Painted terracotta pots with chalkboard paint labels

March 29, 2012 § 16 Comments

Ever since the beginning of this year I have decided to try my hand at a number of homemade things in an effort to save money. One project I have very much been looking forward to is trying my hand at planting herbs and vegetables. I have never planted before, so I decided to start small with a few herbs and cherry tomatoes. Even though it isn’t much, I know it will save us some cash in the long run. Because we hope to be moving in closer to the city this summer or early fall, I want to be able to bring my plants with me…therefore container planting seems to be the way to go. I decided to paint some terracotta pots to pretty them up a bit!

What I used

  • Leftover house paint (I started off with yellow, but I decided I didn’t like it, so later mixed other paints to make a nice minty color)
  • Thompson’s Water Seal* (this can be found at Lowes for about $5)
  • Chalk paint (0.69)
  • Terracotta pots (I got these at Michael’s using a 40% off coupon…making it 4.79 for the two of them)
  • A paintbrush

How to

1. Spray the interior of the pots with a coat or two of Thompson’s water seal. This ensures the paint on the outside won’t be ruined from the absorbent clay.

2. Wipe down the pot with a damp rag to ensure the pot is completely free of dirt and dust (and price label).

3. Paint the pot with a thick coat of paint.

4. Paint the inside rim, where the dirt won’t cover.

5. Get some chalkboard paint (a little bottle can be found in most craft stores), along with a paint brush and some painters tape (didn’t realize I wanted it until after I took the photo).

6. Tape the guidelines. If you are a perfectionist, measure away…I just eyeballed it.

7. Fill in the guidelines with the chalkboard paint.

8. Let the paint dry completely, then remove the tape. Get out some chalk and label it up! Two adorable painted pots with a labels, all for about $12, seeds included.

I think having these plants will save us more than $12 this summer, so I consider it a worthy investment (not to mention reusing the pots each year)!

P.S. I have since added soil and planted my seeds. I have little basil plant sprouts, but the parsley hasn’t showed up yet. I hope it makes it!

*Note: Some concern has been brought to my attention that the water sealer (more specifically the chemicals in the water sealer) may not be best used on pots that will have edible plants in them. I am researching this now (I sent an email to the manufacturer) and will update you as I get more information. Either way, I am sure that it would still be fine for flowers and other non-edible plants, so paint away!


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§ 16 Responses to Painted terracotta pots with chalkboard paint labels

  • Anne Beavers says:

    Very cute! You’ll have to plant some rosemary and cilantro, too! I’m inspired – perhaps I’ll plant some as well.

  • whitney says:

    love the mint color you picked!

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  • Gabrielle says:

    I’ve painted a flower pot WITHOUT the water seal, so I’m not certain you need it! 3 years later, there paint job is still in tact, and it’s been outside the entire time.

    • Jenevieve says:

      Thanks, Gabrielle! That’s good to know. When I was doing research most sources said that I needed a sealant or the paint would get warped and peel off. Glad to know it works three years later :)

  • Angie says:

    I’m probably missing something really obvious, but you do spray the outside of the pot with the water sealer, correct? I have tried this in the past, using acrylic sealer, and my pots chipped, and they’re strictly inside pots, so I’m anxious to try this! Love the blue you used too!

    • Angie says:

      Just reread your post–do you waterseal the inside to keep the water from seeping through from the inside out? I thought you had to somehow seal the outside so that the terra cotta doesn’t soak up tons and tons of paint. Thanks!

    • Jenevieve says:

      Hi Angie! Yes, the idea is that by putting the sealant on the inside it works from the inside out. I think you could probably apply the sealant on either side, but I think doing both might be a bit overkill (and it would use up twice the amount of sealant). I hope that’s helpful for you!

  • Molly says:

    I’ve tried painting pots with no sealer and the paint peeled off immediately. Then I tried a wood stain (a very, very dark color) and that worked great…

    • Jenevieve says:

      Hey Molly, wood stain didn’t occur to me…that’s a neat thought! I wonder if there is any way to achieve a textured-type look with stain? It would be fun to experiment!

  • SJC says:

    Whatever you do, you HAVE to do it to the inside. In my research a few years ago, the bigger concern to the plants was the paint used, then I purchased a brush-on sealer. I learned that you HAVE to seal the inside of the pot or whatever you do on the outside will eventually peel. I followed what many of the professionals have done with clay, either pots or cooking pans, and left the inside paint-free, as well as the edge on top, The one I didn’t treat peeled like crazy. Those I did seal are still looking great years later. It’s the same principle when you paint or do something to wood, especially if thin or particle. If you do it to one side and not the other, often you get “issues”, maybe with it arcing, swelling, etc.

    • Jenevieve says:

      Yes, it does seem that a sealant is necessary if you don’t want peeling or warping of the paint. Sounds like your research and mine were similar!

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