Painting ideas

How to paint terracotta pots for garden color


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  • One of the easiest ways to update an outdoor space with color is to update your planters. Thoughtful flowerpot painting ideas can breathe new life into old terracotta planters and pots.

    Any outdoor space benefits from a landscaping of garden pots. From small balcony gardens to generous patios, flowerpots can transform any decorative garden idea. Mostly freshly painted pots, to help add a pop of color and expressive pattern.

    Plus, updating the pots with a splash of fresh color is a brilliant budget garden idea, offering huge decorative impact with very little expense.

    Flower pot painting ideas

    Make sure your pots are clean, dry, and soil-free, then use garden paint to spruce them up. Take inspiration from our thoughtful flowerpot painting ideas below …

    1. Brighten up terracotta pots with a trendy color

    Image credit: Cuprinol

    All you need is duct tape, a sponge, and some on-trend paint colors to create these striking finishes. Cuprinol’s team of experts have made plain terracotta pots with a pattern that looks intricate, but as we explain below, it’s actually relatively easy to do.

    Use striking citrus undertones to accentuate the greenery and add a vibrant accent color to the planting.

    2. Keep it subtle

    Painted plant pots next to the black shed

    Image credit: Sandoline

    If you want to add interest without overwhelming your garden landscaping idea, try painting a subtle pattern on terracotta pots in muted tones. Use a stencil to transfer the design to the jars, using a narrow paintbrush to add color carefully. Secure the stencil in place and make sure not to over-saturate the brush with paint, to avoid dripping.

    3. Introduce graphic pattern notes using color

    painted terracotta plant pots on shelf

    Image credit: Future PLC / Lizzie Orme

    Let the terracotta color show through by choosing to enhance the original color of the pot by offsetting it with remarkable graphic patterns. Create your design using masking tape to achieve crisp, crisp lines, to give a strict geometric design look.

    4. Stencil an elegant house number

    yellow and blue painted flowerpots with house number

    Image Credit: Future PLC / Simon Whitmore

    Dress up the porch with another stenciled house number flowerpot. Paint a plain jar in one or two bright colors if your home requires two-digit numbers or if you want to dedicate a jar for the “No.” reference, as seen above. When the design is as elegant as this example, it’s imperative to work with a stencil and make sure you gently blot the color to avoid dripping or transferring.

    5. Paint by numbers


    Image credit: Future PLC / Colin Poole

    Adopt a simpler way of painting numbers on plant pots, but bolding the numbers, using only one pot for each. The nature of larger numbers means that DIY and decorating work is less tedious than with a smaller stencil. If you are confident, you can use a small freehand paintbrush to outline the letter, using a slightly larger paintbrush to fill in the solid number.

    If you are not so sure about yourself, you can carefully mark the shape using a masking tphe to make sure you stay between the lines. Add single flowers by gently pushing the brush head flat against the pot, creating a circle of petals using this method.

    6. Be artistic with brush strokes

    Painted monochrome plant pots

    Image credit: Future PLC

    After painting a base coat of white paint, give your flower pots an element of artistic flair with brushstroke details in an accent color. Here, a classic combination of black and white gives these outdoor pots an elegant monochrome finish.

    7. Create interest with color blocking

    Shelf painted flower pots on garden fence

    Image credit: future PLC / Jamie Mason

    Color blocking is a great way to transform a classic terracotta plant pot. Use a wide masking tape to create your crisp lines between the two colors, painting one color at a time – allowing sufficient drying time between coats. Two coats of each color are best to ensure that no terra cotta tint smiles through.

    8. Elevate a color scheme

    purple and green painted flower pots on fence filled with herbs

    Image credit: Ronseal

    Embellish a bare fence by hanging painted terracotta pots vertically. Secure the pots to the fence after carefully drilling small holes through the terracotta to allow drainage, before inserting your plants! Leave the rim bare or paint in the contrasting color.

    Paint the base of your terracotta pots to add a splash of color to a planting scheme. Simply glue around the rim of the pot and paint underneath with two coats of your choice of exterior paint. You can use different shades to color code an herb garden or vertical planter, to indicate which plants are purely ornamental and which are edible.

    9. Create a striking pattern using colorful stripes

    painted striped terracotta pots

    Image credit: Future PLC / Barry Marsden

    Make a real impact with color by using a rainbow of colorful stripes to decorate plain plant pots. It can be a labor of love, as you have to apply more than one color and use multiple pieces of masking tape, but if you’re looking to make an impact with newly painted flowerpots, this is a winning idea.

    For vertical stripes, make lines of masking tape the entire length of the outside of the pot, just painting between the spaces. To create horizontal stripes, do the same with masking tape, go around the pot rather than tape it down.

    10. Add some vibrancy with a bold color palette throughout

    cheap garden ideas

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Enhance and unify your outdoor space by adding a choice of bright colors, painting patio furniture and flowerpots in the same shade. This easy-to-make recycling idea for the garden sets the tone for an entire outdoor space by adding a lonely touch of uplifting color.

    Choosing just one color keeps the accent color of flowers and plantings from becoming overwhelming, especially in a small space. If your garden is mostly lush green, you can’t go wrong with a bold blue, like this cobalt blue – inspired by the Yves Saint Laurent Majorelle gardens in Marrakech.

    11. Liven up the metal flowerpots with color

    orange pink and red painted food tin planters for herbs

    Image credit: Future PLC / Jamie Mason

    Of course, it’s not just terracotta pots when it comes to garden containers. From zinc planters to homemade tin planters, there is also an appetite for updated metal flowerpots. Be sure to use an exterior paint suitable for metal surfaces, most major brands from Frenchic to Rust-Oleum now offer a paint that adheres to metal surfaces – no primer needed!

    12. Paint on character faces

    painted plant pots with faces

    Image credit: Future PLC / Graeme Ainscough

    Fun and friendly faces on planters are a growing trend. Create your own characters by painting smiles and eyes on the base of your plant pots. Suitable for indoor and outdoor pots, provided the correct paint is applied.

    Smiley flower pots are a great idea to encourage little ones to get out into the garden and help them grow their own.

    13. Give indoor flowerpots a Washi Tape makeover

    white flower pot with washi tape border

    Image Credit: Future PLC / Simon Whitmore

    Give your indoor pots a coat of glossy white paint, to create a blank canvas for a decorative garnish. Due to the nature of Washi tape, this idea is best for indoor use, unless you coat the finished jar with a sealant to make sure the tape is weatherproof.

    How to paint terracotta pots with a pattern

    Step 1. Clean it

    Make sure your flowerpot is free of dirt and spider web to give your paint a clean surface to adhere to. Use a no-

    Step 2. Add duct tape

    Mark your design on the jar of your choice, using masking tape – securing the tape as you go to ensure crisp, crisp lines.

    Step 3. Apply your base color

    Use your main color to paint a base on which to add a pattern. Paint below or around the masking tape that has been placed from the desired pattern. Apply 2 coats, allowing each to dry completely before continuing with each step.

    Step 4. Paint the pattern with a sponge

    An easy way to add paint in larger sections, like the Cuprinol jars above, is to use a sponge – a simple kitchen sponge will do. Cut the sponge to size to make it easier to control, then simply dab the paint on the unpainted section between the masking tape. Let it dry and then gently peel off the duct tape, revealing a newly painted pattern on your jar.

    Happy potted painting of plants!


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