A 3 Step DIY Terracotta-Style Vase Tutorial

Here is the easiest and best way to give an old vase (or jar) an updated look.

A Refresh DIY. Old is new again with a little paint and vision.

Lifestyle expert Julia Grieve shows us an awesome way to give your old vases an update with a terracotta ceramic pottery look. AND it uses up left over paint!

You don’t need to throw out those leftover cans of paint.  If stored correctly (lid attached tightly and stored in a dark cool place) – a water-based paint can last for up to 10 years!

You also can’t toss paint cans that have paint in them, they’re considered a hazardous waste. It’s recommended to donate the paint or use it up so that the cans can be recycled.

So, don’t toss those old paint cans! Store them and use them for projects like this around the house.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Water based indoor wall paint – (any colour)
  • old vases, jars, bowls, (or glass or ceramic décor item that needs new life)
  • paint brushes
  • container to mix paint
  • baking soda

Step #1: Prepping the Vase

The first thing you are going to want to do is to really clean the item you are going to paint. Make sure it is completely dry before you start. Peel off any stickers or labels, and spray down the vase with a little warm soapy water to get that sticky glue off.

If you are using a plastic vase or even a jar – you may want to rub it a bit with sandpaper…just to create a ruff finish, so that the paint will stick smoothly.

*Tip* Don’t skip the prep for this project, it will help in the final outcome

Step #2: Mixing the Paint

Once your vase is nice clean and dry, we can set it aside, and get ready to mix the paint. Take whatever colour of paint you are using and poor into a small container.

*Tip* Use a container with a wide opening to allow room to pour without spilling and for the brush.

Now add baking soda – start with 1 tablespoon and stir. Notice that it starts to fluff up and turn into a mousse consistency. If it doesn’t fluff up much and you would like a thicker texture, add a little extra baking powder. We are trying to get the paint to have a thick matte feel to it, so slowly keep adding baking soda and stir until it is the texture you are happy with. No real measurements to work with… it’s just a bit of trial and error.

This has been done with both baking soda and baking powder, but Julia prefers the effect the baking soda has. It just gets more matte and textured, giving it a ceramic pottery feel!

Step #3: Wait… Now Paint!

The longer you let the paint sit once mixed, the thicker it’ll get. So, make yourself a cup of coffee or pour a glass of wine and come back to it.

A foam brush will give a smoother feel, and a bristle one will give more texture. Paint one coat on, let it dry completely before going in for that second or third coat.

*Tip* Let dry for an hour on average before adding another coat.

You can paint them bright colours, or you can do a tonal set. Maybe working with one colour going from dark to light. Just have some fun and experiment!