Can You Spray Paint Terracotta Pots? (DIY For Clay Pots)

Terracotta pots are excellent choices for your indoor and outdoor plants. Apart from their versatile look, they can also offer benefits to your plants. Their porous nature makes water and air pass through their walls, which prevents the roots from rotting and any soil disease.  

While their traditional look may be sufficient for some people, others may find it plain and boring. If you want to give these pots a makeover, spray painting over them may seem like a good option.  

But can you spray paint terracotta clay pots? Let’s find out! 

For people who love DIY home improvements, spray paint is one of their best friends. Whether you want to breathe new life into your furniture, add color to your walls, or simply spice up your home decoration, spray painting is the easiest solution.  

Also called aerosol paint, spray paint is a type of paint packed in a pressurized bottle, which is dispensed through a valve, releasing the mixture of paint and compressed air or pressurized gas. This combination results in a fine and even mist, allowing it to be easily applied on many different surfaces.  

Because of its quicker, cleaner, and easy application, spray painting is one of the most common paint application methods, besides using a paint roller and paintbrush. Apart from that, this type of painting allows users to achieve a uniform coat in a small amount of time. So it's no wonder many people prefer using it to other paint application methods.  

In addition, spray paint comes in different varieties, such as stains, flats, enamels, and glossies. Some are even specifically designed to cover various surfaces like metal, glass, plastic, wood, and more. If you can paint a surface, spray paint can be an excellent option to do the job. But does that include terracotta clay pots?  

Yes, it does. Fortunately, spray paints can work on terracotta clay pots, as well as dried flowers, or even real flowers

Using spray paint gives you the option to customize your pot to match your interior or exterior decor. While other paints such as acrylic can also work on them, spray paints are generally easier to use, making the painting process quicker than it is supposed to be.  

Since there are many types of spray paint available, you can have the freedom to choose the design you want. Do you want more pizzazz in your pots? Get glitter spray paint. Or do you just want a basic color to match your interior? Then flat spray paint is a more ideal choice.  

Furthermore, spray painting terracotta pots can also be a fun activity for the whole family. It allows you to channel your creativity and bond with your kids. You can also use the painted pots as gifts if you’re looking for a personalized gift idea. Lastly, anyone can do it, even if you think that painting isn’t for you.  

Can You Spray Paint Terracotta Clay Pots

How To Spray Paint Terracotta Clay Pots? (Step-By-Step Guide) 

Are you ready to be creative and start spray painting pots? Well, before we get too excited, the first thing you need to do before applying the paint is to ensure that your pots are clean. Even if they are brand new, some still have some clay residue on them that would make your paint lumpy if not removed.  

So, before you follow the steps below, make sure you run them under water and lightly scrub them with a brush. Then, completely dry them. Once done, you’re all set to spray paint your terracotta clay pots.  

What You Need 

  • Terracotta clay pots 
  • Spray paint 
  • Spray primer 
  • Cleaning cloth 
  • Painter’s tape 
  • Optional: Water sealant 


  • 1
    Ensure that your clay pots are thoroughly cleaned. Remove any dust or dirt, and if you accidentally get them wet after cleaning them, you need to wait for at least 24 to 48 hours before you start painting them. Terracotta is porous and can absorb even small amounts of water. If it’s not dry enough, the paint won’t completely stick.
  • 2
    If you want to seal the inside of your pot, apply the water sealant. To do this, you must tape off the edges of the inside of the pots. Please take note that this is an optional step, but many people claim that it helped extend the life of their plants because the sealant helps retain moisture in the soil, stopping the clay pot from absorbing the water. But if you think that your plant will benefit from the porous nature of the pots, skip this step. 
  • 3
    Next, apply the spray primer. This allows the spray paint to stick better to terracotta pots. We recommend you use two coats of primer outside the pots and trays. Make sure that you apply it light and even. You don't want the primer to run or pool. You can also skip the primer, but note that it might make the paint come out faster. 
  • 4
    Once the primer is completely dry, apply the spray paint. It’s best to use two light coats to get even coverage. If you want to add some designs, you can use tape to cover some of the parts while painting the others. Then, once the outside of the pots and trays are dry, spray paint the bottom and the top of the pot and tray. 
  • 5
    Let the paint dry. While the spray paint can dry in 30 minutes to an hour, it’s best to cure the paint for at least 24 hours. This also ensures that you won’t accidentally poison your plant. Once dry, you can fill them with the plant or herb of your choice.  

Why Use Spray Paint On Terracotta Clay Pots? 

There are different painting application methods you can use for your terracotta clay pots. For example, you can use a paintbrush to design your pots. However, spray paint is the easiest and hassle-free way to ensure that your pots are evenly coated with paint. With a brush, it will take you twice the amount of time and effort you’ll put in if you use aerosol paint instead. 

While it may seem like painting it using a brush gives you more creative freedom as you can have more control over it than a spray, it’s not usually the case. You can use painter’s tape and cover the parts you want to be painted with a different color.

You can still exercise your creativity with spray paint, but with a lesser waiting time since this type of paint usually dries up pretty quickly.  

You can also consider using a roller brush, but it will require you to have more materials and tends to be messier than the other application methods. So, if you want a quick and easy way to decorate your terracotta pots, spray paint will be the best option.  

Important Tips When Spray Painting Terracotta Clay Pots 

One of the most important tips you should know when painting terracotta pots is that you need to clean and dry them thoroughly before painting them. As mentioned, if you don’t properly remove the dirt from the pots, the paint will have lumps on it, resulting in an uneven coat.

At the same time, forgetting to dry them completely will lessen the lifespan of the spray paint. Never skip these steps, as it will affect the quality of your output.  

Another thing that you need to know is to protect your workspace properly. Spray paint isn’t as easy to control as a paintbrush. Make sure you lay newspaper on the ground to avoid painting over your floor, and put plastic sheets on your wall and other furniture. Even if you're working outside, you'll want to lay down cardboard to protect your pavement or grass. 

Lastly, don’t skip the primer. The primer can help make your paint last longer. It will save you time, money, and effort in the long run, so be sure to correctly prime your pots before painting them for a long-lasting coat.  

Spray Painting Terracotta Pots (Before & After) 

Terracotta Pot

Plain terracotta pot before painting. Cleaned and dried properly to prepare for spray painting. This step is crucial! 

white Terracotta Pot

A terracotta pot after being spray painted with white paint. Voila! 

Common Terracotta Clay Pot Painting Questions 

Can you use Rustoleum paints on terracotta? 

Yes, you can. Rustoleum paints work on terracotta without any problems.  

How long does paint last on terracotta pots? 

It depends on what spray paint you use and if you applied primer before painting it, but it usually lasts 1 to 3 years.  

How long does it take for paint to dry on terracotta pots? 

It depends on the paint. Some spray paint can dry within 30 minutes, but it’s best to wait for 24 hours before using the pot.  

Can I use acrylic paint on terracotta pots? 

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on terracotta pots.  


Spicing up your terracotta clay pots is easy, especially when using spray paints. So, if you find your pots boring, just whip out some spray paint and do the job.

Apart from giving them a fresh new look, painting them can be a fun activity to practice your creativity. So what are you waiting for? Paint away!