Faux Clay Pot: DIY painted vase

Whenever I’m at Goodwill or thrifting, I cannot resist a random household item, like a porcelain pitcher or a single salt=shaker. When I buy it, an outsider might think “well wtf are you going to do with that??” The answer is usually, “I don’t know yet, but it’s going to be a fun project.”  A little while back this exact scenario began to play out with my mom, when I bought a couple glass vases on spec. This time though, I actually had half an answer: I’ve been seeing DIY faux clay pots all over the internet, and I had to try it!

Though I knew how I would transform it, I still had no idea what I was going to be able to use an orb-like vase for. I’m trying to stick with *functional* décor as much as I can, and one day it hit me! I use daily contacts, and collect the packaging to recycle, but until now, I’ve just let them pile up. Classy and aesthetically pleasing, amiright?! A short and squatty vase seemed like the perfect starting point for a more permanent receptacle. Add some paint so you can’t see through the glass? Game. Changed.

This DIY was simple and can be done on a budget (even cheaper if you already have paint and a brush). Here’s how to DIY your own faux clay pot:

Materials

Prep

I’m a floor sitter and often like to do my DIYing on the ground, so I put down newspaper to protect my rug. I knew that I wanted a fun color, not just a neutral but I wasn’t sure what would look best in my lavender-walled bathroom. I’m a sucker for anything within the realm of peach or coral, so rather than let myself flip flop over a color for another 6 business days, I went with my reliable pal, peach, and started in on my journey to a faux clay pot!

Painting

Now for the magic! I felt like a little kid doing a science experiment and was really tempted to pour some of my ginger ale on the baking soda to see what would happen. Obviously, I didn’t because ginger ale is far too precious to me.

Tip: Beware of clumpy baking soda! You don’t have to sift it to do this project, but pay attention to break up any bigger chunks of baking soda so you can stir them out quickly. Nobody likes a powder pocket explosion—not making cookie dough, not with clay paint.

Adding the baking soda is just a process of trial and error. I started by adding paint colors to an old (thoroughly washed) cream cheese tub. I can’t honestly say I know how much paint I used volume wise, but it was in the ballpark of ¼ cup. From there, I started with a teaspoon of baking soda and mixed. I alternated between adding more paint to fix the color and adding more baking soda to achieve the proper texture.

I used a regular brush, but you can use a sponge brushIf you want a bit smoother texture. The point of adding baking soda is to create a clay or cement-like texture, but the mixture was really thick and smooth while I applied it; It was so satisfying. Much like nail polish, you need to be patient and wait the appropriate amount of time before applying a second coat or you risk just moving the first coat around.  When it was no longer shiny, I knew it was ready for another coat.

I started with my brush strokes going vertically, but in the second and third coat I switched to horizontal. As I mixed in more white, yellow, and magenta, I wouldn’t always fully mix to the exact original color, so I could have some variation or streaking throughout. (You can see this most clearly on my pot with little white patches on the sides.)

I’m planning on painting the inside since I don’t love how you can still see the glass, and I’m debating between a bright yellow or keeping it the same color, so let me know what you think!

Result

TLDR

  1. Wipe dirt or dust off glass vase
  2. In a cup or bowl, add about a ¼ cup of the desired paint color(s); More depending on how big your vase is
  3. Add about a teaspoon of baking soda
  4. Continue adding either ingredient to adjust the texture if necessary
  5. With a thick paint brush or sponge brush, paint your vase with either vertical or horizontal strokes
  6. Let your first coat dry!
  7. Apply another coat, again using whichever direction of stroke looks better to you (I started with vertical and ended up with horizontal)
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 until you’re satisfied with the texture and appearance

I had a lot of fun doing this faux clay vase DIY. It took enough of my attention span to give me a break from the world, but isn’t so intricate that I couldn’t have Crazy Ex Girlfriend on in the background. I am planning to paint another vase (that I’m using to propagate monstera) soon and have seen a few people saying to use baking powder, so I might try that next time! Let me know how your project goes!

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