step 2. Position the pot

Place a glass bottle in the middle of your workstation, then place the jar upside down on the glass bottle. So you can paint the pot quietly. Whereas if you had held the pot with one hand, you could have left fingerprints. If you wish, you can press the bottom of the jar with your free hand to hold it in place on the glass bottle.

  • Use as a support a box or a cylinder on which you can place your pot. You can take a tin can, a glass jar, a bottle. Choose a suitable support according to the size of your pot. Be careful, for a very large pot this may not work.
  • Note that this is not a requirement. This is just a tip to make painting the pot easier for you.
Paint Clay Pots Step 7

Step 3. Spray a sealant

Opt for a varnish that is sprayed with a spray can and prefer those that are used for brick or concrete. A clay pot can let some water through. So you need to apply the varnish on the outside of the pot to create a waterproof barrier between the paint and the plant that will be inside. You should find this type of varnish in the paint section of your hardware store.

  • The pot varnishing operation should be done outdoors or in a room that is well ventilated. Varnish fumes are harmful.
  • Note that the drying time can be 24 hours. Remember to check the instructions for your product.
  • Varnish the outside and inside of the pot. If you don't varnish the inside, the water that will be poured to water the plant could seep into the pot and keep it slightly damp, then gradually loosen the paint.
  • If you haven't planned to put a plant in the pot, you don't need to do this varnishing step.

Step 4. Apply a primer

Spread a primer on the jar. You can use a classic white primer or a colored primer if necessary with the paint you plan to apply afterwards. By applying a primer, you will allow the paint to adhere better to the pot. Note that the primer will also hide the red color of the pot.

  • Paint the primer all over the outer surface of the pot and continue 3cm towards the inside of the clay pot.
  • Some people recommend painting the bottom of the pot. However, in order not to strengthen the seal of the pot and obstruct the flow of water out of the pot, it is best not to apply primer and paint to the bottom.

Part 3 of 3: paint and varnish the pot

Paint Clay Pots Step 9

Step 1. Take foam brushes

When painting your pot, avoid brushes with bristles, as they will leave streaks on the pot. By cons by using a foam brush, the result will be prettier and streak-free. Consider taking brushes of various sizes if you plan to paint multiple shapes.

Understand that if you want to use a bristle brush, that's okay. However, a foam brush will give much better results. As for the bristle brushes, they are useful for painting small designs at the end

Step 2. Stick on masking tape

If desired, paint the pot in one color. However, you can be more creative. Take paint tape and stick it on the pot. Then apply a coat of paint to the pot. Once the paint is dry, remove the tape, then paint the areas that were covered by the tape with other colors.

  • If you want to keep clean lines between the different colors, re-tape the parts that have already been painted.
  • You can also paint the pot a color, then tape it to create shapes. Then you paint the pot with another color. Finally, you remove the pieces of duct tape to reveal patterns made with the first color.

Step 3. Apply paint to the inside of the pot

Once you've painted the outside, consider continuing on the inside of the pot for 3 to 5 cm. Paint the interior part with one of the main paints you used for the exterior. You can use leftover paints that you have on hand. A paint for something that is outdoors or indoors can be fine, as can an acrylic paint. Finally, a paint sprayed by an aerosol can also do the trick very well.

  • Paint the entire exterior surface of the pot except the bottom. You can paint the background. However, to ensure better water drainage, avoid painting the background.
  • Consider applying paint to part of the inside of the pot, as soil will not completely cover the inside of the pot and you don't want the raw part of the pot to be visible.

Step 4. Paint more than one coat of paint

Sometimes it is necessary to apply several coats of paint to achieve the desired result. The number of coats of paint will depend on the thickness and color of the first coat. Remember that clay pots can absorb some of the paint. So you may need more than one coat of paint.

  • Remember to make sure the paint on the jar is completely dry before you want to add a new coat. If you don't do this check, the new coat of paint will remove the previous one.
  • For a second coat of paint, you can take another color to shade the final color. Before applying the paint, dilute it with water so that it becomes slightly translucent.

Step 5. Finish decorating the pot

To complete the beautification of your jar, you can have fun drawing various shapes or lines with paint, and even drawing elements, such as flowers, a tree, stars, and more. Note that if the plant that will stay in the pot has large, drooping leaves, there is no need for elaborate finishes.

In this final painting step, you have the option of doing a simple or elaborate finish. If you are feeling inspired, paint an imaginary landscape or you can have fun artistically writing the name of the plant that will later be found in the pot

Step 6. Varnish the pot

Take an aerosol can of acrylic varnish for this operation. This varnish will protect what you have painted on the pot. The paint will not quickly crack or peel and thus age slowly. The application of a varnish is important for pots that will be outdoors and will be subject to the weather. Spray the varnish onto the pot after the paint has finished drying.

  • Please understand that it is not an obligation to varnish your pot. However, if you don't, the paint in your pot will degrade faster.
  • There are a multitude of products to seal your pot. However, not all varnishes provide the same waterproofing with the seasons and are therefore not suitable for pots that will be exposed outdoors all year round.
  • Wait a few days for the polish to dry well, then place the plant you want inside the pot.
Paint Clay Pots Step 15

Step 7. Appreciate your artwork

You have finished decorating your pot, so admire your work.

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