Terracotta pots are durable clay containers that are often used to grow plants. Plain terracotta pots are much more cost effective than decorated or painted pots. Fortunately, with a set of paints and some sealer, you can change your plain terracotta pots into beautifully decorated pots exactly to your liking. Paint and seal terracotta pots outdoors or in a well-ventilated room. The pots should have drainage holes in order to provide good water drainage for your plants.
Soak the terracotta plant pot in warm soapy water for an hour. Then clean the pot with a stiff plastic bristle brush to remove any blemishes. Let it dry overnight.
Seal the inside of the terracotta plant pot with spray polyurethane sealer. Water-based polyurethane is easier to clean up, but oil-based polyurethane will last longer. Seal with two to three coats, allowing sufficient time--usually several hours--between each coat to dry (as indicated on the sealer label).
Paint the outside base color of the terracotta plant pot with acrylic paint, using a foam brush. Reapply the paint for a darker finish. Let the paint dry according to the paint manufacturer's directions between coats.
Paint decorative patterns over the top of your base coat, if desired. Still use acrylic paint, but use a smaller, artist's brush for fine details. Allow the paint to thoroughly dry before sealing, usually overnight.
Seal the outside of the terracotta pot with a spray-on water-based polyurethane. Oil-based polyurethane will last longer but will leave a yellow tint. Wait a day before you plant your plants in your newly painted terracotta plant pots.