Inspired by the elegance of old world pottery, this DIY project gives your space a look of the past with a modern feel. In addition, the neutral color and natural looking textures make it timeless for any season. Handmade or designer pottery typically retails for sixty to hundreds of dollars. However, this simple DIY costs less than $20 by reusing outdated pottery and paint supplies that you probably already have. Therefore, it is a great way to give new life to thrifted or unused vases, jars, and pots. It’s important to find vessels with an interesting shape, but without any unwanted three dimensional details.
Steps to Create that Designer Look
- White spray paint primer or sandpaper
- Joint compound
- Latex or acrylic paint in whites or light browns
- Coffee grounds or dirt
- Paint brushes and paint spatula
- Clear spray sealer in matte finish
Step 1. PREP & PRIME.
After gathering your materials, you will need to prepare the pottery for paint. First, remove any residue or price tags and wipe down the surface. Then, use a medium grit sandpaper to sand any glossy ceramic or glass surfaces which will allow the paint to adhere easier. However, a light coat of white spray paint primer works great on wood or metal containers.
Step 2. APPLY PAINT MIXTURE.
Mix one part latex or acrylic paint with one part joint compound. This should be a thick, yet creamy texture. Use your personal preference of paint color, but this layer is white.
With a sponge brush, apply the paint mixture with long, horizontal brushstrokes ensuring the pot is completely covered in a thin layer. The base coat should conceal the original color or pattern. Allow the compound to dry for an hour. Next, brush another thick layer of the paint mixture onto the pot with shorter brushstrokes and more material. The goal is to create lots of textures so peaks of paint are fine. Dry a few hours.
Step 3. PLAY WITH PAINT.
This is the fun part, because you get to play with paint. First, pour three different colors of paint onto a disposable plate. Then, get creative and paint a few different shades of creamy white, light brown or terra cotta color onto the pottery. Don’t be afraid to try a few of these techniques to achieve the look that you desire. If you mess up, just paint over it.
Adding texture – Mix coffee grounds into the paint to create a gritty texture that mimics the look of handmade stone pottery. Then, brush on randomly. Or, rub dirt to semi-dried pottery. Either way, apply gently as to not scratch the previous layers of paint.
Dry brushing – The goal of dry brushing is to create lots of texture with distinct brush stroke marks rather than blending the paint altogether. Therefore, it’s important to use as little paint as possible. So, dab off any excess paint from the brush and do not apply on wet paint. With this technique, make quick, short strokes with a stiff, bristly brush in different directions. It’s best to work with different shades of color and lots of thin layers to build dimension.
White washing – This extra translucent layer creates a chalky look similar to limestone and blends the previous layers of colors together. Simply, mix one part of a water based paint with three parts of water. Then, apply a thin layer of the white wash with a paint brush over the entire pot.
Step 4. SEAL & STYLE.
Once the pottery is completely dry, protect it with a clear spray sealer which forms a water resistant barrier. I prefer the matte finish, because it looks more natural. Lastly, style your pottery. For instance, group upcyled pottery on a shelf together or display with greenery as a table centerpiece. For spring, add leafy branches, house plants or your favorite bouquet of flowers.
Looking for more home decor related DIY’s? Find them, here, on the blog! Here’s a video where I used paint and dirt to create vintage inspired pottery. If you make this DIY pottery, be sure to tag us on Instagram @fromsusie!