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How to White Wash Terracotta Pots with Chalk Paint

Today, we’re sharing how to white wash terracotta pots with chalk paint. 

I love to be outside every chance I get so it was fun to spend a few hours last week working in our potting shed. We’re not doing anything major to it right now, mostly just prepping the shed for a new season. 

I’ll admit it’s been tough keeping the plants on the front porch and around our property alive in this crazy Florida heat though. As my sisters both say, “It’s hotter than a pepper patch!”

Searching for Indoor Plant Inspiration…

While I won’t be planting anything new outside for a few months, I’m always on the hunt for plants that will thrive indoors.

I’m still trying to decide if I want to tackle the fickle fiddle leaf fig tree, low key air plants, violets, sweet potato vines or embrace faux plants from IKEA. 

I think some herbs in the kitchen or succulents would be pretty too.

While I’m trying to decide which indoor plants will work best, I’ve been on the hunt for pots and containers that look like they’ve been aged over time.

I’ve seen terracotta pots that have been given a white wash with milk paint, some that have strictly used white wax and even some other weathering techniques that use buttermilk.

Given I had a bit of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White left from a few other projects, I decided to give it a try too.

Here’s a look at how you can give your terracotta pots and “aged” appearance with chalk paint. Bonus, you can personalize them too…

White Washing Terracotta Pots with Chalk Paint Supplies:

  • Terracotta Pots (size of your choice)
  • Tarp (to protect your surfaces)
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (we used Old White) 
  • Chip Brush
  • Cup of Water 
  • Paper Towels or Old Rag/Tee Shirt 
  • Computer, Printer, Paper to Print Out of Words/Quotes or Stencils (optional unless you are customizing your terracotta pots)
  • Graphite Pencil (optional unless you are customizing your terracotta pots)
  • Scissors (optional unless you are customizing your terracotta pots)
  • Blue Painters Tape (optional unless you are customizing your terracotta pots)
  • Ball Point Pen (optional unless you are customizing your terracotta pots)
  • Black Craft Paint (optional unless you are customizing your terracotta pots)
  • Fine Detail Art Brush (optional unless you are customizing your terracotta pots)

White Washing Terracotta Pots with Chalk Paint Steps:

Start with a clean terracotta pot using a paper towel, cloth, or tarp to protect your work surface.

Next, water down your chalk paint just a bit (think the consistency of crepe batter as opposed to the consistency of pancake batter) and paint directly on the pot with a brush or

dip a paper towel, cloth or shop towel directly into the thinned out paint and wipe directly on to the terracotta pot.

Continue to layer with the white washed chalk paint mixture until you’ve achieved the aged look you’re after.

Blot with a paper towel as needed to help lessen the appearance of brush strokes.

Allow the white washed terracotta pot to dry completely. So pretty and easy too, right?

How to Personalize White Washed Terracotta Pots:

At this point you can leave the terracotta pot “aged” or you can personalize your pot to give it a custom look.

To add something that has special meaning, use a program like Word to spell out what you want to express and then print it out on plain white paper from the printer at your home.

Using caution and care as scissors will be sharp cut around the word/phrase/number then flip it over and color over the expression with a no. 2 lead or graphite pencil.

Once you’re finished, placed the graphite colored portion directly onto the “aged” pot and secure in place with blue painter’s tape.

Next, using a ballpoint pen outline each letter or number.

After you’ve outlined each letter or number, lift the paper off the pot where you should see the expression image has been transferred directly onto the “aged” pot.

Use a fine point art brush and an acrylic craft paint of your choice (I’m using black) to outline and fill in your expression image.

So Many Options to Try…

I couldn’t decide between leaving the pots aged, adding a number or adding a phrase so I tried all three.

Using a number on the terracotta pots would be cute for birthdays, special occasions or house numbers too.

Using a word or expression would be good gift to give as a get well soon, thinking of you, new neighbors or even as something special for your child’s teacher. 

After all, you-know-what will be starting in just a few short weeks.

Of course you could always add a monogram or the name of your house for a dose of southern charm.  You could also create a French inspired flower pot as well.

Honestly, the possibilities are endless!

Do you guys have anything growing in the garden this season or are you prepping your potting shed? Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. CoCo – love the whitewashed garden pots! Adding painted numbers and phrases is such a great way to personalize your space. We’re thinking these would make great gifts as well. Much love!

      1. Priscilla says:

        Did you seal these? If you didn’t seal them won’t the whitewash wash right off? My first attempts at painting clay were a disaster because I did not seal the pots first.

        1. Thank you so much for your question, Priscilla! I did not seal these as they’re mostly used indoors or on the porch which is covered. Although they do get rained on sometimes when we have a bad storm, so far the chalk paint has stayed in place with no problems. So, I reached out to one of my friends who painted a larger flower pot also using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for her advice. Her flower pot is completely exposed to the weather elements. She said she sprayed 3 thin coats of sealer (Krylon Color Master Acrylic Crystal Clear Indoor/Outdoor in Clear with a Flat finish) onto her pots. Be sure to dry between each coat. Her pots are fairly large so it took one whole can for 2 flower pots. I hope this helps! I’ll be sure to update the blog post in case other people have your same question. Thanks so much for reaching out. I hope your day has been a good one, CoCo

          1. Priscilla says:

            I appreciate the thorough answer! Thanks! I am thinking you did not plant directly in them yet? Watering plants in them might prove to be a problem. Maybe the paint is so thin it will take some time to show, so keep an eye out. I’d hate to see your pots ruined.

          2. Great advice, Priscilla! Thanks so much for the heads up, I’ll keep my eye on them for sure. Hope you’re having a great day, CoCo

  2. Great tips, thanks for sharing them! The garden pots look like new and adding numbers and words on them adds character to any space or garden you decide to put them in. Definitely an easy and personalized way to transform a home and outdoor area and make them more summerish.

    1. Thanks so much Katarina! We love how easy the pots were to customized and how quickly they all came together too. Hope you’re having a great day, CoCo

    1. I really appreciate your sweet words, Sylvia, thank you so much. I’ve used a lot of different chalk paint brands but I keep going back to Annie Sloan. It’s always dependable 🙂 Hope your week has been fantastic. Hugs, CoCo

  3. Coco,
    Another great project!! Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by once again and for your sweet comment!!! I truly do appreciate you taking the time to do so!!

    1. I really appreciate it, Deb! Thank you so much. Sending you hugs for a happy weekend, CoCo

  4. I literally was just going to ask Google about how to whitewash Terra cotta pots! I just bought some from the $ store for my upcoming spring decor!! It’s like you read my mind, CoCo! Thanks so much for helping a girl out!!

    1. You are so welcome, Rachel! That post is one of our most popular posts and whitewashing the pots is so easy to do too. You’re a talented lady so I know whatever you’re up to is going to be amazing. Can’t wait to see how it all comes together, CoCo

  5. I have chalk painted pots and they’re still perfect. Chalk paint lasts. The only negative is they may fade in sun.

    I figure mine are whiter, lol.


  6. Coco- this is such a great idea and so easy to do. I love the look of aged terracotta. Your photos are great as are the step by step instructions! When you said your sisters say “it’s hotter than a pepper patch” – It reminded me of the Johnny Cash -June Carter Cash song “Jackson “. Hugs , Anna

  7. What a fabulous tutorial, CoCo… thank you for sharing! I love the look of white-washed terra cotta pots. They seem both clean and rustic at the same time, and I just love your creative tip to add words or numbers, too!

    1. Thank you bunches, Heidi! They were super easy to make and something that you can use year-round too which is nice. Hope you’ve had a great week, CoCo

  8. I love terra cotta pots, I used to paint them and make them up as gifts. Thank you for reminding me I should begin doing this again. I love the way yours look weathered. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Love this simple craft, CoCo! I was happy to also share it at last week’s SYS #390 for you. <3

    Barb 🙂

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