Over the summer I found several pieces of unglazed terra-cotta in my local vintage store that I fell in love with. This style was popular in the 70's and 80's, but very out-dated for today. With a little bit of gray paint, it was very simple to give them a whole new look.
Here are the pieces as they originally looked. Aren't they just precious? I have always admired the look of cast concrete, and thought I would try to mimic that look.
*I simply bought two shades of gray Acrylic paint, a light and a dark. The dark color is very dark, so I had to lighten it up a little by mixing it with the lighter gray. So if you can find a shade that is not so dark, that would be ideal.
I also used a full fluffy paint brush for the base coat of light gray (to get into all the grooves), and a smaller, stiffer brush for the second coat of dark gray
These small (2 fl. oz.) bottles were enough to do all of my pieces.
I gave them all a good coat of the light gray and let that dry a few hours.
Then I mixed some of the dark gray with the lighter gray to make the shade I wanted. Using the smaller flat brush, I went over each piece with a fairly dry brush in one direction only, and very lightly over the surface, leaving the lighter color to show in all of the indentations of the designs. This gives a 'weathered' vintage look, as if the piece has aged over time.
Here you can see what I mean. By going in one direction with your paint brush you keep the brush strokes uniform. On smooth surfaces, you can leave the lighter gray to show through here and there. You will get a feel for this as you go along.
With some snipped holly and evergreens, moss and red roses, I now have a lovely Christmas centerpiece with the look of vintage cast concrete.
And two lovely frames to display precious photos of loved ones with their very own guardian angels.
Now I will never look at a terra-cotta pot in the same way again!
*Note: Be sure to use exterior paint if you plan on displaying your treasures out of doors and paint all surfaces inside and out to seal the terra-cotta from moisture or the paint will peel. When using pots, line with a plastic insert or bag to further protect from moisture.