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.

 Elevate your décor and garden displays with these charming vessels that bring character to any setting. 

Join me and learn how to create this simple DIY project.

As a DIY blogger, one of my go-to collections is my trusty terracotta pots. Their sheer versatility makes them a staple in many of my featured projects. These pots bring endless possibilities to my design world, whether indoors or out. Plus, with their budget-friendly pricing and easy transformation, they never fall short of creativity.

garden bench covered with terra cotta 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 brown-orange color, which is also called terracotta. It is fired at a low temperature and left unglazed to provide it with the porous texture it is known for. For more details, see this article from eHow, which gives an excellent, detailed explanation.

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

As someone seeking the ideal method to create aged terracotta pots, I can attest that the quest is ongoing. While I have not discovered the perfect solution, I have encountered a few techniques that promise to achieve the desired aged look.

Here are some different ways to age new clay pots

  1. Garden lime
  2. Yogurt
  3. Buttermilk and moss
  4. Salt Soak
  5. Clay Soil 
  6. Fertilizer 
  7. White paint

Easy Steps to Age Flower Pots with Yogurt

Using yogurt on new pots can be a great way to age terracotta planters. 

Yogurt can be applied using a paint brush to the entire pot.

Simple Steps to Get an Aged Clay Pot Using Yogurt

1. Gather your new terracotta pots. ( you can purchase these at Home Depot, Dollar Tree, or on Amazon)

2. Coat the outside of the pot with yogurt using plain Greek yogurt and a sponge brush. (using a foam brush helps to avoid brush strokes)

3. Be sure to cover the flower pot completely.

4. It is optional to paint the inside of the pot.

5. Place the pot in a cool shady spot.

The next step is to sit back and let the yogurt do the aging process.

Doing this in the cooler months is best when the yogurt will not dry out.

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

Aging Terracotta Pots with Salt Water

This method is probably one of the quickest and easiest ways to age terracotta pots, but it does take quite a bit of salt. 

Secondly, I would not suggest using real plants in these pots as the salt is bad for the plants. Fortunately, there are several great faux plants you can

use it to decorate your aged pottery.

  1. Fill a bucket larger than your flower pot with warm water.
  2. Pour the salt in until you can no longer see the salt crystals dissolving.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Set your clay pot inside the salt water solution and let it sit for several hours or overnight.
  5. Remove the pot carefully and let it dry in the sun.
Aging Terra Cotta Pots with Salt
Aging Terra Cotta Pots with Salt
aged terra cotta pots

Aging Terracotta Pots with Fertilizer

This is the easiest way to accomplish an aged pot with a bit of a blueish color. 

The fertilizer will not hurt your plants, so go ahead and plant real plants in these pots. 

There are two ways you can soak these pots. The first step, seal the hole in the pot with a wine cork or wax. Then you will fill the flower pot with the fertilizer mix and let it soak for one week. 

Secondly, you can soak the pot in the fertilizer solution in a bucket like I did. 

  1. Use Miracle Grow, which you can buy at Home Depot.
  2. I used 1/2 of a bag (the pre-measured bags made for the Miracle Grow sprayer) and added enough water to cover the terracotta pot.
  3. Let this soak for two to five days.
  4. Remove carefully and let it dry in the sun.
Aging Terra Cotta Pots with Fertilizer
How to Age Terracotta Pots with Fertilizer
Aging Terra Cotta Pots with Fertilizer
How to Age Terracotta Pots with Fertilizer

Tips for Aging Pots

Based on my experimentation, fertilizer was the quickest and most convenient of the three techniques I used to age pots. After immersing this pot in fertilizer for approximately 48 hours, I observed excellent results. What I appreciate most about this method is that it also preserves the pot’s ability to support planting.


Other Ways to Age Terracotta Pots

There are several techniques to age terra cotta pots, depending on the result you are looking for. 

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

My friends Ann and Anna @simplytwomoms have aged their pots using paint

Patti from Hearth and Vine has also tried some creative ways to age her pots.

Natalie from My Vintage Porch used the Lime process to age her 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.

Styling with Aged Terracotta Pots

Elevate your decor with stylish ideas for your weathered pots. There are endless possibilities, whether you showcase them inside or for your outdoor space. Spruce up your potting bench, enhance your front porch, or adorn your dining room table for a vintage look.

Decorate a Table Using Aged Terracotta Pots

table decor with terra cotta pots

Transform your outdoor dining experience with this stunning idea – using flower pots as a table decoration. They add a natural and rustic feel when paired with bright blue and white patterns for a pop of color.

Create a Cake Stand

cake stand made from terra cotta pots

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

Grow Seedlings

supplies needed to plant seedlings for a cut flower garden

A classic use for terracotta pots is for growing seedlings so I couldn’t leave this one out! I always have a collection of pots under my potting bench, in my she shed, and in my garden. Earlier this year, 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

planted paperwhites for christmas gifts

As a yearly tradition, I grow paperwhite bulbs in beautiful weathered terracotta pots and present them as charming Christmas gifts. It’s a hassle-free process – simply plant the bulbs, encircle the top with an elegant ribbon, and voila – an exceptional holiday present! It’s certain to delight anyone on your gift list. It is recommended that you purchase your bulbs ahead of time, as it takes roughly six weeks for them to develop to the ideal size for gift-giving.

Make Beautiful French Pots

DIY French botanical pots

I also love transforming pots to give them a new look, like these pretty French botanical-inspired pots. These pots are fun and easy to make. First, paint the pot with white acrylic paint. When dry, rub on French decals, then use dirt to antique them.

You can also make beautiful botanical books to go along with my pots. See my step-by-step instructions on the blog.

Use for Garden Décor

decorative garden wall made from stacked terra cotta pots

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

Amazing Terracotta Pots

terra cotta pot decorative storage

Hopefully, now you can see why I love terracotta pots so much! Their versatility allows for many amazing uses. The decorative and functional possibilities are endless.

What are your favorite creative ways to use terracotta pots? I would love to hear from you.

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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,

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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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