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Home » LIFESTYLE » HOUSE/GARDEN » How To – Distress Pottery

How To – Distress Pottery


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Today I want to share with you an easy way to give Terra-Cotta pots a distressed vintage look.

I really had fun painting these pots and it is also something you could do with the kids or grand-kids.

I have two methods to achieve the distressed pottery look.

Water Method and Sanding Method

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Water Method

I bought new terra cotta pots to use for this project. First I will show you the water method.

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I used acrylic paint in greens and white.  I found these acrylic paints on Amazon at a great price.

*DecoArt 2-Ounce White Gloss Crafter’s Acrylic Paint

*DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint, 2-Ounce, Hauser Medium Green

You can use whatever colors you like.

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You will need sand paper. I used a fine grit paper.


Distressed PotsSponge brush

Distressed PotsContainer for water to thin paint.

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Thin paint by adding just a little water to your paint.  

As soon as you paint the pot, run under very small stream of water.

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Let dry.

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Sanding Method

The Second Method – Sanding. 

I used two paint colors that complimented each other.

A lighter green and a darker green.  

First paint you light color onto the pot.

Let dry just until it is tacky to the touch.

Then sand the areas that you want to distress.
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After you are happy with the sanding, you paint your second coat of darker color.

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Let the second coat dry completely.

Drying the pots on top of a yogurt container works great.

Distressed PotsOnce the second coat is dry, sand again to get additional distressing.

There is no wrong or right to this.

Just sand until you get the look you like.  

If you take off to much paint, repaint that area, let dry and sand again if you want to have less distressing.

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I sanded the second coat until I got the look I wanted.  

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All finished.

I love the distressed look and they are always unique and one of a kind.  

Which look do you like, the water method or the sanding method?

pinterest reminder


Thanks so much for stopping by.

We would love for you to leave a comment and please visit again soon.  

Have a great week!

Look what you can also do with the distressed pottery.  


Check out the details here to make your pots into Terra Cotta Cafe Pottery.

Come join me for all the fun over on Instagram,you will be glad you did.



  1. June 22, 2015 / 8:15 pm

    What a great way to add interest to plain terra cotta pots, I love it! Pinning! By the way, I’d go crazy without internet for that long!

    • bonbon
      June 23, 2015 / 7:51 am

      Hi Roxanne……..This was a fun project..thank you so much for stopping by and for pinning. I am going to hop over to see your Restoration Hardware Chandelier Hack, sounds very interesting. Hope to see you again soon.

    • bonbon
      June 23, 2015 / 7:53 am

      Hi Amanda……A bigger version of these would be wonderful. I want to give that a try also…..we are moving soon so I am kinda in a DIY limbo until then. Selling one house and building another. I have to keep things to a minimum. LOL! Hope to see you again soon.

  2. June 23, 2015 / 12:43 am

    Oh man no internet for a week would kill me!! But I love how you did these pots I will definitely have to try it!

    • bonbon
      June 23, 2015 / 8:10 am

      Hi Sydney……yes no internet is horrible…..we have it happen periodically, but I guess that is part of the price of living out in country. LOL! Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again soon.

  3. June 23, 2015 / 6:21 am

    I lost internet connection a couple of weeks ago too and like you it drove me crazy!

    Love this idea for giving pots that little extra ‘edge’.

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

    • bonbon
      June 23, 2015 / 8:11 am

      Hi Catherine…..Thanks for stopping by. i love your link party on Monday’s. Have a great week!

  4. bonbon
    June 23, 2015 / 7:49 am

    Hi Deedra…..I am planning on trying some other colors but haven’t yet. I think yellow is going to be my next color selection. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.Hope to see you again soon.

  5. June 23, 2015 / 7:51 am

    Great idea and I love the look!

    • bonbon
      June 23, 2015 / 8:23 am

      Hi Benita…..Thank you and thanks so much for stopping by. I very curious about your Aunt Bee’s Kerosene Cucumbers. Going to head over to your blog and check it out. Have a great week!

  6. Rachael
    June 23, 2015 / 8:14 am

    I love the way the water method ones turned out. I have two new pots sitting in my kitchen that were a mother’s day gift. I want to try this with them before I plant in them. I already have some acrylic paint and sponge brushes leftover from another craft I tried. Pinning this! 🙂

    • bonbon
      June 23, 2015 / 8:20 am

      Hi Rachel…..that is great timing that you got the pots for Mother’s Day and already have the paint and brush. You are set. I had so much fun with this project and I hope you do as well. I would love to see your pots once you have them done. Another great thing about this project is that every pot is unique. Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope to see you again soon!

  7. Lou Lou Girls
    June 26, 2015 / 6:19 pm

    This looks so amazing! I can’t wait to try it. Pinned and tweeted! Thanks for being a part of our party. I hope to see you, Monday at 7 pm. Lou Lou Girls

    • bonbon
      July 1, 2015 / 10:58 am

      Thank you. I appreciate you stopping by.

  8. June 27, 2015 / 9:22 am

    Thanks so much for the tips! Pinning for the future:). Thanks so much for sharing at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link! Have a great weekend!

    • bonbon
      July 1, 2015 / 10:59 am

      Hi Tara. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

  9. Pingback: Something to Talk About Link Party #23 | Karen's Up on The Hill
  10. June 30, 2015 / 1:25 am

    What a fun project! I’ll have to try it this summer with my kiddos! Thanks so much for sharing at the Talented Tuesday Link Party!

    • bonbon
      July 1, 2015 / 11:00 am

      Hi Amy……thanks for stopping by..Have a Great Day!

  11. July 2, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    Your being featured tomorrow on the Inspiration Spotlight Party @DearCreatives feel free to linkup again & grab a featured button. Hope to see you again soon. Have a great 4th of July weekend!

  12. July 3, 2015 / 7:53 am

    These turned out so good! I have loads of these terracotta pots lying around that need a boost. So I’ll have to to give it a try!

  13. July 21, 2015 / 10:49 pm

    Great and easy idea! I am getting one to do this weekend1

  14. April 28, 2016 / 9:34 pm

    ooooo, I like the effect of the water distressing. I paint some pots a couple years ago and did the sandpaper method…which I have a love hate relationship with, so gritty messy. Beautiful pots you put together!

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