How to Decorate Potted Plants


Terra-cotta pots typically hold plants and herbs for gardeners. If the orange, rust color does not strike your fancy, you may decorate and paint terra-cotta pots. You do not need to remove your potted plants to paint them. Allow your imagination to guide you when deciding what to paint or stencil onto your terra cotta pots. Perhaps you would like them labeled with the plant inside or would like a graphic--for example, ladybugs. Purchase stencils if you'd rather not freehand graphics.

Step 1

Wash the terra-cotta pot. You do not need to remove your plant, but take precautions to prevent paint from getting on your plant or in the soil. These include a steady hand and limiting excess paint on the paintbrush.

Step 2

Place the terra-cotta pot outdoors in the sun so it dries thoroughly. Leave it outdoors for at least five hours.

Step 3

Lay newspaper down on your work surface, and place your terra-cotta pot onto the newspaper. This provides a quick cleanup.

Step 4

Paint (with a paintbrush and water-based acrylic paint) the entire terra-cotta pot--for example, light blue. Make sure not to paint the plant in the pot.

Step 5

Sponge a second color onto the terra-cotta pot--for example, light green. Apply the color sporadically around the pot until satisfied with the results.

Step 6

Brush a dry, clean paintbrush around the entire pot, adding detail. Repeat until satisfied. Aim for a two-toned color. For an added decorative touch, dip the paintbrush in a small amount of water, and brush onto the pot. The water will thin the paint.

Step 7

Dry the terra-cotta pot thoroughly. You may place the pot outdoors or dry it indoors.

Step 8

Paint or stencil a graphic or word onto the terra-cotta pot--for example, parsley.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-based acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Water
  • Terra-cotta pot
  • Sponge
  • Newspaper


  • "Birds and Blooms"; Backyard Projects for Less; May 2010
  • The Artistic Garden: How to Paint Terra Cotta
  • Patricia's Pots: How to Paint a Pot
  • Young House Love: Planter Banter
Keywords: container gardening, terra-cotta pots, painted flower pots

About this Author

Stephanie Nolan currently writes for several companies online. She has extensive knowledge in many areas and has been writing for several years. Nolan is currently in college pursuing her degree in business management.