DIY Idea | How to Distress a Clay Pot

In August I was invited to participate as a guest blogger on the blog The Cozy Hearth.  The Cozy Hearth is a blog ran by Hannah, a super talented DIY’er.  She refinishes furniture that she sells in her shop. And she writes an great blog on her painting and finishing process.  If you are ever interested in some great DIY’s, you should check out her blog at cozyhearthdecor.com. (Update: as of July 7th, 2019, the cozyhearthdecor.com is no longer an active URL.)

Getting invited to guest blog was so exciting.  I had never been invited to participate on anyone else’s blog before! I had a ton of mini projects I had on my to-do list.  I tossed a few ideas back and forth with the husband.  I had just finished cleaning out my office so we knew that it would be a great backdrop for photos.  We agreed that I should write about how I distressed the clay pot in my office.  Today I am sharing the post that I wrote.


About a year ago I updated my home office. I added this lovely Bird of Paradise to help liven up the space as well as to block the view of electrical cords. Until cordless printers, monitors, and lamps are invited, I am going to need tall plants to help me hide those ugly cords.

The plant came in the pot that is shown below. The pot wasn’t very appealing. At the time, it was what I had. I wasn’t sure what kind of pot I wanted to keep the plant in permanently. So I did what I do best: nothing.

A number of weeks later, I was visiting an old friend and got inspired by her garden. I loved her worn, aged clay pots. The look added a level of effortless sophistication to her outdoor living space. I knew instantly that was what I wanted to do with the Bird of Paradise in my home office.

Waiting for new pots to age on their own can feel like an eternity. Buying them already aged can be expensive. I didn’t want to wait months while a empty pot aged itself outside. My plant was starting to feel the effects of being in a pot that was too small so I needed to move it sooner as opposed to later. Also, I didn’t want this little project of mine to cost a ton of money. There are too many projects around my house that have taken a bunch of money to complete. This simply could not be one of them.

Here is an inexpensive way to get that beautiful aged look without spending a lot of money.


1. Chalked paint in Linen White – I picked up this can of chalked paint for about $15 from Home Depot. There are a number of colors if you would like to distress your pot with something more gray or green.

2. Clay pot – The one shown here cost about $2 at Home Depot. I picked up a much larger clay pot for about $30. You should pick a pot that is the right size for your plant.

3. Gloves – Gloves help to protect your skin from the paint. If you have a nice manicure, this will help save your nails.

4. Paper towels – I used these instead of a paint brush.


Working in a well ventilated space, wet a few paper towels, put on your gloves.

1. Stir your chalked paint to ensure the paint is mixed well.

2. Wet a few paper towels.

3. Dip the end of a dry paper towel into the chalked paint.

4. Working in long downward motion, wipe the paint onto the pot.

5. Wipe excess paint off the pot with the wet paper towels.

6. Smudge paint with the wet paper towel until the desired effect is achieved.

Note: If you add too much paint and it may dry before you can properly remove it. You can use sandpaper to remove the excess paint.


It only took a few minutes for the chalked paint to dry. By the time I had painted completely around the pot, it was ready for planting. I added my Bird of Paradise, watered it thoroughly, and then put it in a place where it would get plenty of sunlight.

The Hypoestes Pink Polka Dot, the accent plant that lives at the base of my Bird of Paradise, was starting to die. After I replanted it, everything came back to life.