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 different (and non-toxic), but I was inspired by her beautiful creations.
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
Create a custom, textural paint Mix
Next we will mix up our own custom, textural chalk paint. Keep in mind that the measurements here are more of a guide — you can adjust the ratios to your liking.
Just 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 of salt into the paint mixture.
Then stir it together until smooth. If you want it thicker, just add more baking soda. If you prefer a thinner consistency, use less baking soda/salt or add more chalk paint.
For the the exact color, use “Bauhaus Buff” One Step paint by Amy Howard (which is a type of chalk paint that smells amazing) and add 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 neat and tidy 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.
Add a Second Layer
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. First, it will make the consistency a little thinner, which is great for getting the nooks and crannies you created in the first coat. Secondly, it will give color variation to the finish, which is key to getting the beautiful patina we love!
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.
Now, many of the other tutorials for similar DIYs, call for using mud rather than coffee at this point. That is definitely an option if you don’t have coffee on hand. What do you think? Would you use mud or dirt for a home decor DIY?!
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. Here are a couple of different examples of how it can look:
Style up your “Aged Pottery”
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.
Add a French Feel to your Terracotta Pots
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!
If you want to add a stencil, I highly recommend using an adhesive mesh stencil. Because of all the wonderful texture you just created a regular stencil is probably not going to stay in place, which will most likely cause the stenciled design to look messier than you’d like. The stencils I used were reusable, adhesive mesh stencils and they have TONS of beautiful designs!
For the exact design look here, use the “French Script” and “Le Fleur” stencils and gray Gel Art Ink, but browse around because there are tons of beautiful options.
Here’s a look at the Aged Pots after they were stenciled. I love the look, but this step is completely optional.
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 five 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!
Before you go, check out how I styled them on my summer patio in this post, all about easy Americana decorating ideas!
Supply List Recap:
- Two Shades of Chalk Paint
- Baking Soda
- Coffee Grounds
- Terracotta Pot(s)
- Container to mix Paint
- Paint Brush
- Sealer (Optional)
- Stencils (Optional)
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