How to give terracotta pots years of patina.
The first blooms of spring deserve to be displayed in flowerpots indoors, too. In a room with more traditional decor or antique furniture, though, brand-new terracotta pots can look out of place. I wanted to give my pots a weathered look, without waiting a month for the usual moss-and-buttermilk method to take hold. Luckily, with dolomitic lime and a paintbrush, you can give flowerpots a little patina in a few short hours. The finished pot should only be used indoors, since rain will wash away the finish.
Materials and Tools
- Terracotta flowerpots
- Protective gloves
- Small container of dolomitic lime (check your hardware store or garden centre)
- Measuring cup
- Paint stir stick
- Natural-bristled brush
- Paper towel or soft cloth
Step 1: Mix lime
Wearing gloves, mix 1/2 cup dolomitic lime and 1 cup hot water (avoid other types of lime, which can be dangerous to handle). Stir until the lime is completely dissolved. This will be enough to faux-weather a few pots; if you run out, simply mix 1 part lime to 2 parts hot water to make more.
Step 2: Paint pots
Lightly brush the lime mixture onto clean flowerpots using a natural-bristled brush. (This will give more texture than using a sponge brush.) Make sure the coverage is uneven for a more naturally weathered look. Let dry.
Step 3: Wipe off grit
When the pots are dry, the lime will have a slightly sandy texture. Wipe the pots with a clean, dry paper towel or soft cloth until they feel smooth. For a heavier patina, I gave my pots a second coat of the lime mixture and wiped them off again, but you can stop after one coat if you like.
Dolomitic lime, flowerpot, Home Hardware.
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