Items Needed to Paint Handprints on Flower Pots


Decorate your plain terracotta or clay flower pots with paint. You can paint the pots with one color and add a handprint with a separate color. Keep the decorated pots for your own garden, or give them away as gifts to friends and family. Before you begin, you need to gather some basic supplies.

Flower Pot

  • Flower pots come in several combinations of shape, size and color. The finish is what is most important for painting projects. This is because glossy, sealed finishes often reject the paint and cause peeling or flaking. The best type of pot for painting projects is an unfinished clay or terracotta pot. This gives the paint a porous and accepting canvas.


  • Water-based acrylic paint adheres well to terracotta and clay alike. Two colors of paint are needed if you are painting a base color over the entire pot before you add a handprint. The base coat can be brushed or sprayed on, but a spray provides a more even coat with fewer blemishes and no brush strokes. The hand print should be a separate color and not a spray.


  • In addition to paint, a sealant is needed to protect the painted hands from the elements, including normal wear and tear. A polyurethane coat provides a clear finish that does not interfere with the paint. The sealant must be applied after the paint has dried completely. Brush-on polyurethane is effective, but brushing it on may affect the acrylic paint by smearing it. To avoid this, use an aerosol spray can to apply an even coat over the outside of the pot.


  • In addition to the pot, paints and sealant, you need some tools to finish the project. The pot should be clean before you begin to ensure that the paint adheres to the surface. A scrub in dish soap with an abrasive scrubbing sponge and a short soak in diluted chlorine bleach can prepare the pot sufficiently for paint. A drop cloth keeps your workspace clean as well. A paint tray is necessary to hold the paint for the handprint, as you need to dip your hand into the paint and press it over the pot. Brushes are needed if you are not spraying on the base coat of paint. Keep a bucket or bowl filled with soapy water nearby to wash the paint off of your hand when you are finished.

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  • Photo Credit flower-pot image by Tomasz Wojnarowicz from
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