Terracotta Vase Makeover

Hi. It’s me again. Here with another vase makeover. Will it ever end? Probably not…

I bought two of these handmade terracotta vases at TJ Maxx, one was $9.99 and the other was $12.99. A great price compared to similar options out there! I liked the rustic/worn look, and the color was good, but I noticed that one of them started to chip in a couple places (seen above). Not a big deal, but it stood out to me.

There have been several DIY’s using dirt on vases to get an aged look (which I happen to love), but these already had good texture. I decided to paint over them with a black chalk paint; however, I wanted to give it a little twist that I saw a friend do on Instagram (Kimberly @lemonleafhomeinteriors).

Using painters tape, I taped off the top and bottom of both vases. I tried to keep the “stripe” around 1 inch wide, but you might want to change that depending on the vase.

You’ve seen this paint before! I used a small chip brush and painted with Amy Howard One Step Paint in black.

It only took one coat to cover the vases, and as soon as I finished painting I removed the tape. Since chalk paint dries quickly I wanted to make sure I could clean up the edge if paint got under the tape anywhere. After about 15 minutes the paint was dry, and I brushed on the Light Antique Wax.

You can see in the image above, the left vase is before wax and the right is after. It enhances the paint and gives it a nice satin finish. Brush the wax on, let it set up for 10-15 minutes, then buff it off with a rag to remove excess wax.

The finished product still has an aged look, which I like, but the black and off white gives it a contemporary style and adds interest.

I found similar vases (here and here), and I think my painted version looks pretty close! Another good option is this vase from Pottery Barn.

After “studying” it a little more I decided to try distressing the vases. I used a 400 grit sandpaper and lightly sanded the waxy/satin finish in a few areas so it looked weathered. Then I sanded through the black paint in areas.

Then finally, I decided that I preferred an even more weathered look. So I rubbed mud on the vases. Yep! Just some garden soil and a little water to make mud. It definitely gives it more of a “found” look! Wipe the mud all over or just in a couple areas. I chose to add mud primarily to the top portion of the vases.

Let it dry and wipe the excess with a dry rag. It took a couple tries to get the look I wanted. The good thing is that it’s just dirt. You can take a wet rag and remove most of it if you don’t like it.

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