Tutorial: Aging Terracotta Pots with Lime 2 comments

May 2017

Today, we are going to show you how to make new terracotta pots look aged with a light white patina. An aged planter just looks like it has a story to tell and you may not want to wait years to get that look! So, let’s get started…

1.For this project you will need the following supplies: terracotta pots and correct size saucers, garden lime (found in a bag in a garden center), a medium grade sandpaper (look in the paint department for sheets instead of the type that attach to an electric sander), an inexpensive paint brush (we paid .98 cents for ours), 2 disposable plastic cups, a stir (we used a bamboo skewer), a plastic container and old newspaper.
2. In the disposable cups, add equal parts lime to water. We used about ½ cup each.
3. Pour each into a plastic container and stir until combined. The lime will not completely dissolve and will have a sandy somewhat lumpy texture.
4. Paint the pot with the lime/water mixture. We went around the pot. It will not be opaque and you will be able to see your brush strokes. This is fine as you will be sanding it all out in a few minutes.

aging terracotta pots

5. Let the pot dry on some old newspaper. This only takes a few minutes.
6. While you have all the supplies handy, it is a good idea to prepare multiple pots so they are ready for future use. Trust us, you will be happy you did this.
7. Allow all pots and saucers to dry. Don’t they already look great?
8. Once the pots are dry you can begin lightly sanding, moving in circular motions.

aging terracotta pots

9. Here you see the pot on the left before sanding and the one on the right is after we sanded. See the smooth, natural looking surface? It’s like magic.
10.  This made a pretty big mess in the sink.
11. But it cleans up easily. It is sandy so it takes a little coaxing to get every grain.
12. Here  is the finished product. A nice aged terra cotta planter that looks as if it has a lifetime of stories to tell, or at least a year’s worth.

Liming these 5 terracotta pots took about 30 minutes from set up to clean up. And the best part is that it is inexpensive to achieve this look.

Here is what we spent to do all 5 pots:
$4.89 Garden lime
$5.00 for 4- 6-inch terracotta pots
$3.12 for 4- 4 inch saucers
$2.98 for 1 – 8-inch terracotta pot
$1.27 for 1 – 5.25 saucer
$ .98 cents for paint brush
TOTAL $18.24
We hope you agree that this simple, inexpensive process can make these average planters look like something special.


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2 thoughts on “Tutorial: Aging Terracotta Pots with Lime

  • Devorah

    Hi! Will this work for outdoor pots? or they will wash off in the rain? I tried a version of this (added paint on a second coat for a grayish tone) it literally washed off in the sink in one swoop!