How to Age Terra Cotta Pots

I love terra cotta pots but I don’t like the bright orange color. I wanted my pots to actually  “look old”, not look like they were “painted to look old”. So today I am going to share two great ways to age terra cotta pots.

Age Terra Cotta pots

I love these hanging shelves I put up on our back porch. I decided the hanging shelves would look great with some small pots and plants. I found these terra cotta pots at Home Depot for $1.29 but knew they needed some TLC. I am not a fan of the bright orange color (as seen below on the left). I have also never “aged” terracotta pots before but knew I wanted them to actually  “look old”, not look like they were “painted to look old”. Today I am sharing the “garden lime” method and the “yogurt method”.

How to Age Terra Cotta Pots

How to Age Terra Cotta Pots Method #1 Garden Lime

What You’ll Need

One bag of Garden Lime

Terra Cotta pots

Sponge Brushes

Paint stirrers

Fine sandpaper, gloves, old plastic bowl

Matte Clear spray

Step By Step

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STEP  #1 

Mix two cups of garden lime with 1 1/2 cups water.  Stir thoroughly (and continue stirring throughout the entire time).

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STEP  #2

With a sponge brush, paint over pots with a thick coat of the lime. Add a second coat if necessary.

DIY How to Age Terra Cotta pots

STEP  #3

Let dry. Sand lightly with sandpaper to create aging spots.

STEP  #4

Spray lightly with clear matte sealer (inside and outside of pots.) Can you believe how easy it is to age terra cotta pots?

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STEP  #5

When completely dry add plants.

Age Terra Cotta pots

Method # 2 – Aging Terracotta pots with Yogurt

What You’ll Need

Plain Yogurt

Terra Cotta pots

Sponge Brushes

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Step By Step

Aging terra cotta planters with yogurt works really well.  Since yogurt works only with porous materials, a terra cotta pot is perfect!  After it is painted, the pot will have a green patina effect. 

STEP #1

Soak a new, dry terra cotta pot in a bowl of water for 15 minutes.

STEP #2

Apply the yogurt on the pot with a sponge brush, using roughly one cup per pot. Don’t worry about painting it perfectly because uneven painting looks best. In fact, you should paint these pots unevenly! 

STEP #3

Keep the pot in a cool moist place for about a month. (Do not store indoors as it will smell.) Plant the pots after four weeks. You will love the look of these pots!

Update: It’s been a few years since I shared how to age terra cotta pots and they all still look exactly the same! I think it’s great that they have lasted so long and stayed “old”. Even the ones I left outside still have an older appearance. I think it just might be time to try this again with some larger pots! I hope you will try this.

Pin the image below to your Gardening or Spring decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

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11 Responses

  1. Love this! I actually just turned a pot I got (the plant die haha I do not have a green thumb) into a rae Dunn inspired pot with a little chalk paint and vinyl! This idea would be fun too! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I haven’t done this in many, many years, but our “old timers” trick was to use buttermilk and lay the pots in a woodsy area where moss grows. The buttermilk culture allows some moss and lichen to attach and start growing that mossy, old pot look. I’ve lived in texas for the last 30 years and don’t have the beautiful mossy forest floors anymore. But those “old” pots were beautiful.

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I'm Leslie,
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