How to Decorate Flower Pots


Classic terra cotta pots are inexpensive and useful but deep down inside, they're just plain boring. Everyone has the same pots and has had the same pots for decades. There is no reason for you to have the same conformist plant pots in your container garden. Using a little bit of creativity and some paint, you can transform those boring pots into colorful works of art ready to brighten up your small-space garden.

Step 1

Purchase new pots for this project, or make sure that old pots are completely clean and dry before using them. Soak old pots overnight in a 10 percent bleach-water solution (1 part bleach and 9 parts water), then scrub to remove any residue in the pot. Soak for an hour in clear water, then allow the pots to dry at least overnight, until they are totally dry.

Step 2

Paint the entire pot, inside and out, with two coats of acrylic paint in a base color. If you don't want a painted look on the inside of the pot, cover the inside with two coats of spray acrylic sealer instead. Coating the inside will prevent moisture from leaching through when planted, which would bubble the paint and make it come off.

Step 3

Paint your design over the base coats on the outside of the pot. Use foam brushes, stencils, sponge stamps, string dipped in paint and then wrapped around the pot, or anything else you can think of to create your design. Allow the paint design to dry completely.

Step 4

Coat the outside of the pot with two coats of spray acrylic sealer after all the decorating has been done. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next one.

Tips and Warnings

  • Acrylic paint will stain clothes, so wear protective clothing when doing this project.

Things You'll Need

  • Terra cotta pots
  • Water-based acrylic paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Clear spray acrylic sealer


  • The Artistic Garden: Painting Terra Cotta Preparation
Keywords: decorate flower pots, paint terra cotta, container garden

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. Her degree in public law and government began a lifetime love of research, and has served her writing well. Baley has written articles for, and hundreds of articles for