It’s been a while since I have dipped my toe into some DIY projects and I wanted to work on something that would both distract me from everything going on and bring some Spring life into my house. These aged terracotta pots turned out so cute and I am really excited to share them with you today.
Materials You Will Need for Aged Terracotta Pots
One of the great things I love about this project is that it requires minimal materials. All of the materials I used for these aged terracotta pots I had at home!
Here is a list of what you will need:
1 quart Amy Howard One-Step Paint in Linen (or any chalk-based paint will do)
1 small tub sheetrock spackle
1 bottle Amy Howard matte sealer
1 roll of paper towels
1 piece of medium grit sandpaper (80 grit or more)
I purchased the terracotta pots at my local Home Depot, but you could get them at any hardware store or garden center. I used a quart of paint that we already had in our garage (more on the chalk paint in a moment). I sealed it with my Amy Howard matte paint sealer (I already had this in the garage as well). I used paper towels to apply the spackle and the paint because it gave a more uneven look and it was what I had on hand. The paintbrush I tried to use just made it look too finished. So, if for some reason you don’t have any paper towels – then I would encourage you to improvise and come up with something else that might work like a dish sponge or an old rag.
What is Chalk Paint?
Chalk paint is a product that many use to create an antique look on furniture pieces. It is a chalk-base which does a few things. It does not require sanding or priming before you begin and it is simple to sand to give whatever you are painting a distressed (or aged) look. I prefer working with chalk-based paints because they are easier to use and work with. You can find chalk based paints at most hardware stores. There are several different lines. Chalk paint is actually a trademarked brand of paint that is sold by Annie Sloan. However, Amy Howard has a great one-step paint that is a chalk base and works really great.
You can check out my Easy DIY Painted Coffee Table project to see how simple it is to use this paint.
Because this type of paint is a chalk-base, it requires some sort of wax or finish to protect the chalk paint from coming off or being damaged. When you finish your aged terracotta pots, you will want to seal them in order to protect them from the sun, water, or any other possible damaging situations. This will keep the aged look intact and will prevent the spackle and paint from wearing.
Step 1: Apply Spackle
I first applied the sheetrock spackle with a paper towel. I began by dipping it into the spackle tub and getting a generous amount on the paper towel. Then I used a dabbing motion creating thick, built up spots. I wanted to recreate the look of layers of build up as if it would have sat collecting them for years.
I let the spackle sit for about 15 minutes to set up and dry. I tested it to see if it was hard enough and then I added more in areas that I felt like it needed more.
Step 2: Apply Chalk Paint
When the layers of spackle were dry, I applied watered down chalk paint with a paper towel. I used a 3:1 ratio of water and paint. Three parts paint, to one part water. So if I did three tablespoons of paint, I would add in one tablespoon of water. I wanted it to be watered down enough, but not too watery.
I applied the watered down paint with a paper towel using a dabbing motion. At first I attempted to use a paint brush, but it just didn’t achieve the natural aged look I was going for. Using the paper towel gave it a more organic look.
When applying the paint, I used it very minimally at first because I knew that I could always add more if it didn’t look like it was enough. What I discovered is that less was more with the paint. It gave just a little bit of color, but what I was really loving was the texture that the spackle added.
Step 3: Apply Second Layer of Spackle
I went back and applied a second layer of spackle after applying the paint. By adding more texture I was able to really get that aged terracotta pot look. I also liked how the second layer of spackle looked after adding the paint. I used the same dabbing motion from the first step here as well.
Step 4: Sand/Distress
Before I was ready to finish up with a sealant, I gave the pots a light sanding. I used a piece of 80 grit sandpaper. When you are looking for a sandpaper to use on this project, I would go with a sandpaper that is anywhere from 80-120 grit.
The way that the grit of sandpaper works is that the lower the number of grit, the more gritty the sandpaper is going to be. Therefore, it will be more abrasive on the surface. Because we are using a chalk-based paint and sheetrock spackle, there is really no need for a heavy duty sandpaper. Something in the middle of the road will do just fine.
Step 5: Final Step – Seal
The last step in creating these aged terracotta pots is to seal them. I used the Amy Howard Matte sealer for this project. I love their matte sealer because it is durable but soft. The matte finish is nice too because it doesn’t dry super glossy. With a matte finish, the aged terracotta pots looked more naturally aged.
To apply the matte sealer I used a sponge brush. I chose the sponge brush because I knew it would go on smooth, without brush strokes, and would cover well.
3 Ways to Decorate with Aged Terracotta Pots
- Succulent Planters – I used the aged terracotta pots that I made to plant a couple of small succulents. I have them styled on my coffee table but they would look great on a window ledge or shelf as well!
- Stacked on a Shelf – You could make several of these aged terracotta pots and style them in multiple stacks on a floating shelf or built-ins.
- Porch/Patio Decor -I love the idea of grabbing some large terracotta pots and using them to decorate your porch or patio with them. You could plant some ferns or palms in them to create a perfectly cozy atmosphere.
Tag me in your photos if you decide to give this DIY a try! I can’t wait to see what you create!