Terra cotta is a common material for outdoor plant pots. The material is a reddish-colored clay that can withstand the elements. Some homeowners paint their terra cotta pots to make them match their landscaping or home decor more appropriately. Once you paint a terra cotta pot, it is important to seal it so the paint does not chip over time. A water-based sealant is the best choice because oil-based sealants can sometimes have a colored tint.

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Terra cotta pots are sturdy but porous.

Step 1

Wait for the paint to dry completely on the terra cotta pot.

Step 2

Wipe the exterior and interior of the pot with a soft cloth to remove any dust or debris.

Step 3

Paint the inside of the pot with a water-based polyurethane varnish using a small paintbrush. Paint the varnish on in an even, thin layer. Set the pot in a sunny spot to speed up the drying time. Let the pot dry according to the package directions. Sealing the inside of the pot, even if it is unpainted, will prevent the porous material from leaking water in case you use it as a planter.

Step 4

Turn the pot upside down. Paint the bottom of the pot with the varnish. Paint the sides of the pot with the varnish, applying it with even strokes. Let the varnish dry. Paint on two more coats of the varnish to the sides of the pot, letting each coat dry between applications.