How to Distress a Flower Pot

Last Updated on December 19, 2023 by Ellen Christian

I love the look of the distressed flower pots in the garden center but they’re fairly expensive. I came across some pretty DIY French Pots that had a distressed look and that motivated me to create my own.

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How to distress a flower pot

How to Distress a Flower Pot

We have two house plants that I’ve managed not to kill yet. One is in a pretty pot I got  years ago from a garden center. The other is in an ugly plastic pot that I really want to replace.  

I don’t have any French sayings and that theme doesn’t really go with my living room so I decided to remake them a bit and just distress a blank pot with no saying. You could easily choose a saying or graphic of your choice if you wanted to add that. For me, the simplicity of the distressed flower pot is just perfect.

How to make terra cotta flower pots look old

Distressing a clay pot is a simple way to make it look older than it is. You need a few simple ingredients below and a few minutes to create this distressed garden look.


  • Terra cotta flower pot
  • White or grey paint. You can use acrylic paint or leftover paint from a home remodel. I used leftover paint we used in our bathroom repairs.
  • Sandpaper, fine grain
  • Paper towel

How to distress a flower pot How to make a distressed flower pot

  • Crumble up your paper towel and dip it carefully into your paint. You want it to be mostly dry.
  • Very lightly rub the paint on the flower pot. You don’t want to cover it solidly.
  • Let it dry completely.
  • You can blot it again lightly to add texture if you want but make sure that you let the terra cotta of the pot show through.
  • Let dry again if you added another layer.
  • Lightly rub the sandpaper over the pot to distress it.

How to distress a flower pot

  • Add the soil and your plant and enjoy!

How to distress a flower pot

How do you dress up a flower pot?

Dressing up a flower pot can add a personal touch to your home or garden decor. Start by selecting a pot that suits the size of your plant. Clean it thoroughly, and then prime it if you plan to paint. Choose acrylic or outdoor paint in colors that complement your flowers or home decor.

You can create patterns, portraits, or abstract art according to your aesthetic preference. Once the paint is dry, you can add embellishments like ribbon, buttons, or mosaic tiles if desired.

Finish it off with a clear sealer to protect your design from the elements. Finally, add potting soil and your chosen plant, ensuring it has adequate drainage. Now you have a beautifully dressed up flower pot!

18 thoughts on “How to Distress a Flower Pot”

  1. I had to pin this such a easy technique to do and such a great result love how it looks. I will be making some of these for my home and as gifts too.
  2. I think this is such a great way to make terra cotta pots look so much more decorative. It seems easy enough for anyone to do. 
  3. Wow, this is so pretty! I just adore this idea and also appreciate how simple it would be to make at the same time. I definitely need more plants in my life, I can't wait to try this!

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