Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Dirt: painted clay pots

I’m sure you’ve seen similar projects to these painted clay pots. They’re referred to as; painted pots, chippy paint, distressed planters, weathered terra cotta etc.

Photo courtesy of The Handmade Home

This was the inspiration photo. When I Googled “painted pots” this was one of the images that came up in the search and I knew this was how I wanted my pots to look.

I researched several ways to achieve the distressed look and decided to use the following method:

1. Start with clean, dry terra cotta pots.
2. Rub a candle all over the pots (the wax helps chip the paint)
3. Paint your pots in a desired color. I used various combinations of Martha Stewart paints in Scallion (green), Surf (blue) and Wedding Cake (white).
4. Once the paint is dry rub off some of the paint. This is where I had trouble. My paint didn’t want to come off so I used a little sand paper to scratch up the paint.

The two larger pots are now home to some new succulent chicks.

The two smaller pots are too tiny for plants so I made them into candle holders.

I melted a few citronella candles and poured the wax into the pots reusing the wicks. You can melt old candles on top of the stove in a throw away pot. However, I found the easiest way is to use an old tin can. Place your candles in the clean can and put in the oven at around 250 degrees. Pour your wax and throw away the can.

Note: I’m not a candle maker and have no idea what I’m doing… Use caution when melting candles on your stove or in your oven.

Love my new turquoise, aqua, chippy, painted, distressed, weathered terra cotta clay pots.


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This project is linked at the parties listed here and

  Tickled Pink at 504 Main UndertheTableandDreamingTip Junkie handmade projects


  1. I guess now I have a new weekend project!

  2. Wow! I have to say, your results look even better than the inspiration!! Thanks fo rthe tip on melting candle wax in tin cans!!

  3. These look gorgeous Carolyn - great idea about melting the wax in a can too!

  4. Fab. Pinned, tweeted, stumbled... Again. :)

  5. Aaaa These are so awesome. I so want to make these.

  6. OMG! I love the look of these pots! Great job!

  7. Love it! These turned out wonderful. I love the chippy, old look and the fun colors. Great job!

  8. good morning...I love these much texture...they look vintage!..happy weekend, Mariaelena (newest follower)...come on over for a visit

  9. Visiting from The Answer is Chocolate. Love your distressed pots. I have three new terra cotta pots outside just patiently waiting...

    hope you can come over and visit me at

  10. You have just inspired me!! I love this project. I would love it if you would stop and share this at my linky party!

  11. So cute!! Would LOVE it if you would link this up at my turquoise lovin' party going on right now!!

  12. Those are gorgeous! Love the candle idea (and your cute disclaimer!)

    Maggie at sweetwaterbaby.blogspot :)

  13. I picked up some tiny little pots that are already candles...this is exactly the look I'd love! Thanks!

  14. I love the look of your painted clay pots--especially the turquoise!

  15. What a great look...makes them seem like pots that have been your favorites for years. Thanks for the idea!

  16. they look great, but, even easier to sue is Vasolene. Just smear it on, paint over it, then rub paint off with old rag.
    Where Vasolene was paint comes right off.

    be blessed

  17. Ooh, I love these! I'm glad you posted them on your inspiration party today, they completely caught my eye! Sharon

  18. Love these! Trying it out Tuesday night with a group of girlfriends. What type of paint did you use, house paint, acrylic paint?

    1. Hi Tamara, The instructions are outlined in the post if you need more information.But I used various combinations of Martha Stewart paints in Scallion (green), Surf (blue) and Wedding Cake (white). These are the craft paints. Acrylic matte finish. Thanks so much - have fun with your group of friends.

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