Clay pots (or terra-cotta pots) are a staple of outdoor gardening, but let’s face it, they can be a little dull. While there are many ways you can dress them up, here is a painting technique that creates a marbleized pattern thanks to good ol’ shaving cream. I originally used this technique for Easter eggs, so I thought I would try it on clay pots.
What you’ll need:
Chalky finish paint
Acrylic craft paint
- Paint a base coat of any color on the clay pots using chalky finish paint, and let it dry for at least an hour. Chalky finish paint, available at crafts stores, does not require a primer and dries to a matte finish. The matte finish is important because the paint that will later be applied will rub off if the finish is glossy.
- Apply shaving cream to a large plate or baking dish, and spread it out with your fingers. You don’t need too much. The layer of shaving cream should only be about a half inch thick.
- Place drops of acrylic paint randomly on top of the shaving cream. I use paint specifically designed for outdoor patios because it withstands the elements, and it is actually sold in crafts stores right next to the clay pots. Choose two to three colors.
- Dip a skewer into the shaving cream and run it through the paint vertically and horizontally to create swirls in the paint. Don’t swirl the paint too much. You want to create distinct swirls rather than have the paint mix and become muddled.
- Place the clay pot at one end of the plate and roll it across the shaving cream and paint. The shaving cream acts like a “cloud” to support the pot as it rolls and picks up the paint. Wear plastic gloves to avoid getting paint all over your hands.
- After the pot is covered in shaving cream and paint, let it sit for about an hour so the paint adheres to the pot. If you don’t have the patience to wait, that’s fine. The paint still adheres since the base coat is matte, but the color just won’t be as intense.
- Blot off any excess shaving cream with a paper towel. Try to use clean towels as you blot so that the excess paint that has transferred to the towels does not go back on to the pot.