Tips for painting terracotta pots
December 11, 2018 5:23 AM   Subscribe

I had some pots laying around. And a silver marker. I did a thing and I LOVED it. A dozen pots later and my metallic markers are bone dry. I want to take the next step in painting pots. I plan to buy a stack of terracotta (red) pots. Can you please recommend for me (A) a type of paint that would work well on stoneware and (B) "traditional" or other colors that look great on terracotta.
posted by rebent to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Acrylic-based paints are probably your best bet. You'll need something with a little body so it won't just sink into the terracotta, so watercolour is out, and oils will just take forever to dry. Acrylic will be reasonably durable. You won't need expensive paint with a heavy pigment load as you'll need a reasonably thick coating anyway to cover the texture on the pot, just look for student grade stuff.

If you like using markers rather than brushes, but you don't want to pay a fortune for use-once markers, look into refillable paint markers. Typically you'll find these in art supply stores near the spray-paint etc as they're usually marketed towards guerrilla urban artists. They'll also have replaceable nibs, which you'll need as they will wear down fairly quickly on the rough texture.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:19 AM on December 11, 2018

Yes, acrylic paints are what you want for this. You may find the search term "tole painting" helpful if you want to search for more details about techniques, designs, etc.
posted by randomnity at 8:30 AM on December 11, 2018

At Michael’s (which is where I buy tiny terra cotta pots for my succulents), they have stuff for decorating terra cotta right next to the pots. You don’t necessarily need to get that exact stuff, but you can see what type of stuff it is.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:14 AM on December 11, 2018

I can recommend that you do NOT completely cover the outside of the pot with paint. This can prevent moisture from evaporating from the plant/pot, and cause a moldy mess.
posted by bonofasitch at 11:21 AM on December 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

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