Pinspiration Monday: Dipped clay pots

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It’s high time I expanded on a quick project that was mentioned in passing a couple of weeks ago…It all started with a trip to IKEA, where I picked up two clay pots – I liked the lines better than the standard wide rimmed garden center terra cotta pots, plus they were cheaper by about fifty cents or so. Sold!


The reason for this plant based purchase in the midst of winter? Pinterest, of course! I had caught sight of the images below, which feature dipped terra cotta pots planted with succulents, and couldn’t resist. I loved the idea of transforming a fairly bland container using nothing but a straight forward color blocking technique.


Source | Armelle Blog



Source | A Beautiful Mess

Truth be told, this was to be my first experience with dip painting. I had seen so many people tackle the trendy finish, but had never set aside the time to try it myself. Unemployment though gave me the perfect excuse to sit down one afternoon and check this bucket list item off.

First, a bowl of paint. I decided to dip one pot in the minty wall color I used in my studio/office, so I simply stirred up the can and poured a hefty amount into the bowl. I actually ended up pouring what was left of the quart sized can into the bowl, but it still only left me with about an inch of depth (what I didn’t use was poured back into the can at the end of the project).



After that first initial pour, I remember gazing down into the tiny puddle of paint tapping my finger nail against the rim of the bowl – It sure didn’t look like enough to me, but I had already begun so into the bowl my clay pot went to settle into the depths. After giving it a moment to soak up some paint and then gently lifting it from the bowl, it really WAS such a minuscule dip – An inch of color did not quite give me the dramatic effect I was going for.


So I tried a different tactic – I gently tilted the bowl so that the paint pooled into a deeper section and spun the pot slowly around in place to give it more coverage. This allowed the paint to reach far beyond that measly one inch. After that, I lifted the pot out of the paint and sort of stamped it across a piece of scrap paper to remove the access paint.



After doing the same thing to the other larger pot (this time with the same light yellow I used on our front door), I put both vessels up on a shelf for a few days to dry completely. Once the paint was set, I took the pair down to investigate my progress. The high quality wall paint was rock solid against the pot walls, but all that stamping left the bottom edges a little ragged…Thankfully, it was nothing a few gentle swipes with a razor blade couldn’t clean up.





Once that requisite clean up phase was complete, I set my pots back to take a good, hard, critical look at the new dipped finish. LOVED the colors. HATED the uneven dip. In typical fashion, my impatience to get more color left me with a less-than-perfect application.


Luckily, this tiny little project was HARDLY worth beating myself up over, so I simply smiled, shrugged and added a few extra steps to rectify the situation. My new plan of action was to carefully (CAREFULLY) tape up a new rip around the middle of both pots so that a fresh coat of spray paint would cover up the wobbly line. I first drew two lines going around the middle and then traced them with masking tape to mark the perimeters for my spray paint. Afterwards, I used even more tape and a couple of plastic grocery bags to cover the rest of the pots plus the insides for protection against the spray (not pictured).



A couple quick coats of metallic gold paint later and removal of alllllllll that masking tape, and this duo was ready for display. Because it’s still a bit too cold for my succulents to live outdoors, I’m keeping them inside on our bar cart temporarily. I look forward to setting them outside come spring though, where our back deck can benefit from the spiffy new colors and (happily unplanned) gold shine.




Sure, you can still see that waving edge beneath the gold paint, but I actually really LIKE the texture it gives the pots. I think perfection is highly overrated, and ultimately adore my new “dipped” planters.

Have you ever dip painted or dyed anything? I’d love to see your finished product!

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