Garden Art

How to Paint a Terra Cotta Birdbath

This adorable birdbath is so easy to make and will look so cute sitting in your flower bed! Make one for yourself and anotherPaint a Terra Cotta Clay Pot Birdbath for someone special. You can make it bright and colorful as shown, or choose a muted color for a more semi-formal look. Paint with your favorite color and add a cute little stamped image. You can find all of the supplies at your local super store, except maybe a single metal plant stake. You may even have one of those at home.

Gather Your Supplies

This supply list is what you will need to paint this design. If you don’t want the polka dots, skip the white paint and dot stickers. Or use a different color for the polka dots.

  • two 10″ clay pots
  • one 12″clay drip tray
  • one can white spray paint
  • two cans blue spray paint (or color of your choice)
  • one can Rust-oelum Triple Layer Glaze
  • one package price tag dot stickers
  • one 24″-30″ metal garden stake (you can also find 1/2″ rebar at building supply stores, just make sure it will fit and move freely through the hole in the bottom of the pots)
  • a little white vinegar
  • a scrap of sandpaper
  • a large foam rubber stamp (gecko/lizard, butterfly, frog, etc)
  • appropriate acrylic craft paint color for the stamp image
  • a black paint pen

How to Clean Terra Cotta Pots

How to clean terra cotta clay pots.

Sand pots lightly to remove blemishes and rough spots.

Check that the garden stake fits through the drain holes loosely. If not, enlarge the hole by sanding.

Wipe with a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon water. I like to let mine dry overnight.

Let the Painting Begin!

Terra Cotta Clay Pots Birdbath first paint coat

Lay down a piece of cardboard or spread newspaper on your work surface.

Spray the pots with white paint, concentrating on the outer rims.

After the paint dries, apply the stickers in a random pattern around the rim.

    Fair warning….from this point on, you’ll spend more time watching paint dry, than actually painting. Just saying…

Next is the Pretty Color

Painting Terra Cotta Clay Pots Birdbath

When the white paint is fully dry, turn the pots upside down and spray with the blue spray paint. Let dry, and apply a second coat.

Carefully lift the edges of the stickers with a finger nail or toothpick and gently pull the stickers off.

Now for a Bit of Painted Whimsy

Pots Birdbath Gecko

Here’s a close up of the Gecko stamp I used on the birdbath, so you can see the painting details.

Spread a thin layer of acrylic craft paint on a paper plate, or on the newspaper or cardboard. Dip the stamp into the paint, making sure it is evenly covered with a thin layer of paint.

Press the stamp against the pot in the desired location, insuring you have full contact. Carefully lift the stamp to avoid smearing.

FYI: One issue with acrylic craft paint, is that the paint HAS to be dry before a second coat is applied. If not, the second coat will “pick up” paint from the first coat.

You may need to apply a second stamping for better coverage,  or use a small brush to fill in the paint. I also like to add a few highlights with a tiny little bit of watered down white acrylic paint.

Finally, use a well-shook black paint pen to outline the image and any details, kind of like in a kid’s coloring book. It just makes the image POP!

The Final Finish!

When everything is totally dry (I let mine dry over night), apply one or two coats of Rust-oleum Triple Layer Glaze varnish, following directions on the can.

Note: It is important when painting Terra Cotta pieces to insure complete coverage. If moisture is absorbed by the Terra Cotta, the paint may bubble and flake off.

Putting the Terra Cotta Clay Pot Birdbath Together

Once you determine the location for your new birdbath, (insure there are no pipes or wires under the spot) hammer the garden stake into the soil, leaving 18″ above ground. Gently slide the first pot upside down over the stake. Slide the second pot on right side up.

Carefully center the drip tray on top of the stack. Place a flat rock in the tray for butterflies and birds to rest on.

Voila! You now have a beautiful birdbath!

How to Paint a Terra Cotta Birdbath


Happy Bird Watching!



13 thoughts on “How to Paint a Terra Cotta Birdbath

  1. I love this! They turned out so pretty! I only painted a pot once. I let my granddaughter paint flowers and put her handprints all over the pot. Every year for Mothers Day we sneak over and take the pot (My daughter works on Sundays), my granddaughter fills it with dirt and plants annual flowers she picked out. I don’t know which one of them likes this more….lol

    Liked by 1 person

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