- Aged Terra Cotta Archives
- How to Paint Clay Pots
- Supplies you’ll need
- Celestial Pot
- Antique gold pot
- Rich black pot
- Containers forum: Moss covered pots
- Make Moss Covered Pots
- How to Make Moss Covered Pots
- Steps to Grow Moss
- Martha Stewart: Give your terra cotta pots a weathered look without the wait
- How to Quickly Age Your Terra-Cotta Pots
- Make DIY Moss Covered Pots With Living Paint
- Make sure the moss is alive!
- Make the Living Paint
Aged Terra Cotta Archives
The Aged Venetian Fruit Bowl has been so well received that it has appeared in numerous national magazines. And this shape, which comes in four sizes, has been universally praised by our customers. They serve equally well as a planter, centerpiece and as a decorative item.
Take note of the shape of these saucers if you will. A low lying pedestal that will not obscure the shape of your pot or planter and that nonetheless will hold enough water to feed your plants.
This truly distinct saucer is indicitive of the care that Campo de’ Fiori puts into the design of its offerings. These come in eight sizes. The interior diameter defines the seat of the saucer – that is, the diameter of the base of the pot or planter to be placed therein.
The exterior diameter references the overall diameter of the saucer. See details below.
Another of the original Campo de’ Fiori designs these pie crust pots are among the most coveted by our friends and customers. Also turned by hand and aged in the greenhouse for a beautiful live moss finish. These are the small scale version of the planters.
For other variations see Aged Pie Crust Planters – Medium scale, or Aged Pie Crust Planters – Large scale.
Small: 6″D 5″H
Medium: 7″D 6″H
Large: 10″D 8″H
The pots were specifically designed to accommodate 4 inch, 6 inch, and 8 inch standard nursery containers, so that you can just place your choice directly into these planters and they seat perfectly. We’ve made this short version in three sizes. We’ve also made a tall version, see Nursery Planter – Tall.
Truly the original Campo de’ Fiori classic pot. A simple, traditional English design. After having been deftly hand turned on a potter’s wheel, it spends months in the greenhouse gathering its coat of moss before making its way to you. For large scale variations see Aged English Planters – Large scale, and for medium variations see Aged English Planters – Medium scale.
6″D 5″H (3″D at base.)
7″D 6″H (4″D at base.)
10″D 8″H (5.75″D at base.)
Derived from the crucibles in which molten bronze is heated and from which it is poured, these stunningly simple pots have grown in popularity since they were first introduced. In fact they now are one of our bestsellers. They come in three sizes:
Small 4.5″D 4″H
Medium 6″D 6″H
Large 7.5″D 7″H
Barbara originally found this classical Victorian design while visiting Balmoral on a shooting weekend and decided to take it home in her suitcase along with many botanical species.
After a game of poker, Robin won the rights to reproduce this pot for sale. The drainage holes on the side of the pot are particularly distinctive.
For the mini variation see here Mini Victorian Planters , and see here for the Large Victorian Planters.
We have revived this aged terracotta shape in three sizes. Again, both classical and modern, they can be appreciated in most any setting.
Offering ventilation holes in order to help extend the life of your plant, this Orchid pot design has been very well received by our customers and the press.
Small: 6.5″D 6″ HMedium: 8″D 7.25″H
Large: 10.25″D 7.50″H
When Robin saw a Clematis seed pod there was no holding back, it had to become one of our Botanical series. Barbara uses these planters frequently for many of her plantings. Another favorite in five sizes.
Mini: 4.5″D x 4.5″HSmall: 6.5″D x 6″HMedium: 8″D x 8″HLarge: 12″D x 10.5″H
X-Large: 16″D x 13.5″H
The gentle ripples of the scallop planter make for a cheerful sun bonnet impression around your plants. A genuine classic shape that has stood the test of time, and that continues to be a favourite in all sizes.
People kept asking us for a ‘half pot’ so we designed the Berkshire series and they have been well received. Named for the mountains in which we live this style comes in four sizes.
The Aged Azalea pot is among our range of shallow containers with broad openings, suitable for center pieces, herbal plantings or it’s namesake Azalea. Also good for the root systems of cactus and succulents.
Small: 9″D 5.5″HMedium: 13″D 6.5″H
Large: 16″D 9″H
These pots are similar to the nursery range except with the added pie crust fringe.
the nursery range, they were specifically designed to accommodate 4 inch, 6 inch, and 8 inch standard nursery containers, so that you can just place your choice directly into these planters and they seat perfectly.
We’ve made this short pie crust range in 3 sizes. We’ve also made this planter in a tall version. Aged Pie Crust Nursery Planter – Tall.
Named for Robin’s Mama the Rita Dear planter is especially dear to us and our customers. Barbara s to use it for herbs such as rosemary although it can accommodate most any planting. Truly an elegant shape, this pot also comes in three different sizes. Rita loved looking at this planter while sipping her evening cocktail.
8″ D 4.5″ H
11″ D 6″ H
How to Paint Clay Pots
Photo/Illustration: Scott Phillips
I love terra-cotta, but I think too much of it can be monotonous.
To vary the look of terra-cotta pots, I sometimes age them by spraying them with a buttermilk and moss solution to stimulate moss growth (a time-consuming affair), or if I want instant gratification I paint them.
I started painting clay pots years ago while working in a craft store and nursery. It is an easy and inexpensive way to dress up the garden as well as a thoughtful way to personalize a plant gift.
The best part of painting pots for me is coming up with the designs. I’ve drawn inspiration for my pots from people, objects, and places around me, and I’ve established a few design guidelines for myself over the years.
For example, I usually avoid the color green unless I have a particular look in mind when the pot is combined with a plant. I’ve found that a green pot usually either clashes with or distracts from the foliage of a plant.
Also, very small, intricate designs will be lost on a pot used for a floor plant or large container planting. I reserve those designs for a pot that will be seen at eye level.
One of my favorite designs is the night sky. It’s mysterious, intriguing, and a good foil for almost any plant. Another design I is inspired by old gold-leaf picture frames. I love the look of the overlapping layers of gold with the red base color showing through.
For variety, I sometimes use a top coat of black paint instead of gold and scratch off a bit of the top layer to expose the red beneath. When I want a very simple treatment, a thin wash of color that lets the terra-cotta show through is all it takes to make a pot shine.
When it comes to painting pots, the design possibilities are endless. The pots hold up well for years with only minimal fading, even outdoors. They won’t survive freezing, though, so bring them in when it gets cold.
Supplies you’ll need
- Clean terra-cotta pots
- Acrylic craft paints in assorted colors
- Small or medium foam brushes
- Plastic plates
- Cotton swabs
- Small artist’s paint brush
- Wire brush
- Clear spray acrylic
Soak the pot in a tub of warm water for up to an hour, then scrub it with a stiff brush.Put the paint for the base coat on a plastic plate and thin it with a small amount of water.Apply the paint with a foam brush. Apply additional coats until the desired color depth is achieved.
Start by prepping the pot
Remove price tags and stickers from the pot by soaking it in a tub of warm water for up to an hour, then scrubbing it with a stiff brush. Allow the pot to dry completely before painting.
Next, apply the base coat
Put the paint for the base coat on a plastic plate and adjust the color with other shades if desired. Thin the paint with a small amount of water to make it easier to coat the pot evenly.
Apply the paint with a foam brush, working around the pot in broad sweeps. Extend the paint an inch or so down into the top of the pot, but do not cover the bottom, which should be left clear for optimal drainage. The pot will absorb a lot of paint.
Apply additional coats if you’d , allowing the pot to dry between coats, until the desired color depth is achieved.
Choose a color for the stars.Draw the paint out from the middle to create the star-burst effect.Make more stars at random spots on the pot.
After the blue base coat has dried completely, choose a color for the stars. (I to use gold, silver, or pearlescent white.) With a cotton swab, apply a liberal dot of the paint onto the side of the pot.
Using a small artist’s paint brush, draw the paint out from the middle to create the star-burst effect. Start with the longest rays and finish with the shortest to ensure that you will have enough paint for each. I to end each ray with a tiny dot of paint to make the stars seem to sparkle.
Make more stars at random spots on the pot until you have as many as you want.
Antique gold pot
After the red base coat is dry, apply patches of a gold shade.After the first set of patches is dry, overlap them with additional patches.
After the red base coat is dry, use a wide foam brush to apply staggered patches of a muted antique gold shade. Do not dilute the gold paint in this step. The undiluted paint will go on unevenly, leaving streaks that will allow the base color to show through, emulating gold leaf.
After the first set of patches is dry, overlap them with additional patches to cover the entire pot.
Rich black pot
After the red base coat has dried, apply coat of black paint.Before the black coat dries, scratch off the top coat to reveal the red color below.
After the red base coat has dried completely, apply a thick coat of undiluted black paint, completely covering the base color on the outside surface of the pot.
Before the black coat dries completely, use a stiff wire brush in broad, light sweeps around the pot, scratching off just enough of the top coat to reveal the red color below.
Apply two coats of spray acrylic to seal the paint.
After the finished pot has dried completely (this may take several days, as the drops of paint on the celestial pot are much thicker than a coat of paint), apply two coats of a clear waterbased spray acrylic to seal the paint and protect the design from scratches.
This layer also makes cleaning soil from the outside of the pot a little easier. I recommend a matte finish, which is less distracting than a shiny finish and tends to intensify the colors of the pot.
See Michelle in action in this video!
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Containers forum: Moss covered pots
|Views: 2319, Replies: 19 » Jump to the end|
|California neodragonfly6Dec 19, 2018 12:57 PM CST|
|Nailed it. Just kidding. I was trying to grow moss on some terra-cotta pots. Did everything it said to do online: Collected moss Blended moss with yogurt Spread moss-yogurt on pots Set the pots in sealed plastic bags Let sit in a shady spot for 10 days. Removed pots from bags My friend calls them “zombie pots”. Idk where I went wrong but they're completely covered in mold. I sprayed them with a fungicide and set them under a bush. Not ready to give up yet, I think that moss is alive under there. | Quote | Post #1874491 (1)|
|Name: Christine NY zone 5a ChristineDec 21, 2018 8:23 AM CST|
|Did you let the moss dry for a couple of days? I dont think you should have put the moss and yogurt in a blender. Other members will have more thoughts (1) | Quote | Post #1875241 (2)|
|Name: Shawn S.Hampton, Virginia (Zone 8b) ShawnSteveDec 21, 2018 9:23 AM CST|
|Hey, the solution to get moss started, is much easier, than the solution, of how to keep it alive. what was just mentioned, allowing it to dry in low humidity, can be the end of that experiment.You can always try again & leave it in the pot within the baggy, for longer, then plant a shade loving plant that can withstand outdoor temps, & has similar requirements- A fern , perhaps. Moss tends to grow on the North side of trees & very wet areas on soil or build up layer, on cement even,,, but , remember- shaded & damp., with high humidity hth you out. | Quote | Post #1875264 (3)|
|Name: RjJust S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b) crawgardenDec 21, 2018 5:58 PM CST|
|Not sure there is a jump start method for moss, I have lots of moss in different sections of my yard, it all is very slow growing.Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. | Quote | Post #1875616 (4)|
|California neodragonfly6Dec 21, 2018 11:35 PM CST|
|This experiment was a fail, but I have a plan of how to try again. I collected some more moss, this time I'm going to dry it out in my dehydrator for a few hours on a very low setting before I start. And I'm using buttermilk and some water storing crystals in place of the yogurt. Found the following recipe online: Moss Recipe DO-IT-YOURSELF MOSS HERE IS A recipe for a moss paste you can use to try to grow moss in your garden or yard. It comes from William Cullina, director of horticulture at Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay. For more information on moss, see his Web site, williamcullina.com. FIRST, BEGIN with moss taken from places with similar conditions present in locations where you want to grow moss. Also, if you want to cover stone, take moss that is covering stone. If you want ground cover, use moss that was growing in soil. INGREDIENTS: 2 cups of fresh moss 1 1/2 to 2 cups water 1/2 cup of beer (Cullina says he is not sure the beer does anything, but it means you can drink the rest so it doesn't go to waste. In theory, the sugars in buttermilk or beer help the moss adhere at first.) 1 teaspoon of sodium polyacrylate (crystals sold at nurseries and also found in disposable diapers) INSTRUCTIONS: Soak the crystals in a cup of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes, until they have absorbed all the water. Then put them in a blender with moss and other ingredients, and pulsate or chop until you have a paste, but do not liquify.You can then use a paintbrush to apply the paste to whatever surface you'd . Mist it with some water. (2) | Quote | Post #1875758 (5)|
|California neodragonfly6Dec 22, 2018 8:06 AM CST|
|I'll keep you posted! I don't know why the moss needs to dry out? Maybe to make it go temporarily dormant? Everything I've read says dry the moss. I skipped this step the first time and look how that turned out. | Quote | Post #1875842 (8)|
|Name: Linus LeonFalmouth, KY (Zone 6a) LinusdeLeonDec 22, 2018 8:13 AM CST|
|I would look to what they do to recreate nature in terrariums and vivariums. Choose the right moss. Tropical moss will take more wetness, temperature, and humidity. It is easier to overwater and the tropical moss can handle it. You could always experiment with mixing temperate and tropical moss. Maybe temperate moss will do better in some spots? Use 100% pure silicone caulk to coat the outside of the pot. Then roll the pot in sphagnum, peat moss, sawdust, or your choice of planting medium. FORGET the beer and yogurt! Feed the moss the cellulose and dead stuff they crave. Blend moss with distilled water, apply to sides of the pot, then set it in a humidity chamber (a clear tote in the shade). Let the moss colonize the pot, then put it out for display. Remember that moss is sensitive to chloride, fluoride, and heavy metal, so avoid watering with tap water. Set the moss pot in a saucer so that the pot wicks water on the inside and out. In the garden of time we reap the necessary calmness to reflect and wait.|
|Name: Linus LeonFalmouth, KY (Zone 6a) LinusdeLeonDec 22, 2018 8:14 AM CST|
|I would look to what they do to recreate nature in terrariums and vivariums. Choose the right moss. Tropical moss will take more wetness, temperature, and humidity. It is easier to overwater and the tropical moss can handle it. You could always experiment with mixing temperate and tropical moss. Maybe temperate moss will do better in some spots? Use 100% pure silicone caulk to coat the outside of the pot. Then roll the pot in sphagnum, peat moss, sawdust, or your choice of planting medium. FORGET the beer and yogurt! Feed the moss the cellulose and dead stuff they crave. Blend moss with distilled water, apply to sides of the pot, then set it in a humidity chamber (a clear tote in the shade). Let the moss colonize the pot, then put it out for display. Remember that moss is sensitive to chloride, fluoride, and heavy metal, so avoid watering with tap water. Set the moss pot in a saucer so that the pot wicks water on the inside and out. In the garden of time we reap the necessary calmness to reflect and wait. | Quote | Post #1875847 (10)|
|Name: Sue TaylorNorthumberland, UK kniphofiaDec 22, 2018 11:55 PM CST|
|I think you're expecting too much in ten days. I wouldn't have used a fungicide on the pots, just leave them in a shady spot and see what happens. You will never get moss in the first photo on pots after 10 days. In a woodland setting think of a fallen branch, there are all kinds of things that happen to it before moss will eventually colonise it. Patience is the key here. (1) | Quote | Post #1876184 (11)|
|California neodragonfly6Dec 23, 2018 8:57 PM CST|
|I scrapped the first attempt. Perhaps if I had been patient it would have made a comeback, but I was fairly certain that the moss was quite dead underneath a thick layer of a variar tu of unknown fungi. Thanks for the tips. I'm going to try the buttermilk and water retention crystals first, since I've already purchased the materials. I always water with distilled water so that won't be an issue. If that doesn't work out, I have another strategy in my back poacket now to try. I'm not giving up. (1) | Quote | Post #1876583 (12)|
|California neodragonfly6Dec 23, 2018 9:00 PM CST|
|Oh, and btw, everything I've read about how nurseries cultivate moss involves buttermilk. In fact they sell a product at my local nursery called a “moss milkshake” that's dry moss, powdered buttermilk and water retention crystals. Just add water. | Quote | Post #1876584 (13)|
|California neodragonfly6Jan 4, 2019 11:36 AM CST|
|Moss pots round 2: Collected moss, dried in dehydrator on 95 degrees for a few hours until it was dry to the touch. Then it sat for a few days over Christmas. Next: Soaked 1/2 t water retention crystals in 1/2 c warm water Sat until absorbed all water Blended in blender with 1 c dry moss, 1 c buttermilk Was not a “paste” so added 1/4 t crystals Sat for 10 mins, no change Added 1/4 t crystals Added another 1/2 t crystals Then there was 1 1/2 t crystals total in the mix Ratio of crystals to liquid was 1 t : 1 c Blended up into a paste and painted onto clean terra cotta pots. It seemed a lot of crystals, so maybe you don't need so much? One of the pots went in a bag and the other one stayed out as an experiment. The pots went to a shady spot on the patio. I misted the one that wasn't in the bag daily, sometimes more than once for a few days. Then on a particularly windy day it dried out completely. It was pretty crispy. So I decided to put soil in the pot and keep the soil wet so that the moss would stay moist. It worked! The pot in the bag seemed to be doing fine until today. I pretty much left it alone. Then when I checked it this morning I noticed that a little bit of that white fuzzy fungus was starting to grow. So it came the bag and now it's full of soil as well. It's day 6 and the moss is still green. I don't know if it's really growing, but it doesn't seem to be dead. I will keep you posted with how it goes from here. (3) | Quote | Post #1882391 (14)|
|Buffalo, NYjrsrJan 24, 2019 12:57 PM CST|
|I don't know anything about growing moss, but I do know a lot about (unintentionally) growing fungus on things. What I think the moss needs is a humid environment, light and flowing air. And a damp surface too. Stagnant, humid air will almost always result in mold. (1) | Quote | Post #1894729 (18)|
|Name: Bev WalkerSW Virginia (Zone 6a) SundownrJan 26, 2019 9:45 AM CST|
|Don't beat yourself up over failed moss-growing experiments. There are so many different types of moss, each with specific growing requirements, that it's a crap shoot to luck up on getting the right moss for a particular situation and then care for it properly. If you have the right moss and have the proper growing conditions, there's not much work involved at all after the moss is established. There's much reading but if you're serious about growing moss, you'll appreciate the info these folks provide: http://www.mossandstonegardens… They know their business. Good luck with your moss growing!! — Bev WalkersWayWeeds.com It's all about recycling the WEEDS of our daily life! (1) | Quote | Post #1895865 (19)|
|Name: Jen DionneSouthern NH (Zone 5b) NHJenDionMar 20, 2019 1:59 PM CST|
|Greetings… I am wondering if you're using the wrong variety of moss from the get go…I'm also wondering if placing the pots on plastic/pottery saucers and adding water to them virtually daily so they don't dry out would be better than the mold-inducing bags which don't allow air circulation. Here's my theory – I grow an AMAZING crop of 'velvet' moss – it's not the tall type you're showing in your photos – instead, it's more a film or fabric….all over my paved walkway on the north side of my house. This area gets NO direct sun, but plenty of water and air. The moss literally feels velvet and volunteers heartily. We have snow on the ground now, but come spring, if you wanted to send me postage, I would be happy to scrape up some of this 'velvet' moss and send it to you. I think you'd have better luck. JenHe who can laugh at himself will never cease to be amused…. (3) | Quote | Post #1931744 (20)|
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Make Moss Covered Pots
Oh, you are going to all love me for this tutorial to make moss covered garden planters! Did you know that you can quickly make moss covered pots by applying just one simple recipe? Go figure! Even if you live in the newest apartment, you can quickly create that ‘English cottage garden’- look. Oh, it’s so cool.
I’d say that a #1 problem with new gardens of new buildings condo’s etc, is that they look ‘new’ and a bit awkward for quite a while, usually. They just lack that coziness and sense of belonging. It can take a year or several years for a garden to start to blend into a cohesive lovely look. And in that time, you will want to do lots of clipping and tweaking to make it ‘so’.
Now, I have a fantastic shortcut for you to to create a Country Cottage Garden, in a mum. Add interest to your everyday plants by planting them in moss covered pots! Moss-covered pots also make perfect complements to water features in your garden.
How to Make Moss Covered Pots
I am not sure if I ever shared some pictures of the Tivoli water gardens just outside of Rome?! Here’s one shot… I have ever since dreamed of having even just a tiny piece of its wonderfulness. Or the moss-covered stones on Via Amerina, that ancient Etruscan paved road from Rome to Florence. I LOVE that aged look of nature.
Recipe to quickly grow moss on terra cotta pots, rocks, bricks, and walls (think … moss – covered letters…)
- 1 Part Moss.
- 1 Part Sugar.
- 2 Parts Beer.
Apparently, you can use yogurt and buttermilk are substitutes for beer when aging terra cotta clay pots. Essentially, you want yeast to speed up the moss growing process for you.
Great way to get some benefit from dairy products that are past their expiry date. If you go for full fat, the liquid will be thicker and stay on better.
The methods and results vary a small bit, and can be used in a mix-match fashion. You can just smear on the yogurt (unevenly!).
And just wait…. This aging method may take a month and is really beautiful. Pots made this way a great complement to moss covered pots made with the beer or buttermilk. The beer or buttermilk is to be mixed with the moss and is faster.
Again, be sure to go for an uneven application to create natural moss patterns and aging patinas.
Steps to Grow Moss
- Step 1. Mix ingredients.
- Step 2. Apply onto surface where you want the moss to grow.
- Step 3. Keep it a bit moist, initially by water spraying the surface.
- Voila, there you have your natural, ornamental moss, that makes your garden look it’s been there for ages!
This gardening tip works best in the shade, of course. Moss is a plant that loves the damp and dark. Realize that this recipe is to quickly create an aged look to your garden.
However, in addition, your terra cotta pots and garden will be come more beautiful and aged over time! I would give it several weeks to several months to have a splendid-looking garden that looks a hundred years old.
Don’t forget to put some pretty flowers and plants in at least some of your pots!
Photo credit: Daniel, guest writer for Chellet’s BackyardGardeningAdventures.com.
Martha Stewart: Give your terra cotta pots a weathered look without the wait
many objects of value, terra cotta pots take on character as they age. The clay darkens, assuming a whitish cast from fertilizers and the minerals in water.
When kept in the shade and watered frequently, the pots gradually acquire a verdant sheen of algae or moss. But you don’t have to wait for that look.
These six easy techniques help pots undergo a transformation within weeks.
Accelerate the appearance of white deposits by filling the pot with a highly concentrated fertilizer solution for a few weeks. Pots aged this way are safe for plants because the salts won’t wash from the pot to the soil.
Materials: wine cork, candle and water-soluble fertilizer
Directions: Plug pot’s drainage hole with a wine cork. For smaller pots, whittle the cork; for larger ones, slice additional corks to fit.
Light the candle and let wax drip over the cork on the outside of pot to seal. Let cool. Fill pot with water.
Add five times more fertilizer than package directions recommend. Stir until dissolved. Set aside until deposits appear. Replenish water as needed. The longer the pots sit, the more dramatic the effect. Remove water, wax and cork. (Pour water into the soil, so that the fertilizer doesn’t drain directly into steams or storm drains.)
A natural-looking patina can be achieved by simply slathering plain yogurt on a new pot. Yogurt applied to dry pots yields more dramatic results. For a subtler look, first soak pots in water for 15 minutes.
Materials: plain yogurt and a foam brush.
Directions: Stir yogurt.
Use brush to coat surface of pot with yogurt, covering it completely.
Set in a shady place until pot achieves the desired look, at least one month.
Buttermilk and moss
Combining buttermilk and moss to encourage moss growth is a common tactic. The moss serves to hold the buttermilk in place and vary the texture, as well as to promote growth.
Materials: moss (or sheet moss), buttermilk and 2-inch foam brush
Directions: If you’ve gathered your own moss, remove as much soil as possible. Tear moss into small pieces, removing materials such as bark and pine needles.
Pour buttermilk into a bowl, add moss and combine. Use brush to paint the mixture over pot. Set aside in a shaded place until pot achieves the desired look.
It’s easy to make a pot appear as if it had been unearthed in an archaeological dig. Just apply soil found in your backyard.
Materials: clay soil and flexible wire brush
Directions: Rub soil over surface of pot, moistening the soil with a little water if it doesn’t stick.
Place pot in a shade for at least one month. Brush pot to create textured surface.
This method provides instant gratification. The lime solution quickly tones down the harsh orange of many new pots.
Materials: hydrated lime, natural-bristle paintbrush, spray bottle and 150-grit sandpaper
Directions: Dissolve 1 cup hydrated lime in 2 cups water, stirring until no clumps remain. This amount will age several small pots or 2 large ones.
Using random strokes, brush pot with lime solution, applying thickly in some areas, and thinly in others to simulate the subtle streaks of old pots.
Fill spray bottle with water, set it on “stream” setting, and coat pot in spots while lime is wet. Let dry and sand pot in random directions, wiping dust.
Water and sunlight
Soak a pot in a tub of water in the sun until algae grows on its surface. Replenish water as needed.
How to Quickly Age Your Terra-Cotta Pots
Age your terra-cotta pots in no time with these simple techniques.
many objects of value, terra-cotta pots take on character as they age. The clay darkens, assuming a whitish cast from fertilizers and the minerals in water.
When kept in the shade and watered frequently, the pots gradually acquire a verdant sheen of algae or moss. But you don't have to wait for that look. These six easy techniques help pots undergo a transformation in weeks—if not sooner.
Start now and you'll enjoy their vintage charm for many seasons to come.
Related: Terra-Cotta Clay Projects to Beautify Your Home and Garden
Accelerate the appearance of white deposits by filling the pot with a highly concentrated fertilizer solution for a few weeks. Pots aged this way are safe for plants because the salts won't wash from the pot to the soil. All you need for this simple DIY is a wine cork, candle, water, and water-soluble fertilizer.
Start by plugging the pot's drainage hole with a wine cork—a standard cork will fit a 10-inch pot perfectly. For smaller pots, whittle the cork, and for larger ones slice additional corks to fit and wedge it in place. Next, light a candle and drip the wax over the cork on the outside of the pot to seal it.
Let it cool before filling the pot with water—hard water accelerates the aging process. Add five times more fertilizer than package directions recommend and stir it until it's all dissolved. Next, set it aside until deposits appear—replenishing water as needed. The longer the pots sit, the more dramatic the effect.
Remove water, wax, and cork to finish.
One of the most natural-looking patinas can be achieved by simply slathering plain yogurt on a new pot. Yogurt applied to dry pots yields more dramatic results. For a subtler look, first, soak pots in water for 15 minutes.
All you need to age your terra-cotta pots this way is plain yogurt and a two-inch foam brush. Simply stir the yogurt and dip your foam brush into it, brushing to coat the surface of the pot; covering it completely.
Then set your pots aside in a shaded place until they achieve the desired look, at least one month.
Combining buttermilk and moss to encourage moss growth is a common tactic. The moss serves to hold the runny buttermilk in place and vary the texture as well as to promote growth. Moss, buttermilk, and a two-inch foam brush are your tools for this easy project.
If you've gathered your own moss, remove as much soil as possible and tear it into small pieces, removing materials bark and pine needles. Start by pouring the buttermilk into a bowl then add your moss and combine.
Use your brush to paint the mixture over the terra-cotta pots, and set aside in a shaded place until you've reached the desired look. You can use a metal-bristle brush to remove any heavy clumps of moss.
It's easy to make a pot appear as if it has been unearthed in an archaeological dig. Just apply soil found in your backyard. Moist soils with high clay content are ideal, as they adhere to terra-cotta best.
Your materials for this DIY include clay soil and a flexible wire brush. Begin by rubbing soil over the surface of the pot—moistening the soil with a little water if it doesn't stick. Then place the pot in a shaded area for at least one month while the soil bonds.
Finally, brush the pot to create a varied, textured surface.
Sometimes, the simplest methods bring the most satisfying results. Soak a pot in a tub of water until algae grow on its surface. It grows best in the sun, so be sure that vessels sit in bright locations and that water is replenished as it evaporates.
Each technique will yield unique results, although a few common truths apply to the various methods. It's fine to use dairy products that aren't fresh or have expired.
Low-fat products will work, but higher-fat versions tend to be thicker and therefore less ly to drip off. To achieve an authentic appearance, vary the thickness of the materials and the direction of application.
Look to true aged pots for inspiration.
Shaded locations are ideal for most pots while they “age.” Do not stack the pots; spray them occasionally with water, or place them where rain can reach them.
Pots coated with food products may smell strongly for a few days after the ingredients have been applied; keep them away from living areas. The longer a pot sits, the more pronounced the effect will be, so it's up to you to decide when you think it's ready.
Most pots will continue to “age” even as they are being used. One final tip: Be creative; try combining methods for different effects.
Make DIY Moss Covered Pots With Living Paint
Want to make some DIY Mossy Pots with us? It's a pretty easy project, but very rewarding in a lush, green kind of way.
We're going to show you how to make living moss paint, and how to apply this living paint to terra cotta pots or garden ornaments, that will grow over time to become lush, verdant little ecosystems – a living piece of art!
Here are the supplies + things you'll need:
- a shady spot where the moss can grow and establish itself
- a few un-glazed pots. If you can, get them wet the night before. The water will soak into the terra cotta so they're not completely bone dry.
- 2 cups live cultured buttermilk or plain natural yogurt
- a bag of living moss you can find at the nursery (no dye, not preserved)
- a blender
- a few paintbrushes 1-3 inches wide, this assortment works great
- a mister bottle filled with water and/or a garden hose mister attachment this adjustable watering wand
Start by gathering new or used unglazed terra cotta or cement pots that you'd to see covered in this green mossy life! You can get little creative here because the only limit is that the base be something porous that moss would naturally grow on. These pictures are great because they show a wide variety of different surfaces that the moss will grow on. You can see how varied your finished pots will look as they become more established with sprouting ferns, impatiens, and other shade-loving volunteers.
Some fun ideas for your base include an interesting shaped rock, driftwood (well-rinsed of saltwater), an figurine this Roman goddess planter, bird bath, birdhouse, water fountain, Buddha head statue, wooden trellis, garden angel, toadstool, garden gnome, etc. Just make sure it's either terra cotta or cement as the moss won't stick to plastic or resin.
This is a really fun project to do with kids. It's sort of making mud pies + gives them permission to get a little dirty, + have something alive to care for. There's so much joy + learning in watching something that you planted grow + transform over time.
Make sure the moss is alive!
You can get this from a nursery, but make sure it's not preserved or dyed from a craft store. We this all-natural Live Terrarium Assortment because it comes with 4 different varieties of moss which makes the finished pots look super cool and varied our pictures. If you're going for a more uniform look, with just one kind of moss, we recommend this New Zealand Sphagnum Moss.
This project will work with common moss you may find growing on the shady side of trees, fences or buildings. It's a good idea to ask permission if you want to harvest moss from someone else's property. If it's overgrown they'll probably be happy for to you take it, but you never know 'till you ask!
You can certainly go foraging for wild moss as well. Of course be mindful of what you take and where you take it from.
It's good practice to honor the plant and the place it's growing with a deep breath of gratitude and appreciation before harvesting.
It's better to take a little bit from several different places, than to remove all of the moss from one spot in a wild ecosystem. Gather your bits of moss from inconspicuous places, and leave the forest looking as lovely as you found it.
Make the Living Paint
Place 2 cups of live moss with 2 cups of live cultured buttermilk or plain yogurt into a blender. Use the pulse button to blend the mix a little at a time until you reach a thick, uniform consistency with bits of moss. You want it to be carrot cake batter with the bigger chunks, not pulverized to a completely smooth, smoothie texture.
You can pour the paint out into containers or dip your brush straight into the blender. The living paint is gloppy and weird, and fun to slop onto the pots. It's not an exact science, quirks are welcome, and even bring interest to the finished product. As you can see in our pictures, that the areas of the pots left uncovered are super cool.
Moss reproduces by spores or by sending out new shoots from even the smallest pieces. The acidity in the yogurt provides the perfect environment for the moss to grow in as long as it has moisture.
Brush a thick layer onto your un-glazed flower pot. The moisture from the yogurt will soak into the pot helping the moss stick, and give it the moistness it needs to start establishing it's new home more quickly.
Place your painted pots in the shade for the incubation phase. They'll need care over the next 2-3 weeks as the paint grows into a living moss carpet. Gently mist with water at least once per day. You don't want to spray these with a strong stream from a hose as that will dislodge the moss that's starting to grow.
You will see it start to green up in no time, usually about a week to 10 days. This mossy milkshake can actually be painted on any porous surface, an outdoor fountain or rock wall.
It just needs to be kept moist and in the shade to stay green and happy.
It will take a while to grow as established as our pictures, expect 6 months in a humid rain forest type climate or about a year in temperate climates.
Expect the results to be perfectly imperfect and enjoy caring for your mossy pots as they grow and evolve over time. Maintain healthy moss by keeping it full sun, and keep it moist. If the moss begins to dry or turn brown, you need to mist more frequently.