How to Age Terra Cotta | i should be mopping the floor
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How to Age Terra Cotta

Below is a basic tutorial for how to age terra cotta. 
Perfect to give new pots a little character!

It's almost time to get started with spring planting! This is a fun way to give brand new terra cotta pots a bit of age and patina. They look like they've been sitting in the garden for ages! Check out the tutorial below>>>

Here's how my "new" ones look above, on my springtime mantel.
I found the topiaries on clearance for $4 each! Score!

Here's what you'll need for this>>> terra cotta pots {mine were only $1.25 each}, sand {probably cheaper ways of acquiring this, I just grabbed a bag at the craft store}, glue {I like Aleene's Original Tacky Glue}, craft paints {I like Anita's Acrylic in Foliage and White} , and sponge brushes. You'll also need sandpaper.

Water your glue down with a 1:1 ratio mixture. Then paint it liberally to your pot.

Working quickly while the glue/water is still wet, start sprinkling your sand all over the outside surface of the pot.

This is how they look all glued and sandy. Just FYI, this is a very messy project. You may want to work on them outside. 

Allow the pots to dry overnight.

After they've dried for 24 hoursish, you'll take sand paper {preferably adhered to a sanding block, or wrapped around a square of wood} and start knocking down the sand. It's about to get crazy messy. Keep sanding...and sanding...until the bulk of the sand has been knocked off or grinded into the surface of the pot. You'll want to keep a few bumpy areas here and there.

Next, water down both paint colors {again I used a 1:1 ratio of paint and water...although you could probably do a wee bit more water}. Alternate in applying the different colors to the surface randomly. You don't want allover coverage, just random spots.

After playing around a bit, I found that if the paint was still a bit wet, the look was even more authentic. The more it dried, the less authentic it looked. It's sort of a fine line, I wouldn't sand if it's still sopping wet, but wait about ten to twenty minutes before you start the sanding again. You're essentially "smushing" the painted sand around, and taking off paint here and there. This is totally your preference on how aged you want it to look. You can use a sander if you like, but I found that my sanding block worked better for this. Try to sand off all brush strokes of paint that see overly obvious. Maintain a very random pattern as well. 

And there you go. The one on the top of the stack was the wettest when I sanded it again, and I like the way it turned out the best. If I were to do it again, I would work on them one at a time instead of all three at once. 

What do you think? Do you prefer an aged look to your terra cotta pots, too?

Neglect your chores like me and don't miss a thing:


  1. Great tutorial !!! Gotta try this.

  2. Ooo love this! Going to try for spring.

  3. Given how expensive pre-aged terracotta pots are, this is great! And they look awesome! Will have to try, once it gets a bit warmer that is... Thanks!

    -Elyse Ashley

  4. I love projects that turn new things 'old'- this looks like so much fun to do, too! And they would look great in my backyard! Thanks for linking up at Wednesday Whatsits!

  5. OOOOHHHHH love it! Pinning for later yay!

  6. I featured you on my blog at my first ever "Best of the Internet"! Head over and check it out!

  7. Love this... I am featuring you tomorrow. Thank you so much for linking up with The Party Bunch! Desiree

  8. I just bought new terra cotta planters for outside...I'm guessing that if I get a waterproof paint, then this kind of project will hold up on pots kept outside too? Love the look, for sure!