Last week my brother emailed me to ask a couple questions for his crafty girlfriend. She's planning on decorating some terra cotta pots but wanted to know what would work and what wouldn't. Since my brain is full of crap, errr craft, I had some advice that went a little something like this:
Paint pens should work for a nice opaque color. Most of them are oil which will work best.
A few tips: because water seeps through terra cotta, the paint will peel over time; also
terra cotta needs to be taken in over winter because of the amount of moisture it absorbs, otherwise it will crack when the temperature drops drastically. To prevent those things from happening you can spray or brush on a clear varnish (2-3 coats) on the inside and outside before decorating with the paint pens.
After seeing the Cabin House's Fancy Pots, I thought it would be fun to revive a couple of my old pots with a batik-like look. I tried both the slick puffy paint look, and washable gel glue so the terra cotta would peek through. With both I used cheap acrylic craft paints (the 99 cent bottles) and an interior/exterior satin varnish (found with the cheap acrylics at the craft store).
Here's the run down for the puffy paint version: Draw all over the pot with the puffy paint--the more lines the more detail, the more unique the pot will look, I made a doily version. Let the puffy paint dry thoroughly. Then use a slightly watered down acrylic paint (black) and brush it over the lacy puff paint, wiping off the excess with a damp rag as you go (this keeps the puffy paint nice and white.) Next, if you want a little extra color, paint the rim and the inside. Let everything dry, then coat the entire pot with 2 or 3 coats of clear varnish (allowing the varnish to dry between coats).
The gel glue was a little more time consuming, but just as fun! I started off drawing my pattern with the gel glue (just a thin, non-goopy line works well), which was a repetition of quick, loopy, fanciful flowers. Let the glue dry thoroughly. Cover it with one coat of acrylic paint. Let that dry thoroughly (drying is a recurring theme). Next, rinse the paint off under running water, gently rubbing off the glue, working your way across the entire pattern. I think submersing the pot in a bucket of water would work as well and save water, also gently rubbing off the glue. Let the pot dry. Paint the inside of the pot, let that dry, then cover the whole thing in several coats of varnish (letting it dry in between coats).
Once the varnish is dry, you can pot 'em up, put 'em out with great pride in your pretty planters!
Renee Garner has a passion to make things grow, although her brownish thumb wants her to believe otherwise. When mud pies aren't on the menu, you can find her doodling the days away at Wolfie and the Sneak.