How to Hand Paint Clay Pottery

Decorating clay pottery adds interest to your home decor or patio. Clay is a moisture gathering material. Using a sealer as your foundation will assist in keeping water from penetrating the paint once it has been applied to the outer surface. Patio paint is weather resistant and adheres to terra cotta, clay and other outdoor surfaces. Children can use this non-toxic paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint brushes (assorted sizes, your choice)
  • Spray sealer
  • Patio paint (in craft stores)
  • Plate or palette
  • Water bin
  • Clean water
  • Paper towels
  • Tape (optional)
  • Rubber stamps (optional)

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Wipe the outside of the clay pot with a paper towel prior to spraying it with sealer. If the pot is dirty, you will need to use a damp cloth to wipe the grime away. Let it dry thoroughly before spraying it with the sealer.

Spray the entire outside of the pot with a coat of sealer in a well ventilated area. Always spray in a direction pointing away from you. Keep the spray mist-like so there won't be runs in it when it has dried. Let the sealer dry completely.

Mix the paint well and pour the it onto a palette. Use a wide brush to apply the basecoat color to the pot. Let it dry and apply another coat for good coverage. Sometimes a thrid coat is necessary if using a light color. The basic pot color should not show through the paint. Make sure you allow the coats to dry before proceeding.

Clean the brush in water and wipe it dry when you are finished using it. Lay the brush flat to keep the water from running into the ferrule. This will help retain brush integrity and form. Empty the water container often to keep the water clean. This way the color in the water won't contaminate the brush and you won't be applying that tint to the pot.

Use rubber stamps as an option to apply a design to your base coated pot. Spread a thin coat of paint onto the stamp and press it firmly to the pot. If any ragged edges appear after removing the rubber stamp, simply remove them with a damp paint brush.

Another design idea is to add stripes to the pot. These can be achieved by applying tape to the pot. Paint over the tape using the same base color. When that is dry, apply the color of your choice over that. This way the second color won't seep underneath the tape. With the round tip of the paint brush, add dots of color to the stripes or pattern design you have chosen.

Finish the pot by spraying it again with sealer once it has dried completely. The pot will be weather resistant and a wonderful addition to your home.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try stencils to decorate your pots.
  • Sparkle spray paint can be applied to the pot after painting it.
  • Use the right size brush for each step. To get fine or thin lines, a small brush is best.
  • Spray paint and finishes can be harmful when inhaled. Keep children away from them.
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