DIY: Dressing up clay pots with shaving cream

May 12, 2017
Photos by Jonathan Fong

Clay pots are a staple of outdoor gardening, but let’s face it, they can be a little dull. While there are many ways you can dress them up, here is a simple painting technique that creates a marbleized pattern thanks to good ol’ shaving cream.

What you’ll need:

– Clay pots
– Chalky finish paint
– Paint brush
– Shaving cream
– Plate
– Acrylic craft paint
– Skewer
– Plastic gloves
– Paper towels

1. Paint a base coat of any color on the clay pots using chalky finish paint and let it dry for at least an hour. Chalky finish paint, available at crafts stores, does not require a primer and dries to a matte finish. The matte finish is important because the paint that will be applied later would rub off if the finish were glossy.

2. Apply shaving cream to a large plate or baking dish and spread it with your fingers. You don’t need too much. The layer of shaving cream should be only about 1/2-inch thick.

3. Place drops of acrylic paint randomly on top of the shaving cream. I use paint specifically designed for outdoor patios because it withstands the elements. It is sold in crafts stores, usually right next to the clay pots. Choose two or three colors.

4. Dip a skewer into the shaving cream and run it through the paint vertically and horizontally to create swirls in the paint. Don’t swirl the paint too much. You want to create distinct swirls rather than have the paint mix and become muddled.

5. Place the clay pot at one end of the plate and roll it across the shaving cream and paint. The shaving cream acts like a “cloud” to support the pot as it rolls and picks up the paint. Wear plastic gloves to avoid getting paint on your hands.

6. After the pot is covered in shaving cream and paint, let it sit for about an hour so the paint adheres to the pot. If you don’t have the patience to wait, that’s fine. The paint still adheres since the base coat is matte, but the color won’t be as intense.

7. Blot off any excess shaving cream with a paper towel. Try to use numerous clean towels as you blot so that excess paint that transfers to the towels does not go back onto the pot.

8. Let the marbled pots dry for about two hours before handling and using them. When they’re ready, fill the pots with moss, succulents or any other plants — or display them on their own to showcase their newfound beauty.

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