Can You Paint Terracotta Pots With Plants In Them?

Do you want to give your potted plants a makeover? Wondering whether you can paint your terracotta pots with plants already inside them? Or will it cause your plants harm or even kill them altogether? Well, I’ve shared everything you need to know below. 

So, can you paint terracotta pots with plants in them? You can paint terracotta pots with plants in them. Though, you will need to do so carefully and be sure to adequately cover your plants with a protective sheet (plastic works well here) to ensure they do not come into contact with the paint.

Adhering to the outlined best practices will ensure that your plants remain in their usual great condition and continue to thrive despite the exciting renovations happening around them! 

Read on for a step-by-step guide and useful tips. 

How To Paint Terracotta Pots With Plants In Them

What You Will Need 

Let’s talk equipment! First and foremost, you’ll need the following:

  • The terracotta pot(s), 
  • Paint, 
  • Paintbrush, 
  • Paint tray. 

You’ll also want to protect your work surface and have a plan for where you’ll store your pots once they’re finished. 

Next, because you already have a plant inside the pot, you’ll need to protect it from the paint during the process.

It may sound daunting but really, doing so is as simple as temporarily covering the plant in plastic wrap and sealing it with tape to keep it secure. Easy as pie! 

Step-by-Step Instructions 

Now that you’ve got the equipment covered, you can get cracking. 

Cover Your Plant

Your first call of action is to cover your plant.

Ensure that the plastic wrap covers the entirety of it, and remember to seal it with some tape to avoid paint, in any form, from coming into contact with it.

If you don’t have any plastic to hand, cardboard should work too. 

Prepare The Pot

Next, go ahead and prepare the terracotta pot.

Start by cleaning it with a wet cloth to remove any dust and grime from its surface, and if it’s a new pot, remove any stickers.

Allow the pot to air dry before proceeding with the next and no less vital step – sanding!

Sand The Pot

If your pot is brand spanking new and perfectly smooth, you probably won’t need to sand it.

But if you notice that it has a few surface-level imperfections and that its surface isn’t completely even, it’s definitely worth sanding it lightly and smoothing it out.

Once you’ve finished sanding, be sure to thoroughly remove any new dust and debris from your pot before moving forward. 

Prime The Pot

Once you’re happy with the texture and surface of your pot, it’s time to prime it.

A couple of coats of clay pot sealer applied to all sides of the pot will do the job!

For optimal aesthetic results, ensure that you apply the primer evenly and, of course, that you allow it to dry before proceeding to paint. 

Paint The Pot

Now that your pots are clean and prepared, it’s time for your creative streak to take the reins. It’s time to paint!

Acrylic paint tends to be a reliable option here; it adheres well to terracotta pots, is highly pigmented, and has a track record for durability in the face of external elements.

Once you’ve picked out the perfect color or two, you can get started.

You may want to apply a single color across the entire pot or spruce it up even more with a funky design.

Anything goes, but no matter which route you choose, remember that it’s best to paint in layers, allowing each layer to dry before proceeding with the next.

This will help you to achieve as smooth a finish as possible. 

Seal The Paint

Once the paint has dried, it’s imperative to secure your efforts by applying a waterproof sealer over it.

One or two coats of a clear sealer will do wonders to protect your paint job against ordinary wear and tear.

Remove The Cover

Now with your pot painted and sealed, you can finally unleash your plant.

Remove the plastic wrap and allow your unharmed plant to acclimatize to and bask in its newfound aesthetic. 

Other Tips And Suggestions When Painting Terracotta Pots With Plants In Them

Consider the Paint You Use

As you endeavor to transform your terracotta pots into eye-catching planters, the right paint can make all the difference.

But it’s important to note that not all paints are up to the job. The two most reliable options are acrylic paints and spray paints. 

If you’re looking for a smooth, glossy finish, acrylic paints are a great option.

Plus, their water-based nature and subsequent weather resistance deem them an ideal candidate for all things outdoor projects. 

Alternatively, spray paints are very easy to use, making them a great option for DIY newbies.

With ease, you’ll be able to create multi-colored designs and textures, and all in very little time too. 

Be Sure To Cover Your Plants

Covering your plants is essential when it comes to painting your home, and there are several reasons why.

Not only can paint fumes damage delicate foliage, but contact with the paint itself can stain or even kill your plants.

Not to mention, the mess of dripping paint can be a nightmare to clean up.

Fortunately, protecting your plants with cardboard or plastic sheets is quick and easy, and as an added bonus, you can always reuse the materials for future painting projects.

Preparation Is Key

Painting a pot can be a fun and creative way to personalize any space.

However, before you jump in and start smearing paint all over the pot, it is essential to take one step that is much too easy to overlook: preparation.

Preparing the pot is a crucial step in the painting process, as it ensures that the paint will adhere to the pot properly and lasts a long time.

Skipping this essential step could lead to premature peeling paint, chipping, and an overall unattractive finish.

With the right preparation, you’ll see your efforts go much further. 

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