How to Paint Clay Pots

    by Natasha Lawrence

    About the Author

    For over 25 years, Natasha Lawrence has written for publications from "Alaska Business Monthly" to "Savannah Magazine" and provided destination content as Florida city editor for Wcities. Her expertise in arts and crafts includes calligraphy, painting, mosaics, jewelry making, paper crafts and home decor, often offering workshops in museums and art centers.


    Whether painted in bright solid colors or with cheerful images of flowers and decorative designs, painting pots will appeal to children and adults. No artistic ability is required. Whatever the painting plan, the end result will be an attractive garden container for flowers or foliage, or a kitchen container for cooking utensils.

    Things You'll Need

    • Clay pots
    • Plastic drop cloth or newspapers
    • Paper plate
    • Assorted paintbrushes
    • Bowl with water
    • Paper towels
    • Acrylic paints, assorted colors
    • Acrylic sealer
    • Graphite tracing paper
    • Marker

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    Preparation Steps

    Cover your work area with plastic or with newspapers.

    Clean the pots with damp cloth to remove dust or dirt. Allow them to dry.

    Make small puddles of paint on the paper plate, spacing them so they don't run together.

    Impressionistic Painting

    Dip your brush in water and blot it lightly on paper towels before dipping one corner of a brush into one color and the other corner into different color, making sure to pick up a generous amount of paint. For example, you might dip your brush into both red and orange, or you might choose green and blue.

    Brush the paint up, down and sideways across one side of the pot in short strokes, making a "Monet" or impressionistic blend of colors. You may find it easier to hold the pot aloft while painting it. Continue to reload the brush with paint and brush around the entire pot.

    Dab the painted surface with other colors to add highlights and texture, continuing to use short strokes or light taps.

    Let the paint dry for up to 24 hours before brushing the surface with acrylic varnish sealer.

    Painted Designs

    Paint with a solid base coat of color. Allow it to dry thoroughly

    Trace your design on the pot with graphite transfer paper.

    Paint the design with the colors of your choice. After allowing it to dry, add outlines and embellishments, like stitch lines, with a fine-point permanent marker.

    Brush the dried pot with acrylic varnish sealer. Allow it to dry thoroughly.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/ Images