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How to Paint Flower Pots for Outdoors

Learn how to paint flower pots for outdoors and easily transform plain terracotta pots in to a beautiful front porch display for easy fall front porch decorating.

How to Paint Flower Pots for Outdoors: Easy Fall Front Porch Decorating

Terracotta pots are cheap but make excellent planters. They are so easy to customize using paint and are a great way to make a statement on your front porch. Plus, painting them is so easy. All you need are a few supplies and the right paint. So let’s jump in.

painted flower pots outside

Here’s what I used:

  • 3 terracotta pots
  • Paint suitable for outdoors—I’m using DecoArt Americana Decor Outdoor Living paints in Harvest, Fire Pit, and Iron Gate
  • Paint brushes
  • Workspace protection
  • Disposable gloves

How to Paint Flower Pots for Outdoors

Step 1: Prep workspace and choose appropriate outdoor paints

First, cover your workspace and gather your supplies. I keep a roll of paper on hand for projects like this. It protects your work surface and makes cleanup a breeze. Then, gather your pots and make sure there isn’t any dust or dirt on them from the store. Terracotta pots can sometimes be a bit grimy. If they are, just wipe them down with a damp cloth and let them dry. 

I chose three fall-themed paint colors: Harvest, Fire Pit, and Iron Gate. Iron Gate is black, but I lightened it to a red-brown color by mixing in some of the Fire Pit color. I’m using DecoArt Outdoor Living paints, which are durable, eggshell finish acrylic paints designed specifically for outdoor durability. They do not require a sealer or primer and provide good resistance to water. 

If you don’t have these on hand or want to use another paint, just make sure it’s suitable for outdoor use. Also make sure it doesn’t require a sealer. If you need a sealer, Thompson’s Waterseal is a great option. 

plain terracotta pot
decoart outdoor living paints

Step 2: Paint the first coat

Shake up your paint cans and open the first one. Brush one coat on each pot. Make sure to paint the inside, too. This outdoor paint will help seal the pot. If you don’t paint the inside, the pot can retain moisture and cause bubbles in the paint on the outside of the pot.

Paint using a circular motion around the entire pot. I think this looks more professional than using vertical strokes; when the paint dries, there will still be some brush marks, but they blend much better when they follow the shape of the pot.

painting a terracotta pot
painting a terracotta pot
painting a terracotta pot
painting a terracotta pot red
painting a terracotta pot

Step 3: Add a second coat and plant

Once the pots are totally dry, check to see if you need a second coat. If so, paint a second coat using the same circular motion. 

decoart outdoor living paints

Once dry, you can put seasonally appropriate plants in them and arrange them on your front porch. 

What’s seasonal for your area depends on the climate where you live. You don’t necessarily need “fall plants” like mums. You can look up your planting zone here and then Google “best flowers for fall in zone [your zone].” Or, you can ask a local nursery what the best plants are for different times of the year!

Want more paint projects? Check out my post about how to seal clay pots for painting and my favorite source for big cheap pots, as well as how to remove chipped paint from clay pots to repaint. You can also check out my painted teacup cactus planter and my roundup of all of my DIY planters to help you decorate with plants!

painted flower pots outside
painted flower pots outside
painted flower pots outside

Pin my post about how to paint flower pots for outdoors, including easy fall front porch decorating!

collage of pot painting that says how to paint clay pots for outdoor use

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