Distressed White Washed TerraCotta Pots

While the white mineral deposits that form on the outside of terracotta may not be the best thing for your plants – I happen to love the worn aged look it adds to the pots. Terracotta pots are rather inexpensive, especially compared to some of the other flower pots out there, however I am not really fond of the brand spanking new look that comes with them.

I have played around in the past looking for different ways to roughen them up and wanted to share the latest one – which is super easy and quick. This is the perfect time of year to pick up pots on clearance and you can find some rather large terracotta posts for next to nothing. This process can be done with any colors you may like so if white is a little too plain for your liking, think of all the different color possibilities.

Wet the terracotta pot down as best as you can with a hose.

Gather acrylic paints in the colors of your choice. I used a combination of Americana All Purpose Acrylics and Patio Paints in tans and whites from DecoArt.

Pour a little of the paint on a plate to make it easier to mix and blend the colors. Dip a paintbrush in a glass of water and do not shake off the excess water – you will want to blend as much water as possible with a little of the paint. The more water that is mixed with the paint – the more translucent the ‘wash’ will be. The paint should be very liquidity and watered down as you paint the pots.

Randomly brush the watered down paint into the pot. It will dry very quickly – so don’t be too concern if the paint is blotchy at this point – it will actually only add to the distressing.

One the pot is completely covered with paint and dry – sand the entire pot with multipurpose sand paper. You can leave as much paint on as you wish or sand it away for a more distressed look.

Squirt the pot with water one last time to remove any dust.

I am really loving these green fantasy ferns right now. They are pretty easy to grow and care for and only require medium light, making them perfect for indoors.

I am pretty pleased with the look and of course with the amount of paint and water, colors and sanding the concept can take on many different looks.
So how do you dress up your plain terracotta?

It’s Friday – Have a wonderful weekend ~ Enjoy.


  1. I had a couple small pots that I planted basil and cilantro in. I painted the dish and upper part with chalkboard paint and wrote the herb name on it.

  2. love this tutorial.
    must try!!
    hope you have a great weekend.
    cheryl xox.

  3. They look great! Thanks for the tutorial.


  4. We paint our pots in plain yogurt to encourage the aging process and it aids in the growth of moss/”algae” on the pots. They end up having that lovely green mossy patina of aged pots!

  5. Great tutorial. YOur pots look fabulous and I love the aged look. Hugs, Marty

  6. What a fantastic idea. My pots are totally worn in already, do you have any tips from getting all that STUFF off, he he.

    I totally need to get some more pots, and this is the perfect solution to the boring NEW look.

    Thanks so much Stephanie, I love your fern too btw, seriously lush, and pretty!!

    p.s. If you get a chance I’m inviting you over to my blog, I’m kinda having a HUGE giveaway going on, and you MIGHT like it, (or LOVE it). I’d be so happy to have your support!
    Hugs, Bella 🙂
    **$5 for every LIKE giveaway** @ Bella Before and After
    **$200 SHOP till you DROP giveaway** @ Bella Before and After.

  7. Thanks for posting this super easy and quick way to get a patina on “too new” pots! I would not have thought of sanding them to get excess paint off.

  8. Looks great! I’ll have to try this, maybe with a color, like you mentioned. Thanks for sharing!

    Betsey at b.bar

  9. I always love looking at your blog! Thanks for all of your amazing work.

  10. What a great technique this is. I love how turned out. I have some pots hanging around here I think, I must get busy!

  11. love this tutorial, thanks! the pots look grets!

  12. Oh my gosh! I loves this!

    Your posting could not have come at a more perfect time. Friday I scored some terracotta pots at Kmart for 38 cents a piece. I was just staring at them this morning and thinking…hmmm- I wonder how I could distress these?

    I’m going to try this method on them and perhaps go back and stock up on some more, now that I see their true potential. 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Samm @ gloriousfinds.blogspot.com

  13. Thanks for the tutorial..

  14. Love this. I am a plant nut. We have so many large ones that go in and out during the seasons that during the cold months my house looks like a jungle. I certainly will make a few pots like this. Thanks for the tutorial and for sharing!

  15. I’m on my way out tomorrow to get some new pots to make look old! Awesome!

  16. Wow! Lovely job and fantastic photo! I pinned it! Hope that is ok? I am hoping to do this – saw some pots at the dollar store the other day!

  17. Thanks for the tutorial . I tried this last week and they look great. Would definitely do this again.

  18. I love this tutorial and love the suggestions posted in the comments! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Louise Heap :

    Hi, I’ve just bleached and washed 7 old terracotta plant pots, and am about the start using this distressing technique on them. Wish me luck! xx


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