Planter Projects How to Make a Terracotta Pot O’ Gold

Pot O' Gold with succulents and candy

Terracotta pots are functional for the gardener who wants a simple and long lasting planter.  They can be taken into the designer side, though, with a little bit of imagination.  In this project, we dipped our terracotta planters in Gold Leaf to create an upscale look that would work well with just about any home décor.

get started

Here’s What You’ll Need to Get Started

– Terracotta Pots

– Small Sponge Brushes

– Black Matte Paint

– Spray Adhesive

– Gold Leaf

– Clear Acrylic Coating Spray

– Tweezers

– Plastic Backdrop (like a garbage bag)

– Artist Tape




Shop for Terracotta Pots

You can find most of Southern Patio’s terracotta pots in select retail stores such as The Home Depot and Lowe’s.  For this specific project, we used our 6″ Standard Pot, 6″ Azalea Pot and two of our 6″ saucers.


Paint Your Pots

We decided to go with matte black paint for the base of our pots. The shiny Gold Leaf against the dark, black background gives the terracotta pot an upscale appearance.

Use a small or medium sponge brush to apply two coats, letting them dry for 24 hours in between applications.

Warning:  your matte black paint may look like a dark or navy blue at first.  Wait until the paint is fully dry to determine the actual color.



Paint the Inside Rim

Don’t forget to paint the inside rim, too!

Day 2 supplies

After the Painting

After you have waited for both coats of paint to fully dry, you will need to gather another small sponge brush, some Gold Leaf and some spray adhesive. You can find any of these items at your local arts and crafts store.


Spray Adhesive

You may want to practice spraying the adhesive on something else before you spray the terracotta pot. Remember, a little goes a long way and anything that comes into contact will stick to whatever surface it is on.



Apply Gold Leaf

Gold Leaf is extremely thin.  We recommend taking some from its package and placing it on a paper plate. Use tweezers to apply it to the sprayed part of your pot.


Dab as You Go

Place the gold leaf one piece at a time with your tweezers and then use a sponge brush to dab it so that it straightens out on the pot. It’s OK if the gold leaf comes out looking less than perfect. With this particular terracotta pot, we were going for a distressed gold look. So, as we were applying the gold leaf, we scraped away excess with a dry sponge brush.

clear acrylic

Apply Clear Acrylic Spray

If you are spraying indoors, it is a good idea to do it in a room with an open window so that air can flow. Grab a plastic backdrop such as a garbage bag that you can spray against.

Spray a thin layer of clear acrylic spray to lock in the Gold Leaf and make your pot shiny!


Use Patterns

Once you get comfortable with applying Gold Leaf, trying creating a stencil pattern for another pot.

Here we took a piece of thin cardboard and drew a star which we cut out using a blade.

artist tape

Tape Stencil to Terracotta Pot

Be sure to use plenty of artist tape to secure the stencil to the terracotta pot.  The tape will also act as a shield when spraying the star (or other design you may come up with) with adhesive spray.

gold star

Apply Gold Leaf to Design

After you spray your pattern lightly with adhesive spray, remove the tape and gently apply your Gold Leaf.  It should stick only to the area that was sprayed.  You should be able to remove any excess with a dry sponge brush.

cover image - revised 2

You Deserve a Gold Star!

Finish off your pattern terracotta pot with a light coat of clear acrylic spray and you’re done!

We got fancy with one of our saucers and trimmed the rim with gold leaf to accent our gold star.

Plant a pretty succulent in your new decorative pot or fill with candy for a sweet treat!