Terra cotta is a popular type of clay-based ceramic material. It has been used throughout the ages for both practical building construction and artistic creations. Terra cotta vessels, such as jars and pots, are often seen today, and terra cotta planters are a common sight in gardens. Because terra cotta is a clay-based material, it quickly absorbs additives, making regular cleaning a necessity. When removing paint from terracotta, you will need to focus on sanding and scraping as a removal method, as regular paint strippers will just be absorbed into the clay.
Clean the terra cotta thoroughly to remove any dirt or grime. Dry it completely with a clean rag.
Take a piece of coarse sandpaper and gently sand the area that is painted. Apply more pressure if the paint is difficult to remove, or wet sand the area by dampening the sandpaper with water.
Scrape at the painted area using a putty knife. Focus on any areas where the sandpaper failed to remove the paint.
Fill a bucket with hot, soapy water. Submerge the terra cotta and scrub the remaining paint with a wire bristle brush.
Leave the terra cotta submerged in water for 24 hours to soften and loosen remaining paint. Repeat sanding and scrubbing after the terra cotta has soaked for a full day.