Have you noticed that Aged Pottery is having a major moment in interior design right now? French Country design enthusiasts and connoisseurs of Old World design have adored the beautiful, aged patinas found on authentic antique pottery (and other vintage vessels) for quite some time, but it seems (at least to me) that it’s just been recently, that antique/aged pottery has been embraced with open arms by designers and home decorators in the nearly every other niche of interior design.
Authentic vintage pots can be hard to come by and at times, extremely pricey. And for some, it might be worth the splurge. Would you just look at these gorgeous vintage garden pots that I found on Etsy?! The patina and the organic shapes are just truly exquisite. But if you can’t justify shelling out 3k for your own vintage vessel, don’t worry — I’ve got you covered!
We’re even seeing similar-looking pots and planters being made to replicate the beautiful look of timeworn aged pottery and planters sell in upscale home décor stores such as Arhaus, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware. (And if you’re the type that would prefer not to do the whole DIY thing, I absolutely love this roundup of aged pots with a similar rustic antique look.)
Before we get into the tutorial, I’m a big believer in giving credit where credit is due. Jaci of @jaci.daily created quite a frenzy on social media with her version that she called a “Found Pot’. She diy’d a gorgeous dupe of an expensive antique-looking pot with spray paint and dirt. This tutorial is quite different, but I was inspired by her creations, which you can see here.
Let’s get into the how-to portion of this decor diy!
First off, we will start by finding a terracotta pot or some type of vase as the foundation for your aged pottery piece. I’m using a terracotta planter that I picked up at my local Lowe’s Home Improvement for $3 or $4. I am considering doing this finish on these pots; wouldn’t that be beautiful?! But you could really use any vase you have around the house or even pick one up at your local thrift store. (And what an awesome way to save something from going to the landfill!)
Next up you’ll want to locate your other supplies for this DIY! And that’s one of the things I love about this budget-friendly DIY is — you probably have most of the items on hand already!
Ingredient & Tool Supply List:
- Terracotta Pot / Vase
- Chalk paint (my absolute favorite and the chalk paint used in this tutorial is the One Step Paint from Amy Howard at Home)
- Baking Soda
- Coffee Grounds (alternatively you could use dirt from your backyard)
- A Stir Stick (this could be a popsicle stick or a plastic fork/spoon)
- Paint brush (I had some of the cheapie ones on hand from my local hardware store)
- Plastic cup or Tupperware container for containing the paint mixture
After gathering your supplies, the next step is to pour about 1/2 cup of your color choice of chalk paint (or equivalent of 1/2 cup of a mixture of colors of chalk paint) into your desired container. Mine was a red plastic cup because I’m fancy like that. Ha! Next, add about a tablespoon of baking soda and about 2 teaspoons into the paint mixture. Then stir it together until smooth.
To be more specific I used “Bauhaus Buff” One Step paint by Amy Howard (which is a type of chalk paint that smells amazing) and added in a splash of the same brand in a shade called “Linen.”
Now let’s get the (Chalk paint) party started!
Now let’s paint that baby! But don’t just paint without thinking about it, the key to this project may be counterintuitive to some — to paint it in a haphazard way. The key here is to change your brush strokes in varying directions and angles.If you paint in organized rows, it’s not going to have the look of an authentic piece. Real antique pottery has organic shapes and lines, so try to alternate the brush strokes.
Once painted, allow the first coat to dry. Then add more of a pigmented chalk paint color into the mixture. (The color Linen that I mentioned earlier would be a great color to mix in at this point, as well as Java or any of the gray colors from the line. This does two things: it will give you some color variation as well as make the consistency a little thinner, which is great for getting the nooks and crannies you created in the first coat.
Rub in Coffee to create an Aged Pottery Patina
After that second coat dries, comes the FUN part!! First though, I should mention that this step may be the best exfoliation your hands have ever seen! And for those of you that would prefer not to have that spa treatment, I highly recommend to wear a pair of gloves. Pour out some coffee grounds in a dish or on your work space and start to rub on your work of art! ☺️ You may have to use a small amount of elbow grease to really press those coffee grounds into all the grooves of texture you just created — but it’s not too crazy though because I did it and I have no upper body strength.
You can add as much or as little to your pot; you can really get creative here. There is no right or wrong way to do it. If you feel you’ve added too much, you can always take a lint-free rag and wipe some away. If you are not planning to use this as a planter for a real plant or using outside and if you’d prefer not to add a graphic, you are finished!! Take your finished “Antique Pottery” and mix it in a little vignette. Wouldn’t it be so beautiful on an entryway table with a faux plant and a mirror?! Or, style it on your mantel sitting on a couple of vintage books.
Because I love to add a little bit of French flair to my home, I decided to stencil mine. And I am literally obsessed with how the French stenciling with the “aged” patina creates this gorgeous French antique look! You can check out these beautiful reusable, adhesive stencils here. I used the “French Script” and “Le Fleur” stencils and two shades of Gel Art Ink.
Seal Your “aged Pottery” to use outside
Now, if you are planning to use your pot outside in the elements or if you plan to use it with a live plant, you’re going to need to seal the paint to keep it in mint condition. I did seal mine with a spray-on sealer earlier in the spring. Then, I planted some pink Vincas in them. So they have been out in the elements for about 4 months, and they have held up to pretty well. Some of the aged-look from the coffee has worn down while outside. I am sure a different sealer, could have protected the coffee patina; so I am still on the hunt. Please consider subscribing so you can get the updates.
I hope this gave you some inspiration on how you can DIY your dream vase or planter! Thank you so much for joining me for this DIY! If you have any questions, drop them below or over on Instagram. And feel free to tag me in your posts on Instagram if you create your own — can’t wait to see what you do!
- Chalk Paint
- Terracotta Pot
- Coffee Grounds
- Sealer (Optional)
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