How to Make Vintage Terracotta Pots

Deb Foglia
Written by Deb Foglia
Updated July 18, 2016
Rustic terracotta pots as bookends
Rustic terracotta pots can be used as decor throughout your home to add French charm. (Photo courtesy of Deb Foglia)

Add some vintage charm to any room by transforming terracotta pots into vintage-looking plant holders.

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The summer is in full swing, and outdoor projects as well as green projects have got to be my favorite new thing. I've been slowly dressing up my outdoor vintage garden space and of course all the photos I have been seeing for inspiration is with vintage terracotta pots. Something about that little extra worn down look has me smitten. 

I decided to give it a try on some pots that I was creating for my daughter’s room. Of course these pots will be holding some faux topiaries, which I love for a French-inspired space. The pink walls, vintage furniture and four-post bed are a little girl's true princess oasis with a sophisticated French flare. 

I recently shared her bedroom makeover and thought I would break down the step-by-step tutorial on this charming little accessory that gave such a nice little feel to her pink and cream thrifted dresser.

Materials needed:

  • Terracotta pots

  • Weathered oak (minwax) stain

  • White paint

  • Paper towels

Start with your terracotta pots on a piece of newspaper or craft paper. Use a brush or paper towels to apply a layer of weathered oak stain.

Terracotta pots on craft paper
Avoid a mess by laying out the pots and paint on craft paper or old newspaper. (Image courtesy of Deb Foglia)

Notice the difference between the stained pot and the non-stained pot. The oak stain will make the pot darker, which will give it that "moldy" look. Who knew mold could look so good?

Terracotta pots with stain.
The dark stain will give the pots a weather-beaten look. (Image courtesy of Deb Foglia)

Once the stain is dry, create a white wash mix using white paint (latex is fine) and water. I usually do three parts water to one part paint. Dip your paper towel into the white wash mixture and add paint to the pot. I try to create a realistic natural feel to the look of the paint. Applying in circular motion works well.

Terracotta pot with whitewash.
A mixture of white paint and water applied in circular motions adds a rustic look. (Image courtesy of Deb Foglia)

Once the white wash is dry, apply a bit of dark wax over the white in small amounts. If you don't have wax, a little more stain should also do the trick.

Now enjoy the finished result. I love how even a distressed pot could look so adorable in this sweet princess room. Create an arrangement of these to place on an old potting bench, or even use into the fall months paired with some seasonal mums.

Ready to make your own? Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.

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