I’ll show you how I took a thrift store find and transformed it into something that looks like an artisan rustic pottery jug by just using paint.
Turning a Thrift Store Find Into Fake Pottery
If you have been around here for more than a minute then you know there is nothing that I love more than a good Pottery Barn knockoff!!
The other day I was down in my workshop making a dupe for the PB terracotta clay bead garland. I had my iPad open to the image on their website and I kept looking at the vase that was also in the picture.
This post may include affiliate links; you can read my disclosure policy here.
So while I was waiting for paint to dry on my project I remembered that I had a thrift store find in a box with “future projects”…otherwise known as the “I think that I can do something with that someday but just don’t ask me what” box
Thrift Store Vase Before
This vase was a Saver’s thrift store find and I think it was $2.99. It had a cool shape and I liked that it had handles…I knew she had potential!!
Mixing Paint to Create That Terracotta Look
I’ve been having trouble finding that perfect paint shade to mimic terracotta pottery this Fall. What I have been doing is mixing up a couple of shades of acrylic craft paint to create an authentic look.
The orange color I used was called terracotta and the light brown was called mocha. Your local craft stores may carry a larger selection than up here in little ‘ole New Hampshire and may have the right color for you.
Painting the Jug Vase
I used a large paintbrush and gave the entire vase a coat of terra cotta paint using a smaller brush to get on the underside of the jug handles.
The paint dried to the perfect terracotta shade!
Once the paint had dried it was time for me to try and add the handpainted details like on the Pottery Barn inspiration jug.
One good thing is that the painting on the Pottery barn version isn’t perfect..the lines aren’t perfectly straight or even...whew!!
I kept my iPad on and used the image as my painting guide, If I have a picture to look at I can usually figure out how to paint something.
First I painted a straight-ish line around the vase with white chalk paint ( a 50₵ matte acrylic craft paint will work fine too!)
Then I took my brush and without lifting it off the vase made a half-circle scallop…kind of in an S motion with the paintbrush.
Then I went back and filled in that space with the white paint.
The inspiration vase had 2 scalloped rows and 3 lines in the middle… which seemed a little bit over-achieverish for me so I only painted 1 center line between the scalloped rows.
And since we are all friends here, I’ll let you in on a secret…I completely forgot to make the center line on the backside of the vase!!
It still comes out great so don’t worry!!
With a wider, straight brush I added a redder terracotta paint around the rim of the jug(and on the inside rim as well) and then on the jug handles as well.
Adding Rustic Touches
To give the vase a slightly more rustic look I ran a fine piece of sandpaper LIGHTLY over the white paint…don’t press too hard or you will take off the paint underneath too. Barely touching!!
Here’s the trick to getting that chalky terracotta pottery look…use crushed chalk!! Just put a piece of white chalk in a baggie and bang it with a hammer to turn it into dust.
Then sprinkle some onto the jug vase and wipe it on with our fingers. Is it messy?? A tiny bit so put a paper towel or newspaper underneath when you are working.
After I had chalked the vase I used a chip brush to sweep off the excess chalk dust and the paint dust from the sanding.
Finished Rustic Jug Vase
A bunch of dried wheat looked perfect in the jug and added to my Fall display that I put together with the faux clay bead garland that I made, along with my pinecone pumpkins, The white jug vase was a Magnolia clearance find, and the basket was given to me (brought back from Bali).