DIY Color Block Terracotta Pot

The other day I came across this beautiful painted wooden spoon tutorial. I trashed all my wooden spoons a while ago after finding splinters in my cookie dough, but I figured I could apply the same technique to a terracotta pot. I love the contrast of the high gloss shellacked paint next to the matte terracotta. This would make a great Mother’s Day gift with a set of DIY herb markers and a plantable Mother’s Day card tucked inside!

DIY color block planter pot


terracotta pot and saucer
masking tape
paint brush
acrylic paint
aluminum foil
shellac (available at hardware stores, this kind worked great)
twine & hot glue (optional)

How to:

1. First tape off your planter. This part is a little tricky since the pot tapers. I found it best to tear roughly 2″ pieces of tape and overlap them around the pot, being careful to form a straight line with the bottom edge of the tape.

DIY color block planter pot

2. Prime the pot and saucer and allow them to dry. I let mine dry for about an hour. You can skip the primer if you want, but then you’ll have to apply more coats of paint to get full coverage.

3. After the primer is dry, paint the pot and saucer with acrylic paint. Let the paint dry and reapply if necessary. My pot needed two coats of paint.

4. Next you’ll apply the shellac to give the paint that high gloss shine. If you’re using spray shellac, cover the unpainted edge of the pot with aluminum foil to make sure it stays shellac-free and keeps its matte finish. Apply the shellac according to the package instructions. I used two coats. Carefully remove the tape after your last coat of shellac.

DIY color block planter pot

5. Let your planter dry for 24 hours or more before setting it in the saucer. Otherwise you might have problems with the shellac sticking.

6. If you like, tie a bit of twine around the pot. The twine adds interest by bringing in another texture, and it will also cover any imperfections where paint may have oozed under the masking tape. If you have trouble with the twine slipping down, a few dots of hot glue here and there should solve the problem.

DIY color block planter pot


  1. Linda Leyble

    Hi – I loved this project. It’s simple, decorative and different. Looks better than just the sale ol’ same ol’ – something that will get noticed.

    Very nice! Found it on Bright Bazaar (wish he would notice me sometime!!)


  2. Kristen

    I love this post! Such a really great tutorial – and just my “speed”…only a few steps and a few materials and a really great but simple end result. Bravo. I am definetly going to do this with all the ugly terra cotta pots I have in the garage! :-)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      That’s my DIY “speed” too Kristen. Nothing too complicated! :)

  3. Jill

    Love this post! Just wondering if you bought the terra cotta pots grey or was that the primer? If you bought them grey, where from? Great tutorial!

  4. Maggey

    Thanks! I have to use containers this year for most of my plants due to too much shade at my new house. I purchased large, boring, yet affordable terra cotta pots at Ikea and was looking for a way to spruce them up.

    Will the shellac help seal the pots? I’ll be using all of mine out doors. Would you recommend spray painting with a clear sealer?

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      If you’re going to use these outside try to find a shellac or clear sealer that specifically says it’s for outdoor use. They have a bunch of different sealers to choose from at home improvement stores.

  5. Artemis

    Thank you for inspiration.
    I attempted the project but the white air baked clay cracked and came of the terracotta pot overnight.
    What should I do?

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      This project only uses paint, so I’m not sure what you’re trying to do with the air dry clay. Sorry I can’t be more helpful! :)

Leave a Reply to Charlotta Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *