AGING TERRACOTTA POTS WITH MILK PAINT-An easy way to get a time worn

I have a big crush on aged terracotta pots! The more distressed the better. I leave mine outside all year long so they develop a beautiful patina! But, sometimes I just can’t wait for nature to take it’s course and I help the process along along a bit! A little milk paint on a pot works wonders! So much better than any other paint. So put away the acrylics and chalk type paints and go for milk paint when aging terracotta. You will be so pleased with the results! I’ll show you how…

AGING TERRACOTTA POTS WITH PAINT- aged pots in galvanized


There is a synergistic process between terracotta and milk paint. They love each other! And I love the results! THIS IS A MUST TRY DIY…especially if you love terracotta pots like I do!



I know… soft… powdery…it’s like the finish is dancing across the pot. And no streaky brush marks! These pots are stunning!!!!

Let’s get started…


1. You will need:

  • terracotta pots and saucers
  • trim or twine (optional)
  • hot glue gun (optional)
  • milk paint  I used a small packet of Miss Mustard Seed’s Grain Sack Milk Paint (Click HERE for a MMS Milk Paint Retailer)
  • container for milk paint 
  • plastic spoon for mixing paint
  • foam brush
  • water
  • paper towel
  • disposable gloves, optional

2. I dug in my “twine” box and pulled out a couple of options to embellish my small terracotta pots. 

3. Hot glue twine or rope or what you choose to use under the lip of the pot. This is an optional step. I like the interest it gives the little pots.



4. I chose GRAIN SACK Miss Mustard Seed Paints ( If you live near me, Amy’s Fresh Vintage in Strasburg, Pa carries MMS paints… and you will love the shop!)

5. Mix the paint with water according to the package directions. I made the Milk Paint the consistency of MILK! Stir, stir, stir to make it smooth.

6. Paint pots in sections. I did a quarter of the pot at a time.


7. Sorry about the poor picture quality. I was taking this image with my left hand in a disposable glove and my hand was wrapped around the camera… but you get the idea!

Take a damp paper towel and dab the Milk Paint, lifting some of it off the pot. This will leave a very natural looking “washed” look. No brush strokes,  just a soft creamy-dreamy residue. 

8. Let the pot completely dry. I did not put a sealant over the Milk Paint but you could.

This is by far my favorite way to whitewash a terracotta… and I’ve tried them all!





Remember to pin this to your DIY or GARDEN Pinterest boards. You can follow me on Pinterest and see all the great things I am finding to pin HERE.

AGING TERRACOTTA POTS-Beautiful realistic looking whitewash. Easy!


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  1. I love this look, it’s so pretty and natural! Will have to find a source for MMS milk paint. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Karen VanLoo says:

    I loved aged terra cotta pots too! I still want to paint some, and put No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 like you did on a previous blog – those are so cute!

  3. logan wilhelm says:

    Will have to give this a try, thanks for the step by step directions! Loved a distressed, aged appearance to almost anything!

  4. Thank you for re-posting, I learned a lot.

  5. These look great and easy to do! BTW, wanted to let you know I am having regular problems opening your posts. This happens almost always the first time you put the post out. If you send it a second time, I can usually open it. I can never get your Scoop posts to open and have to read them on another blogger’s site. Didn’t know if this is something others have a problem with or is just me.

    1. I’m trying to work out the issues. So sorry! Thanks for being patient.

      1. I too am having same problem opening blog. So desperate to see what you’ve posted, I go to someone who is linked to YOU and call it, “going in the back door.” Frustrating but it works.

  6. Sarah Phillipps says:

    What is the metal shelving unit that your pots are displayed in?

  7. Love the color! Very soft and pretty… I have to try this! Thanks for sharing Yvonne!

  8. What color did you use of the Milk Paint?

  9. I especially like the decorative effect the trim gives to a plain terra cotta pot.

    1. Oops….saw the color in your post when I reread it the second time. Thanks.

  10. This may actually give me the courage to finally try milk paint. I find it intimidating. I love aged terrocata pots. I can’t leave ours out in winter. Too cold, they crack


  11. Yvonne,
    I l o v e the treatment and the finished appearance of your “milk” painting pots,dear friend!!!
    Thank you for the photos with the tutorial steps!!!
    I’m archiving this post for future reference!!!

  12. I love this soft look. I am going to do three pots to put in my new grandson’s nursery which is gray and white.

  13. They’re beautiful, Yvonne:) I’ll have to second that with the milk paint and terracotta pots! These pots will last forever this way, and they’re so darn easy to make. Great tutorial, thank you:)

  14. Yvonne. Love this. Do you think this technique would work to paint over brick on a fireplace to give it a country French look?

    1. I think it would be amazing! Try it on some individual bricks first to get the look you want.

  15. I love the teracotta pots, any they look so cool with the milk paint on them. I love how they true ex out. Can not wait to try it on some pottery. ??☺️.
    Be blessed

  16. Yvonne, I like the look of the milk paint on the terracotta pots, but I also am very fond of the look of moss and the color it leaves on the clay. Do you think that the milk paint and the moss could somehow be combined for an interesting effect? Would you mix the moss in the milk paint or paint them first with the milk paint and then after they dry apply the moss solution? I”m very curious to hear what you think about the idea of combining the two. Another project, right?!

  17. I have really red terra cotta floors. Do you think I could use milk paint on them?

    1. Hi Lynn, I’m not an expert when it come to what to put on your floors. They get lots of wear! You might want to consult a paint store. But whatever you do experiment with an extra tile or in a place on your floor that is not obvious.

  18. Thank You for sharing. I love learning new things. The photos are great and easy to understand. I love you site. It is everything I want to be. Everything is Beautiful.

  19. Sheila Philippi says:

    What cute terra cotta pots, the milk paint is awesome. Love the inspiration.

  20. The effect of the milk paint on the terra cotta pots is a lot softer looking than what I’ve seen with other paints, I like it a lot better.

  21. Lorri Rauscher says:

    Thanks for the tip…I usually dry brush with vintage white paint…but your way looks so much more natural.I will have to find milk paint around here. I love yr potting bench, I have had one for going on 15 yrs now….when it just got too old I had another made for me…I love decorating for the different seasons.Truly helps when I do my planting and creating things..helps the back..?

  22. Andreja Brinc says:

    Very interesting and instructive. Thank you.

  23. Linda Graves says:

    What a wonderful site/blog. I just found you late last night…and am impressed with your writing style and your topics. Thanks for all your work.

  24. Bonnie Schmitt says:

    I love aged terra cotta pots and am in need of a fun weekend project, will do this! Next trip back home to Lancaster I will check out Amy’s Fresh Vintage!!

  25. Thank You so much for this tutorial, I ordered a whole bunch of MMS milk paint & accessories lol brushes, wax etc. plus I have a collection of terra-cotta pots, yard sale etc. I just needed directions & this is perfection ?

  26. I just love your pots. You’ve inspired me. I’ve looked all over for the braided trim- for some reason I can’t find it. Where did you get it . Keep up these wonderful projects. Thanks

  27. Love how the pots turned out especially with the added trim.

  28. I would like to do this – very lightly – to a very large outdoor terra cotta pot. I’ve learned that if you paint just the outside or just part of a terra cotta pot, when it absorbs moisture elsewhere it causes the paint to bubble and peel. Have you found this with milk paint? Did you paint the insides of the pots, too? Thanks for your help!

  29. Mary Kay Galofre says:

    Do you get bleed through when you leave them outside?

    1. I used a couple coats on my pots, but I have not experienced bleed though.