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Painting Clay Pots

Painting clay pots is the perfect activity for a rainy afternoon, suitable for any age group and skill level, from toddler to OAP, allowing creativity and imagination to run wild. Painted flower pots brighten up balconies and windowsill and make the perfect personalised gift.

painted plant pot flowerOne of the benefits of painting clay pots is that the whole process doesn't take very long at all, making it a suitable childrens activity for a birthday party - taking a painted flower pot home instead of the usual party bag with throwaway nick-nacks could start a new trend!

Instructions for painting clay pots

painting plant potsYou will need: a clay pot, suitable paints in various colours (we usually just use poster paints), small paintbrush, a container with clean water, and lots of newspaper to save your table from being painted!

  1. Wash the clay pot in warm soapy water to remove any traces of dirt or grease.
  2. Cover the table or painting area with newspaper, find paints, paint brushes and a mug of clean water (to clean the paint brushes when swapping colours).
  3. When the pot has dried, start painting whatever design you like!
  4. Ensure each layer of paint dries thoroughly before adding another colour on top.
  5. Allow the painted flower pots to dry out.

And hey presto! you have delightful one-of-a-kind painted clay pot!


Since clay pots are porous, they do dry out very quickly by themselves, but to hasten the process, pop them on top of a radiator, on a sunny window ledge or in the cool oven of an Aga or Rayburn.painted flower pot

If you want an intricate design on your painted flower pot, use a normal lead pencil to draw the design on the pot before starting painting.

To be able to use the painted clay pots outside, or extend their life span, you can either spray or carefully paint them with suitable varnish (eg clear varnish) - but be careful, this can make the colours run ... test it out on your own painted flower pot before touching your child's piece of art work!

Painting flower pots which are glazed

painted flower pot with pig designThe basic principle for painting flower pots which are glazed is exactly the same as for painting clay pots. The difference is that you will need specific ceramic paints or pens, and probably be more careful in your design!

The benefits are that glazed flower pots are already available in a multitude of colours, and a lot of the ceramic paints are dishwasher proof, which also means that they will withstand standing outside without any need for further treatment!

Alternative ideas for painting clay pots

These ideas are courtesy of my daughter, who is full of them (ideas, that is)!

  • Stick scraps of material on top of your painted flower pot for a textured appearance.
  • Instead of painting clay pots, cover them in coloured tissue paper, glue down well, then spray with varnish.
  • Tie a bright ribbon round the top of your painted clay pot and fix in place wth a little glue if giving it as a gift.painted clay pot
  • Paint different designs on each side of the flower pot, so that when you are fed up of looking at one picture, you can simply turn the pot around and look at the other one instead.
  • Cut out pictures from magazines and glue them onto your painted flower pot for a collage effect.

We hope you enjoy your afternoons of painting clay pots as much as we do. We would love to see photos of your painted pots and welcome any further suggestions and ideas for decorating flower pots! Please do contact us!



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