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How To Paint Terra Cotta Pots & Steps

Updated on September 10, 2014

With Neon Glow In The Dark Paint

Put the outside lights away and lets light the way with glow paint instead. This project is so beautiful and colorful. Can you imagine seeing this type of art displaying in your garden or yard? I have never done this before, but when I have more time I sure would love to try this.

Painting terra cotta pots with a neon glow in the dark paint and lining them up with steps.

What a natural affordable way to go with not only adding color but a natural light that shows at night too.

How cool is that! I am amazed at what little you need to create such beauty. I mean how many of us already have terra cotta pots and still have them over the years. Bringing a unique idea to your plants is just the thing that most of us want anyway, at least I do.

I don't want to have a yard and garden that matches with the neighbors on my block. I want something unique and different. Something that hardly no one else has. So I am willing to take the steps in learning exactly what you need to do to get this kind of look and to share it with you. Is that ok with you?

Pass it on because it is such a cool way to add beauty to anyone's garden, if you don't want to they might :) .

Rust-Oleum 214945 Glow in the Dark 7-Ounce, Glow In The Dark by Rust-Oleum

Rust-Oleum Glow-In-The-Dark Brush-on Paint - BLICK art ...

2.9 out of 5 stars from 109 ratings of Rust-Oleum glow in the dark paint

Things you will need

for your glow in the dark pots and steps

1. Plastic cloth, a layer of newspapers or an old vinyl tablecloth

2. New terracotta pot you can also pick up one at a thrift store or goodwill.

3. Use sandpaper or you can use a stiff brush whatever is easier for you.

4. Newspaper, plastic cover of any kind.

5. Glow in the dark neon spray paint.

6. Glow-in-the-Dark paint can be found at any store, Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot at crafts stores etc. You can also mix the paint to create a new shade. However, mixing with non-glowing colors will affect the glow properties of the paint.

7. Clear acrylic spray paint for the inside and Gloss Epoxy Protector for the outside.

Lets get started - How to paint your terra cotta pots

Soak the pot in warm water for about an hour before you scrub or sand the pot. You can add a small amount of bleach to it for soiled pots. Rinse thoroughly, and be sure the pot is completely dry before applying paint.

If you prefer, you can use a sponge brush to apply high gloss enamel paint instead of spray paint.


  1. Cover your work surface. You can use newspaper, an old plastic cloth or vinyl tablecloth or sheet
  2. Cleaning time like with everything. Scrub all the bumps and imperfections with a stiff brush or use fine sandpaper being very careful.
  3. Get a damp soft cloth and remove the traces of dust and grit then let the pot dry. If you want you can soak the pot in warm soapy water for about an hour and then let it dry.
  4. Inside of the terra cotta pot spray 2 to 3 coats of clear acrylic spray paint so that it can seal the pot and prevent moisture through to the outside of the pot.

  5. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before proceeding.
  6. Layer the pot with primer paint as its first coating.
  7. Paint the outside of the pot. Use a thin coat neon glow in the dark paint. Extend the paint to the top 2 inches of the inside of the pot. It isn't necessary to paint any more of the inside if the pot will be filled with soil.

  8. Let the pot dry thoroughly. Then apply a second coat. After that coat dries, apply a final coat.
  9. Seal the pot with a coat of clear acrylic spray paint. This protects the paint from any scratches, adds durability and makes the pot easier to keep clean.
  10. Allow the sealer to dry completely, and then spray on a second coat. (Gloss Epoxy Protector) is recommended to protect the neon glow paint.
  11. Set the pot aside to dry for at least 2 to 3 days before planting flowers in it.


2 part Loctite Clear Epoxy

stiring spoon (to mix the epoxy with)

glow powder

Glow Powder Source

Glonation Powder

First of all I am not to convinced in doing the steps with neon glow in the dark paint. It would have to be with an epoxy glo paint. There are easier methods out there where you can buy treads. They glow in the dark.

I know that at hardware stores you can buy paint for cement but as far as the glo in the dark paint I am a little leary in how long it will last outdoors.

But they do have the paint for cars so I suppose I would have to take that into account being that cars are outdoors as well. But then again it isn't cement? Hmmmm?

I am a little skeptical in mixing paint myself but that is my own personal opinion regarding the steps. If you look at the video below you will see that it is very detailed and to much put into it.

I love the idea of having terra cotta pots matching my steps but I probably would go with a ready mixed paint. A lot of these places that has the color in them, already had mixed the color into it when laying the cement down.

Example below are treads: This is just something else to think about to add glo to your steps or walkway it would be a lot easier for me anyway some people have the time to paint their steps and walkways I am not one of them.

  1. For painting your steps or walkway. Use an epoxy glow paint
  2. Apply three coats
  3. Let dry
  4. You might want to add an epoxy protective cover once the three coats have dried.

Set of 4 - Glo In The Dark Stair Treads

They too can add a natural light in the dark bringing out any garden or landscape at night.

A Word Of Advise

When painting with glow in the dark paint, a little is better than too much. You can always go over the spot again with a little more if it is not dark enough. Let it dry first before doing another coat.

How you can make glo in the dark paint

Glow-in-the-Dark Roads Become a Reality

Besides glow in the dark in our homes do you think that glow in the dark is becoming more of a reality to lighten our roads and signs?

See results

Share your crafty ideas here

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    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 3 years ago from Kansas

      Great idea for the glow in the dark paint. I've not tried the paint before, but now have some ideas springing up!

    • MBurgess profile image

      Maria Burgess 3 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Lorlinda, this is a really neat idea! This would work in any sized area. Love the pots, step markers, and your images. =)

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      What delightful ingenuity, loving it and your tip on not overdoing it is such good wisdom....may the ideas keep rolling in...I know folks will love this and am shouting with a FB like and G+....very cool! :)

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 3 years ago from Arizona

      This is such a unique idea and beautifully presented. I love the idea. Our walkway is actually not very well lit and has a couple of steps that many people have tripped on... This might help with safety in a very pretty way. Great lens! I hope you're doing well:)

    • Northerntrials profile image

      Northerntrials 3 years ago

      I love paint terra cotta but plants don't so if you use these painted pots for plats keep the plants in plastic pots and sleeve them into the terra cotta. Saves the life of you pots as well.

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 3 years ago


    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      This is really cool. Love to try it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      WOW! What a wonderful idea!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Great idea. The pots look so festive and bright!

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I love this idea. I'm going to try it with some of my own pots.

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 3 years ago

      This is so cool and creative!

    • profile image

      LUMOSE 3 years ago

      Great ideas.

    • profile image

      acreativethinker 3 years ago

      This is such a creative way to renew your plant pots. Great lens, thanks for sharing. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Nice Points which you shared really helpful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      this is a nice lens and I always wanted to paint some glow in the dark all around our house, btw, today I got a purple star quest and submitted yours for the recommendation. I hope it works

    • profile image

      Classy_Chic 3 years ago

      Fun Lens, I love the whole glow in the dark idea.

    • JRsFavoriteFinds profile image

      JRsFavoriteFinds 3 years ago

      What a fun and creative idea!

    • profile image

      GameHelp 3 years ago

      Aw these look great, thanks for sharing this!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this information and these tips, itâs really helpful! I learned something new.

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 3 years ago

      Your terra cotta pots are so nice in the night, great work and thanks for sharing.

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 3 years ago

      You've given me an idea for some stepping stones that are a little tricky to navigate in the dark at the moment. Thank you.

    • WeeCatCreations1 profile image

      Susan Caplan McCarthy 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      What a pretty effect.

    • tsubasa23 profile image

      tsubasa23 3 years ago

      This is such a great idea especially that I love light effects and such! Will give this a try on our garden. Thanks!

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 3 years ago

      A funky, unique idea! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Bingie 3 years ago

      Fantastico da provare sicuramente

    • rking96 profile image

      Rick King 3 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Wow. The colors on those pots really stands out. That is really cool.

    • profile image

      laurenrich 3 years ago

      This is an awesome idea. I will do some outdoor projects with this information. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      woo really great idea

    • Carol Houle profile image

      Carol Houle 3 years ago from Montreal

      Never knew this existed. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      moonlitta 3 years ago

      Great landscaping ideas, and really fun:)

    • yayang0405 lm profile image

      yayang0405 lm 2 years ago

      Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

    • lisln profile image

      LorLinda 2 years ago from Denver Colorado

      @yayang0405 lm: Thank you my dear

    • profile image

      Canon City Colo 15 months ago


      Love love the glow pot! Want to make my mother one for Christmas. I dont know if the creator of this pot will read this comment or if anyone else who reads can help me. Step 9 your to seal pot with a coat of clear acrylic spray paint. So you put on the Gloss epoxy Protector on after you spray clear acrylic spray ? Or you do one or the other? Thanks for any guidance I can get!

    • profile image

      Canon City Colo 15 months ago

      Hi again-

      Has anyone tried this? I've been reading all over that this doesn't work, that it doesnt glow.

    • profile image

      Canon City Colo 15 months ago

      Me again-

      Just found out this glow pot for sure does not work. A bunch of reviews by people who tried it said dont waste your money this does not glow! I'm bummed now!

    • lisln profile image

      LorLinda 12 months ago from Denver Colorado

      sorry dear just saw this I am bummed too that it isn't working as it claims

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