DIY Age Plastic Terra Cotta Flower Pots

INSIDE: How to age plastic terra cotta flower pots using paint, water and a sanding block.

How to age plastic flower pots | DazzleWhileFrazzled.comWe commandeered my father-in-law’s very old and very rusty metal wheelbarrow that he had brought over for a landscaping project last summer. The moment I saw this rusted thing emerge from his trunk, I knew I wanted it. Not for moving rocks or dirt but as part of my landscape decor!

Once he realized his old-time wheelbarrow had found itself a new home (and we ordered him a heavy duty plastic yard cart to sweeten the deal), I worked on filling it full of varied pots and plants. A shiny new flower pot would not fit the look I was after and I don’t have the patience to wait for “real” terra cotta to age. So instead I found an easy way to age plastic “faux” terra cotta flower pots instead…

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how to age plastic terra cotta flower pots

While I love the look of real terra cotta, especially as it wears and ages, it is not the most practical in my ‘hood. See, I live in the southwest – Arizona – home of the University of Arizona wildcats, soaring saguaro cactus, gorgeous sunsets…and wild “pigs” known as javalina.

These interesting-looking mammals come out at dusk and travel in herds, riffling through garbage cans, eating newly planted vegetation and knocking over a wheelbarrow of potted plants. Technically, this hasn’t happened yet but I know it will. I’ve probably just jinxed my wheelbarrow luck!

So when this nighttime mishap happens, I’ll need only replace a few plants and not pots (thus: plastic). It’s taken me 11 years but I’m finally figuring out how the desert works!

DIY Age plastic terra cotta pots

To mimic the look of aged terra cotta, you will need:
– plastic flower pots (I used these)
– self etching primer (this is my go to)
– patio craft paint in white + paint brush
– outdoor craft paint – blue (optional)
– sanding block
– disposal bowl
– paper towel or old rag

‘Faking It’ Step #1
Paint does not adhere (permanently) to plastic or coated surfaces. Give the plastic flower pots a spray with the self etching primer. I did mine sparingly and not a full coat.
How to age plastic flower pots
‘Putting On An Act’ Step #2
Pour the white paint into a disposal bowl and add some water. Enough to water it down. With your surface covered (this project gets messy), apply the watered down paint to a section of the flower pot and immediately wipe with the paper towel. Repeat this process until the pot is covered and you’re liking the look.

How to age plastic terra cotta flower pots

‘It’s All a Show’ Step #3
I then repeated the above process with some watered down blue paint, just to add a touch of color.
How to age plastic flower pots
‘Make Believe’ Step #4
Once dry, I used a sanding block to rough it up and give it more of an aged look.
How to age plastic flower pots
And there is your fast and easy way to take an inexpensive plastic flower pot and make it look less “faux” and more like aged terra cotta…but one that can withstand some curious javalina!

What garden tricks have you discovered?
How to age plastic flower pots

Want more flower pots ideas? Check out my e-Book: Don’t Toss the Pots. Craft ideas for those plastic flower pots your plants, vines and bushes come in.
Don't Toss the Pots Craft Ideas for Plastic Flower Pots ebook |

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27 thoughts on “DIY Age Plastic Terra Cotta Flower Pots

  1. Katrin says:

    The flower pots look so great and like real aged ones! Great way of getting the look right away and the wheelbarrow is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing at Sweet Inspiration #3! Have a lovely weekend!

  2. Jessica H. says:

    I love this project! I have a bunch of plastic pots that could definitely use a new look. Thanks so much for linking up with us for Maker’s Mix-Up this week! Hope to see you again this week!

  3. Ashleigh says:

    Thanks for sharing on Peace Love Link-up! We hope to see you at our next party. It goes live tomorrow at 6 so grab a button and drop off anything else you might be working on! : )

    • DazzleWhileFrazzled says:

      Hi Audra! Whenever I’m painting anything plastic, I always use self-etching primer before I paint with “real” paint. You could experiment with the spray kilz and see what happens. The point is to get the “real” paint to stick to something.

  4. Christine says:

    Loving that antique wheel barrow! I have a rusty old radio flyer wagon that’s hanging out n my garage and I am hoping to get it back out in my garden soon! Thanks for the tutorial on aging pots. The plastic ones are what’s in my budget right now. lol

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