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Project

Aging Terra-Cotta

Clay pots gradually whiten with age, showing evidence of minerals leaching from water through the years. Here's how to get that charming, weathered look without waiting.

Materials

  • Lime powder
  • Bristle brush
  • Terra-cotta pot
  • Medium-grit sandpaper (about 150 grit)

Steps

  1. Step 1

    gt02marmsl_antiquestep1.jpg

    Stir 1 cup of lime powder, a mineral available at garden centers, into 2 cups of water until it takes on a thick, gravy-like consistency. With a bristle brush, paint the solution onto pots, sparingly in some places and generously in others.

  2. Step 2

    gt02marmsl_antiquestep2.jpg

    When the pot is completely coated and still wet, spray some spots with water from a spray bottle on the "stream" setting to let some of the lime solution run off.

  3. Step 3

    gt02marmsl_antiquestep3.jpg

    Allow the pot to dry, then sand in a random pattern with medium-grit sandpaper (about 150 grit) until you are satisfied with the gently mottled surface.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, March 2002

Reviews (6)

  • Jennifer Clark 29 Jun, 2014

    I just made some of these. They came out beautiful. However, I added a sealant spray after so that everytime I touched I wouldn't end up with powdery fingers.

  • VirginiaOMalley 9 Jul, 2010

    They could be Eugenia plants.

  • KadyDalrymple 18 Jun, 2010

    I think the two topiaries are myrtle

  • CraftyLadyTOO 28 Sep, 2008

    The taller plant might be a Rosemary that has been kept trimmed. The other one might be a Boxwood that has been kept pruned. But I'm not sure. I would just ask the nursery what plants would work. It wouldn't have to be the same thing. Another thought would be to place one of those open, airy balls (or a styrofoam ball) on a dowel and train an English ivy to run up and around the ball. You could secure the ivy (on the styrofoam) with floral picks. For the holidays: a dwarf evergreen.

  • amberrhoads79 25 Sep, 2008

    Does anyone know what type of trees are planted in the pots pictured above? I'd love to use this as a gift idea but I'm not sure if these are fake trees or if I can buy them from a nursery. I've been looking but haven't found anything like the trees pictured above.

  • mno 4 Aug, 2008

    I've tried to mix the lime powder in water and it's more like sand...as soon as I stop mixing, the powder settles on on bottom of the container. It never got to the point of being like thick gravy.