Easy Ways to Age Terracotta Pots and Style Them

Discover how to age terracotta pots for an easy way to give your home and garden a vintage touch.

garden bench covered with aged terracotta pots

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How to Quickly Age Terracotta Pots

As a passionate gardener and craft enthusiast, one of my go-to collections is my terracotta pots.

Their versatility makes them a staple in many of my DIY projects, and of course they are a mainstay in my garden, too!

If you have done a little research, then you know there are a lot of different ways to make new terracotta pots look old.

It can be a bit overwhelming!

aged terracotta pots displayed in an old vintage metal raised garden bed

The good news?

I have done the hard work for you and found three great options for simple and budget-friendly ways to give your terracotta pots a vintage makeover.

These pots open up a world of design possibilities for you, whether you are decorating indoors or out.

And the best part?

They are budget-friendly and super easy to transform, so your creativity can really shine.

How to decorate with plants- a wood card file with drawer open and filled with rosemary and red clay pots.

Decorating with aged terracotta pots is an easy way to elevate your decor and garden displays by adding charm and character to your home.

So grab your supplies, and join me to learn how to quickly and easily age your terracotta pots.

What is the Difference Between Terracotta Pots and Clay Pots?

Clay and terracotta pots are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference if you want to get technical.

Clay is the raw material used to make terracotta pots, but certain characteristics make this material unique.

Terracotta pots are made from earthenware clay which gives them that iconic bright orange-brown color, which is also called terracotta.

Terracotta pots are fired at a low temperature and left unglazed to provide them with the porous texture they are known for.

While I love the look and texture of terracotta, clay pots can also be used interchangeably for a beautiful display.

Three Different Methods to Create Aged Pots

I can say from experience that finding the perfect way to age terracotta pots to give them a weathered look is an ongoing adventure.

But do not worry!

While I have not discovered the perfect method, I have encountered a few techniques that promise to achieve the desired aged look.

I am sharing three different ways to distress your terracotta flower pots, giving them a gorgeous weathered look with a perfect vintage patina, adding character and charm to your garden or indoor space.

How to Age Terracotta Flower Pots with Yogurt

Yogurt is not just for breakfast!

As odd as it may sound, using yogurt on new pots can be a great way to age terracotta planters. 

This method of aging terracotta flower pots is incredibly easy and perfect for the beginning DIYer – anyone can do it!

Plus, it is budget-friendly and you may already have the supplies on hand.

Here are the simple steps to age your terracotta pots using plain yogurt.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need for this Method

Simple Steps to Give Your Terracotta Pots a Weathered Look Using Yogurt

Step 1: Apply Yogurt to Your Terracotta Pot

Start by gathering your new terracotta pots and setting up your work area.

If you do not already have any, you can purchase some at your local garden center, or you can find them at just about any big box store like The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Dollar Tree.

I also have several sizes of terracotta pots linked in my gardening favorites on my Amazon storefront.

How to Age Terra Cotta Pots with yogurt
How to Age Terra Cotta Pots with yogurt
How to Age Terra Cotta Pots and  Style Them

To use this aging method, simply grab a paintbrush and paint on some Greek yogurt all over your terracotta pot.

Make sure to cover the entire outside of the pot using a sponge brush.

(Using the sponge brush helps keep things smooth without any visible brush marks.)

You can choose to paint the inside of the pot if you want, but it is optional and based on your personal preference.

Step 2: Let Your Terracotta Pot Dry

Once you are done painting your terracotta pot with yogurt, just find a cool, shady spot for the pot to dry.

Then kick back and let the yogurt work its magic to age the pot.

Tip from Wendy’s craft room:

Using this method to create aged terracotta pots works best in the cooler months when the yogurt will not dry out.

How to Age Terracotta Flower Pots with Salt Water

This method to age terracotta pots, is probably one of the quickest, but it does require a fair amount of salt.

Once again, this method of adding patina to your pots is super affordable and the supplies are easy to find.

Here are the simple steps to age your terracotta pots using salt and water.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need for this Method

Simple Steps to Give Your Terracotta Pots a Weathered Look Using Salt Water

Step 1: Mix Your Salt Water Solution

To get started with this method for aging terracotta pots, the first step is to grab a plastic bucket that is bigger than your flower pot and fill it up with warm water.

salt and terracotta pots to age pots using the salt and water method

Next, pour in iodized salt until you can’t see the crystals dissolving anymore.

Pouring iodized salt in a plastic bucket with water to distress clay pots
How to Age Terra Cotta Pots with Salt

Then use a wood spoon or clean paint stir stick to give the salt water aging solution a good mix.

Step 2: Soak Your Terracotta Pot and Let Dry

Place your clay pot inside the salt water solution and let it soak for several hours or overnight.

a wood wheel barrow filled with aged terracotta pots

When the terracotta pot is done soaking, take it out of the salt water and let it dry in the sun to finish the aging process.

Tip from wendy’s craft room:

I would NOT recommend planting real plants in terracotta pots aged this way because the salt is not good for them.

But no worries!

There are plenty of beautiful fake plants you can use to “plant” in your aged pottery instead.

You can find some of my favorite faux plants here.

How to Age Terracotta Pots with Fertilizer

Using fertilizer to distress your terracotta is the simplest way to get an aged pot with a hint of blueish color.

And don’t worry about your plants with this method!

The fertilizer won’t harm them at all, so, feel free to plant real flowers and greenery in these weathered pots.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need for this Method

Simple Steps to Give Your Terracotta Pots a Weathered Look Using Fertilizer

Step 1: Mix Your Fertilizer Solution

To age your terracotta pots using fertilizer, start by grabbing some Miracle-Gro or the plant fertilizer of your choice.

Miracle-Gro fertilizer and supplies to age terracotta pots using the fertilizer and water method

I used about half of a pre-measured bag meant for the Miracle-Gro sprayer and mixed it with enough water to cover the terracotta pot.

Step 2: Soak Your Terracotta Pot and Let Dry

There are two popular methods you can follow to soak your pots in fertilizer to age them.

The first way is by sealing the drainage hole in your pot with a wine cork or wax, filling the flower pot with the fertilizer mix, and letting it soak for one week. 

Alternatively, you can soak your pot in the fertilizer solution in a bucket like I did to achieve the aged pottery look.

Pouring and mixing fertilizer to age terracotta pots
Stirring fertilizer and water to age terracotta pots
Aging Terracotta Pots with Fertilizer

The next step is let your clay flower pot soak in the fertilizer and water solution for two to five days.

After that, carefully take it out and let it dry in the sun.

And that is it!

Aging Terracotta Pots with Fertilizer for a blue patina

You will have instantly beautifully aged terracotta pots with a pretty blue patina.

Tips for Aging Pots

In my experience, using fertilizer was the quickest and easiest way out of the three methods I tried to age pots.

a terracotta pot aged using fertilizer

After letting this pot soak in fertilizer for about 48 hours, I saw some really impressive results.

What I like most about this method is that it preserves the pot’s ability to support planting.


Other Ways to Age Terracotta Pots

There are several easy techniques to age terracotta pots, depending on the end result you are looking for. 

Here are a few other wonderful ways of aging new terracotta pots.

  • Garden lime
  • Buttermilk and moss
  • Clay Soil 
  • White paint

My friends Ann and AnnMarie at Simply 2 Moms share how they aged their pots using a little bit of white acrylic paint, paper towel, and sandpaper.

Patti from Hearth and Vine also shares some creative aging process techniques.

For a unique painted pot technique, check out Patti’s sgraffito method.

Or, for a thicker patina, see her step-by-step instructions for using plaster to weather the outside of brand new terracotta pots for a truly beautiful vintage look.

And finally, stop by to visit Natalie from My Vintage Porch and read her easy steps for following the Lime process to age pots.

They are beautiful too!

No matter how you age your terracotta pots, I am sure you will love them and enjoy them for years to come.


How to Decorate with Aged Terracotta Pots

Now that you have lovely aged clay pots, how about some stylish ways to show them off?

distressed vintage terracotta pots displayed on a shelf with spring decor and vintage books

Whether you decide to decorate with your new clay pots indoors or outdoors, these terracotta containers are a great way to add vintage looking garden decor to your home.

Here are seven creative ideas for displaying your weathered pots.

Style a Table Using Aged Terracotta Pots

Transform your outdoor dining experience with this stunning idea – using flower pots to create a simple and affordable table centerpiece that is perfect for any time of year.

Distressed terracotta pots displayed on a table centerpiece with blue decor and old garden tools

They add a natural and rustic feel when paired with bright blue and white patterns for a pop of color.

Create a DIY Terracotta Cake Stand

A unique way to use terracotta pots you may not have seen before is to create a cake stand.

DIY cake stand made from whitewashed terracotta pots

Start by placing a pot upside down for the base.

Then, place a clean plant saucer or drip tray on the platform, secure with glue, and you are ready to serve!

(If you need inspiration for some sweet treats, you can find my favorite dessert recipes here.)

Grow Seedlings in Weathered Terracotta Pots

A classic use for terracotta pots is for growing seedlings so I couldn’t leave this one out!

Terracotta pots and other supplies needed to plant seedlings for a cut flower garden displayed on a potting bench

I always have a collection of pots under my potting bench, in my she shed, and in my garden.

I wrote a blog post about preparing to plant a cut flower garden where I used pots to start seedlings.

They also work great for growing herbs and succulents.

Make Christmas Gifts with Aged Pots and Holiday Flowers

As a yearly tradition, I grow paperwhite bulbs in beautiful weathered terracotta pots and present them as Christmas gifts to our family and friends.

Paperwhites for Christmas gifts planted in DIY aged terracotta pots

It’s a hassle-free process – simply plant the bulbs, wrap the top of the flower pot with some elegant plaid Christmas ribbon, and voila!

You have a beautiful and budget-friendly holiday present that is sure to bring a smile to anyone on your gift list.

Tip from wendy’s craft room:

It takes about six weeks for your paperwhites to grow, so be sure your order your bulbs ahead of time so they are ready to bloom before the holiday gift giving season begins!

Make Beautiful Vintage Looking French Pots

I also love transforming pots to give them a new look, like these pretty French botanical-inspired pots.

DIY French botanical pots made from new terracotta pots

These pots are fun and easy project to make.

First, paint the pot with white acrylic paint.

Then, when dry, rub on French decals and use dirt to antique them.

You can also make beautiful botanical books to go along with my pots.

Create a Stunning DIY Topiary

Transform your garden with a DIY topiary using aged terracotta pots for a simple yet beautiful touch.

DIY topiary planted in a large whitewashed terracotta pot in infant stage before the vines have grown displayed in backyard

Get creative with your topiaries using a variety of plants and shapes like angel vine, ivy, or boxwood for stunning results.

Make Whimsical Garden Decor

You can also use pots in the garden for more than just growing!

decorative garden wall made from stacked terracotta pots

There are so many ways to use them to add fun decoration to your outdoor space.

This decorative wall of stacked terracotta pots makes an interesting backdrop amongst this nursery’s greenery and colorful blooms.


Other Gardening Crafts and Tutorials from WM Design House

If you love this tutorial for how to age terracotta pots, you might also enjoy some of my other favorite gardening projects:

How to Use Succulents in Beautiful Floral Arrangements- An old pitchfork turned upside down with a wire basket near the prongs to create a basket full of succulents

How to Repurpose Old Tools into Succulent Planters

See how easy it is to repurpose old tools from the garden into beautiful decor

Vintage garden decor indooors- Clock made out of vintage garden tools

How to Create a Garden Clock Out of Vintage Garden Tools

Have a pile of vintage garden tools lying around? Put them to good use with this creative garden clock craft.

White grapevine wreath with old box springs wired on. Small terracotta pots of greenery inserted into the springs with added greenery and a bird's nest in the center box spring.

Create a Spring Wreath with Aged Pots and Vintage Box Springs

Turn rusty sold bed springs and terracotta pots into a fabulous spring wreath for your home.

Hopefully, now you can see why I love terracotta pots so much!

Terracotta pots are incredibly versatile, offering endless possibilities for both decoration and practical use.

Do you have any favorite creative ways to use them?

I would love to hear from you, so let me know your favorite ideas!

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3 easy ways to age terracotta pots

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More about me!


Hello, I’m Wendy – a dedicated homemaker with a deep passion for decorating, gardening, cooking, and crafting. I find joy in harmonizing beautiful elements to fashion a space that is both comfortable and inspiring. I will help you create a beautiful home, one project at a time.

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  1. Wendy! I am amazed! I have always just painted some cream colored paint on my terra cotta pots to “age” them, but you have gone above and beyond. When I got to the salt method, I was sure that was what I would do, and then I saw how beautiful the ones you did with fertilizer were, and knew I would be heading out to pick up some fertilizer!! I am already thinking about my summer front porch and I will be using this method for my terra cotta pots! Thanks!

    1. Hi Chloe, I cannot wait to see your front porch and how you decorate with your aged pots.

    1. Wendy McMonigal says:

      Thank you Rachel. Yes, there are so many ways to age pots. The yogurt method really is fun. You can add a bit of moss or dirt too while the yogurt is wet to give the terracotta an even more aged look.

  2. I love the aged pots. So beautiful. I have been wanting to do this. Happy summer, my friend.

  3. Love these ideas so much! Aging terra cotta pots is so much fun!

    Happy day!

    1. Thank you, Karianne! Can’t wait to see you in July.

  4. DEE MCNEIL says:

    when I age my terracotta pots with yogurt while it is still wet I take some garden soil or potting mix in my hand and smear over the wet yogurt. Let it dry. Some of the dirt will fall off but then it will have just the right amount to age it.

    1. Hi Dee, thank you so much for the tip. I think that is a wonderful idea.
      I appreciate you telling me.

  5. Great tips, Wendy! I’ve never tried to do it, it’s just happened over time. But I love the aged mossy look.

    1. Yes, natural aging is the best if you can accomplish it.

  6. Wendy,
    I love aged pots and these look amazing. Can’t wait to share tomorrow.

  7. I have tried most of these aging methods, for decorative pots only. I just tried another idea this week for some small pots that I wanted darker in color. I brewed some really strong tea and dissolved salt into the water. Soaking overnight had the best results, with dark and white areas. The only disadvantage was that they had to be handled carefully before drying as anything wet can disturb the finished look. I did spray with matte sealer when dry.

    1. Hi Dana that is so interesting. I so appreciate you sharing this with me. I am going to try it for sure. I have
      an idea for handling the pot I will work on. I am thinking of a disk with a dowel. The pot can go over the dowel and rest on the disk.
      You would lift it out using the dowel and let them pot dry so you do not have to touch it. I am unsure how the wood
      would hold up if you soak it overnight. I will give this some more thought.

    1. I am also going to try the moss method, You ou mix fresh growing moss with buttermilk in the blender and brush it on the pot.
      I went hiking yesterday and harvested lots of moss, So I will let you know how they come out.

    1. Thank you so much Niki! and thank you for hosting. I will get over to your blog after my conference. Thank you,

  8. So glad you shared with us, all the aging methods you have used on terra Cotta pots. They all look very fun to try.

    1. Thank you Maegan. they are all fun ways to age your pots for sure. Buttermilk and moss is also a fun one.

  9. Love all of these ideas Wendy! The cake stand idea is fabulous! So creative and would look great on any table! Susan

    1. Thank you Susan. You will have to keep your eye out for some pots at all of those great estate sales you have been going to.

  10. I am like you, Wendy. I love Terracotta Pots. There is just something about them and so much to do with them too. My favorite way to age is the yogurt method. Whenever I have some leftover plain yogurt, I use it on my Terracotta Pots. Love the patina.

    1. Thank you Tammy, I had really good luck with a few using the yogurt and then several that did not work at all, do you have any tricks to share?
      Thanks for stopping by to visit.

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