DIY Dry Brush Terra Cotta Pots + Clay Trim

Today’s DIY is super simple, quick, and beautiful – my kind of DIY! I whipped up these dry brushed terra cotta pots with a beautiful clay mold trim in 24 hours! This project is perfect if you are looking an easy way to dress up your standard terra cotta pots. I am sooo in love with how these pots turned out, I can’t stop looking at them!

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A couple of moths ago, my mother-in-law and I did a class together to learn how to use Dixie Belle paint (click HERE for my review of the paint) and while we were there, she bought me these silicone molds! I love them! As soon as I got my hands on them I knew I wanted to use them to dress up little pots, I’ve just been waiting for some spring weather for this project.

 

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I used the molds and air dry clay to create a vintage, handmade detail. I then decided to use a two color dry brush technique to achieve a chippy, farmhouse look. And the results are stunning. If you are interested in a one color dry brush technique, click HERE to read how I did this on a pitcher.

Some tips before you get started

You will want to plan for this project to span two days if you are using the air clay to add a trim detail to your pots. The clay needs to set and adhere to the pots before painting!

You can use older pots instead of new! Just make a solution of 50% water and 50% vinegar and give your pot a scrub. It doesn’t need to look perfect since we are painting them here. Just use this technique to get the hardened materials and grime off of your pots.

I like to test this dry brush technique on the bottom of my saucers before giving the entire pot a try. I feel like it helps me get a good technique going!

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Materials

  • terra cotta pots and saucers (I used both new and old, see my tip above for using older pots)
  • flat chip paint brush (similar to THIS)
  • Gray acrylic or chalk paint (I used Annie Sloan’s French Linen)
  • White acrylic or chalk paint (I used Annie Sloan’s Old White)
  • Silicone Mold Tray (I used the Redesign 636340 mold which I bought at a local antique shop and couldn’t find online, but I found a similar one HERE and HERE)
  • Air Dry Clay (I used THIS brand and really loved it)
  • Multi-surface Adhesive that dries clear (I used THIS and I could not have been more pleased)

 

Directions:

Clay Mold Trim Detail

  1. Roll your air dry clay into little “ropes” and place into the silicone mold for your desired trim. Carefully push the clay into the mold until the entire mold is covered.IMG_4531IMG_4532
  2. Using your finger (I’m sure there is a fancy tool out there to do this… but my fingers are free and work great lol) remove any excess clay. Your goal is to make sure the clay is only inside the mold (so there is not extra clay on the outside edges of the design).IMG_4533IMG_4534
  3. Wait 3-5 minutes until the clay settles a bit into the mold (but make sure it does not start to dry). Gently remove the clay from the mold, trying to get it out in one piece. If it breaks while you take it out, you can either repeat the process or go with it and try to seal the two pieces.IMG_4535
  4. Turn your pot on its side (you may need to use odds and ends to prop it up so it doesn’t roll). Lay the mold on your pot in the area you plan to glue it.IMG_4536IMG_4541.JPG
  5. Repeat this process as necessary until you have enough mold for your pot. I made a little extra for each just in case.
  6. Wait at least 6-8 hours for the clay to start to air dry. For the next step, you will want the clay to still be slightly malleable, but also has had time to set.
  7. Follow the instructions for the adhesive you decide to use. Mine had me wait 2 minutes before actually applying the clay to the pots. Glue your clay to the pots in the desired location. You may need to hold the clay in place as it adheres for the first few minutes after application.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3a5c.jpg
  8. Allow your pots to dry overnight before painting.

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Two Tone Dry Brush Technique

*Ensure that your clay is dry and has completely adhered to the pots before proceding!

  1. Start with a dry or slightly damp brush
  2. Dab your paint brush slightly in the gray paint, so only the ends of the bristles are covered in paint. Use the tin of your can or a paper plate to “blend” the paint on the bristles. I do this on my Instagram highlights if you want to see a video of this. UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3a72UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3a68
  3. Gently start to paint in three directions – horizontal and alternating diagonals (again I have an Instagram highlight showing you this in realtime). Keep making these strokes, and as the brush dries, it starts to create a really neat texture. Dip your brush in paint as needed and work your way around the pot. You should cover roughly 80% of your pot, so there is still some terra cotta showing. UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3a6dUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3a71UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3a6e
  4. Clean your brush and dry it well before moving on to the next color.
  5. Allow the first layer to dry (mine only took a few minutes), and repeat this technique with your white paint. The only difference here is that you are a little lighter with your strokes so you are “feathering” the paint on your pot. It’s your decision how much of that gray and terra cotta you want to come through. I recommend starting light and building up until you get the look you desire. UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3a69UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3a70
  6. Allow your pot to dry 24 hours before using!

That’s it!! I have been debating spraying these with a sealant, to help them hold up outside a bit better. But I’m afraid they will lose the matte, chippy look. Does anyone have experience with this? Let me know and I can add some tips in this blog post.

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I hope you give this DIY a try, it honestly is SO simple and would make such a great gift (Mother’s Day is right around the corner)!!

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