Tools and materials:
Paint brushes and mini rollers
Paint in colours of your choice
Terracotta pots – new or old
1. Clean and prep your pots
If you’re working with an old pot you may need to give it a sand or a scrub so you’ve got a nice, smooth surface to work with. Clean it first, using warm, soapy water and let it dry. Then use a steel brush or coarse sponge to remove any marks and sand using 220-grit sandpaper. If you’re using a new terracotta pot – like we are – you may skip this step. But a word of warning: a lot of new pots have a fine residue of dust or hard-to-remove stickers and price tags – this all has to go. Soak in warm water, and then use a steel brush or sponge to remove any extra dirt or sticker glue before sanding.
2. Add your internal primer
Next up, add your primers – wear a mask to protect from the fumes for this bit (it can be a bit stinky and noxious). First spray on your internal sealer to the inside of your pot – this will protect your plant from any of the chemicals used in the paint. It will also make sure that any moisture that gets in there doesn't rub the paint of your pot. Hold the can 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimetres) away from the surface of the pot, and apply a light, even coat.
3. Add your external primer
Evenly spray your external primer (or sealer) to the outside of your pot using the same technique. Again, this will protect your pot from the paint and chemicals, and also extend its lifespan.
4. Paint your pots
Choose your main colour and apply two coats of paint with a paintbrush or roller (if you’re using a roller, pour the paint into a tray first). Each coat will need anything from 15 minutes to two hours to dry.
If you’re using two tones, apply your painters’ tape and paint the second colour. Using painters’ tape will allow for a nice, neat line where the two colours meet. Stick it down well to make sure no paint bleeds through, and use small sections of tape for precision. If you want your pot patterned, use the tape to create your desired effect – zigzags patterns look particularly good.
5. Remove your tape
Wait two hours for your next colour to dry (like the first, best to apply two coats), and then carefully remove your tape. When you take this off, make sure you do it slowly and carefully so as not to take off any of your new paint with it.
6. Choose a place for your pot
In just a few easy steps you’ve turned your old pot into something beautiful. How easy was that? Experiment with different paint colours and techniques and voila! A stylish garden makeover.
Watch the full episode and more D.I.Y. projects from Make It Yours Episode 3: Backyard Makeover by Tim and Mat.