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How to Paint Thrifted Clay Pots

Learn how to paint thrifted clay pots to give them a modern look!

$2 yard sale succulents and how to painted thrifted clay pots

My mom and I had two tables set up at a local community yard sale a few weeks ago. We were mostly selling her stuff, but I brought a few things, too. It was a big success…not only because she made almost $150, but because we only spent $2! It’s tough to not snatch up bargain finds when you’re selling at a yard sale.

After all, the point is to get rid of things and make some cash, not come home with new stuff. The problem? The couple across the way from us was selling plants! Yes, plants at a yard sale. Genius! And they were selling them for amazing prices. I bought an entire plastic cake topper filled with succulents for $2. $2!

There were eight plants in it, and some of them were quite big. I was giddy, especially considering just one of these pretty little plants would have been more than $2 anywhere else. So when we were packing up at the end of the morning and I realized that mom had three plant pots she hadn’t sold, I scooped them up for my new succulents.

painted thrifted pots on a windowsill with succulents planted in them

Here’s what they looked like before:

plaint thrifted pot on a table
plaint thrifted pots on a table

Perfectly good pots—mom just didn’t need them. So I decided to give them a home and a little makeover so they’d fit our bedrooms new theme of black and white with touches of gold.


And here’s how to paint thrifted clay pots!

(Remember to wear an appropriate mask while working with paints, stains, and finishes. Follow the directions and warnings from your particular brand.)

Step 1: Paint the tops

To make these over, I took the two with grooved tops and spray painted one using the Flat Black and painted the other using the Antique Bronze. When they were dry, I taped off the tops using Frogtape and painted the opposite colors.

painting a clay pot using acrylic paint
painting a clay pot using acrylic paint

Step 2: Apply tape to create a design

I knew I wanted to line the three pots up on my window sill, so I decided to do something fun with the middle one. I recently got a throw blanket with an Aztec-type pattern on it for the bed, and I wanted to mimic that pattern on the center pot.

Here’s the blanket with my models adding what every room needs, just a touch of cat hair:

cat laying on a bed
cats laying on a bed

So I painted the entire pot Snow White and then when that was dry, I used Frogtape to tape off a design that I thought would complement the blanket’s pattern. Then I spray painted it using the Flat Black and peeled the tape off to reveal my lovely design.

white painted pot on a table
applying painter's tape to the pots

For more thrifty paint projects, check out my painted wine bottle upcycled into a bud vase, my upcycled tea tin planter, my post on how to paint thrifted clay pots, and my post about how to paint glass jars!

Step 3: Remove tape and enjoy

I gotta say, I think the finished product is giving a pretty good home to my $2 yard sale succulents. What do you think? A little paint goes a long way, right?

painted clay pots with succulents growing in them
painted clay pots with succulents growing in them
painted clay pots with succulents growing in them
painted clay pots with succulents growing in them
painted clay pots with succulents growing in them

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