pfpphoto courtesy of Ben+Sam http://www.flickr.com/photos/wlscience/3661729639/If you have a plain clay or terracotta flower pot that needs a facelift, consider painting it. 

You can paint it a solid color, paint the body one color and the band another, paint stenciled shapes on it, paint freehand polka dots, or paint a scene on it like an artist's canvas. 

Here are a few ways to paint a clay or terracotta flower pot.

 

Prepare First
Whatever method you use to paint the exterior of your terracotta pot, you must first preparing your pot for painting. 

Start by cleaning your pot using soap and water (however you may need a brush to get off tough stains or pesky price stickers). 

Ensure that the pot is completely dry before proceeding. 

 

You should also seal the inside of the terracotta pot to ensure water does not wick through your pot and mess up your paint job.

You can use 2 coats of any color spray paint, spray polyurethane, or a water sealant (such at Thompson's Water Seal) to seal the inside of your terracotta pot. 

Before proceeding, make sure the entire pot is completely dry - it should not feel cool to the touch.  You can dry it in the sun or wait overnight or for several days.

 

Spray Paint
The fastest and easiest way to paint a clay pot is by using spray paint. 

You can paint your clay pot an earthtone color to blend with the surrounding landscape, a bold color, a fluorescent color, a glow in the dark color, a metallic color, using chalkboard paint, or anything else you can dream up. 

First, put the clay pot on a drop cloth or old newspaper so you don't get overspray on anything important.  You may want to start painting using a primer for a more consistant final coat and to help the paint adhere better. 

After the primer, use several light coats of your desired spray paint.  Consider not painting the bottom so the paint won't rub off when the pot is moved around. 

Use 2 coats of a polyurethane sealer over your top coat of paint to protect your paint job.

 

Brush On Paint
You can use brush on your paint instead of spray paint on your flower pot if you wish. 

Start by painting your flower pot with a primer. 

After the primer has dried, use acrylic or latex paint with a house painting brush or an artist's brush. 

After creating your flower pot masterpiece, use several coats of a polyurethane to protect the paint job.

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