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An old terracotta pot gets an simple faux concrete makeover.
So. I’m kind of obsessed with scavenging things off hard rubbish piles. I’m talking “will literally drive around random neighbourhoods on a weekend looking for trash piles” obsessed.
As a result of this “habit”, I’ve amassed a pretty big collection of garden pots. Small pots, big pots, hideous fluoro green pots: If it’s in good condition, it’s coming home with me.
Incidentally, that’s the same approach I take to men.
(That’s a joke.)
I’ve been meaning to repaint a bunch of these pots since forever, but it’s one of those things I just keep pushing down the DIY to-do list (which seems to get longer every time I look at it…whoops).
But now that we’re moving into our first house in a little over a month’s time, I’m trying to finish at least some of the projects I’ve been putting off. So this weekend I decided to repaint one of the terracotta pots I had in my stash.
I present to you: Boring terracotta pot, exhibit A:
I initially wasn’t sure what to do with it. I briefly considered adding a beaded effect to the pot, but figured that the bumpy texture of the terracotta might not look great with glossy spray paint. Eventually, I realised that the bumpy texture might work well as a base for a faux concrete effect. So I decided to see if I could use some chalk paint to create a fake concrete finish.
For something that was a bit of an experiment, I’m really pleased with how the “concrete” turned out. I think it looks better than my first attempt at creating a faux concrete finish, and that’s probably down to both the choice of paint (chalk paint, my saviour) and the bumpy texture of the terracotta.
It was fairly easy to do, so I thought I’d share the process here in case you’d like to give it a go.
DIY fake concrete pot
Plus some notes for swapping paint colours.
- Terracotta pot
- Sealant: Only required if you want a pot you can use to house a real plant that needs watering.
- Paints: You’ll need white paint, light grey paint, and dark grey paint.
- An old dish sponge.
To begin, I gave the entire pot (both inside and out) a spray with terracotta sealant and left it to dry overnight. You can also use acrylic sealant or polyurethane for this step. The aim here is to (1) reduce the porosity of the pot so you don’t have to apply as much paint and (2) to stop water seeping out from inside the pot and damaging the paint.
If you want to make a pot for an artificial plant, you don’t really need to do this. With that said, without sealant the terracotta is more porous, so you will need to apply a few more coats of paint to get the colour you want.
Once the primer was dry, I started painting my pot. For this step I used a few different chalk paint colours because I already had them, but you can also use acrylic paint for this step. See the supplies list above for recommendations.
I applied two light coats of Rust-Oleum’s Aged Grey chalk paint to the pot and left it to dry for about half an hour. I didn’t bother painting all the way down on the inside as I figured it would be covered with dirt anyway.
Once the paint was dry, I dipped an old dish sponge into some Country Grey chalk paint. I dabbed the sponge on a rag to remove the excess paint, then dabbed it on the pot at random. The goal here is to emulate the texture/colour variation found in real concrete.
Every so often I would switch to a clean part of the sponge and use that to blend the paint slightly, as I found that made the fake concrete effect look more realistic.
If you’re feeling lazy (hey, no judgement, I feel that), you can stop at this point because the faux concrete already looks pretty good. But I’m a sucker for things that look a bit old so I decided to age my faux concrete slightly.
To do this, I dipped the sponge in some Linen White chalk paint and dabbed it all over the pot. As with the Country Grey, every so often I would switch to a clean part of the sponge and use that to blend the white paint into the greys. I didn’t really use any particular technique – I just dabbed the paint over the pot until I thought it looked okay.
Once the paint was dry, I gave the pot another two coats of the terracotta primer and sealer to protect the chalk paint from water damage. Like I mentioned above, you can also seal your pot with a few coats of waterproofing spray, spray acrylic sealant, or polyurethane, if that’s easier to find where you are.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with how my pot turned out, especially given how easy it was to do. The next challenge is not killing the flower that I’ve planted in the pot. If I can do that, it’ll be an absolute miracle.
You can pin this project for later here
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