More in Easy Upgrades

How to Age a Terra Cotta Pot

Make your container garden look old with an aged terra-cotta pot

rustic looking terra cotta planting pots
Photo by Michele Constantini/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty

Cut to the chase and make your new terra cotta pots look like they've been weathering in the garden for decades. Chalky lime turns any pristine pot into a relic.


Steps // How to Age a Terra Cotta Pot
1 ×

Stir The Mixture

 
Step One // How to Age a Terra Cotta Pot

Stir The Mixture

age a terra cotta pot mix garden lime and water
Photo by Lisa Shin

In a bowl, mix garden lime and water together in a 50–50 ratio, and stir until you get a paste. You should be able to easily apply this with a foam brush; if the mixture is too thick, add water as needed.

 
2 ×

Apply The Solution

 
Step Two // How to Age a Terra Cotta Pot

Apply The Solution

age a terra cotta pot brush lime and water mixture onto new pot surface
Photo by Lisa Shin

Brush the solution onto the terra-cotta pot so that it's completely covered with a thick layer. Add a second layer if needed.

 
3 ×

Sand The Pot

 
Step Three // How to Age a Terra Cotta Pot

Sand The Pot

age a terra cotta pot sand away some of the lime mixture on pot
Photo by Lisa Shin

Once dry, use sandpaper to smooth out any grit left on the pot. Sand some spots more aggressively for an uneven, natural look. Tip: Since you'll be sealing the pot with a spray that will remove some of the lime, leave more than you'd like to see in the final result.

 
4 ×

Seal The Surface

 
Step Four // How to Age a Terra Cotta Pot

Seal The Surface

age a terra cotta pot seal surface with matte spray sealer
Photo by Lisa Shin

Don a protective face mask and gloves, and spray the pot with the matte sealer, letting it dry to the touch between coats. Use quick, light passes and aim for three to four layers.

 
5 ×

Finish Sealing

 
Step Five // How to Age a Terra Cotta Pot

Finish Sealing

age a terra cotta pot seal inside and bottom with matte spray sealer
Photo by Lisa Shin

Seal the inside and bottom of the pot too, to keep it from absorbing moisture when you water your plant.

 
 
 

TV Listings

Find TV Listing for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.