One of the latest crazes on Instagram and TikTok has been faux textured pottery and painting old thrifted vessels with baking soda paint to make it look like stone wear and terracotta. Today I want to show you how you can transform cheap Christmas ornaments and thrifted or old vases into modern faux terracotta beauties.
Transforming cheap Christmas ornaments and vases with baking soda paint
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Several years ago I painted some colorful plastic Christmas ball ornaments into black and white brushstroke ornaments. Back then I loved the look but have changed my taste a bit since then. It was time to use them for something new.
If you’ve been around for a while then you know that I like to work with what I have and to repurpose things. That has definitely been the trend for me this year. I repurposed my desk into a bleached beauty and my mirror into a grasscloth looker just to name a few.
Below you can see how the faux terracotta sphere ornaments look in our tree that I revealed this week in my Christmas tour. They are subtle and pretty and can also be used all year round which I will show you later.
- latex paint samples, leftover latex paint, or even craft paint, just don’t use oil paint ( I use a base color, a darker version, and white – more color details below in the instructions)
- baking soda
- Kilz spray primer (I’ve seen other people skip the primer but I still like using it first)
- ornaments (…or pretty much anything else you’d like to paint, the possibilities are endless! The trend right now is to paint cheap pottery, vases, and glass vessels)
- cardboard or thin piece of wood
- nails, screws, or chopsticks (check below to see what I mean)
- spoon for mixing
How to paint cheap Christmas ornaments with baking soda paint to make them look like terracotta spheres
When you add baking soda to paint, it makes the paint thicker, more textured, and less shiny than it was before. The more baking soda you use the more texture you get. If you are trying to paint something to make it look like pottery or concrete then this is the way to go. It is actually a lot of fun because you can’t really mess up.
Colors I used:
You can buy color samples for cheap in small containers.
- Strawberry Malt by Valspar – 2008-8C (leftover paint from our bathroom makeover)
- Rustic Oak by Valspar – 2007-7B (paint sample)
- Ultra White by Valspar – 7006-24 (leftover paint from our house)
Some of the baking soda recipes out there give a certain ratio of paint to baking soda but I don’t really like giving a specific measurement for it because the beauty of this project is that it is forgiving and you can’t really do many mistakes.
Like I said earlier, I had a ton of cheap plastic ornaments leftover that I originally painted a couple of years ago (see my brushstroke ornaments tutorial). It was a fun project but I was ready for a change again.
Below you can see the colors they used to be before I primed them with Kilz spray primer.
This faux terracotta paint project is all about layering the colors for texture.
- Like I said above I start with the middle toned color which in my case is the Strawberry Malt. I actually ended up doing two coats of that color.
- When that is dried, I thinly brush on the darker color. For me, it was the Rustic Oak. Dab some of the paint off onto a paper towel before brushing on so you can make sure it’s lightly painted on with no full coverage.
- When that is dried, I crosshatch an even lighter layer of the white paint. I wouldn’t even call it a layer. Just use the tips of the brush to lightly dust it with the white and feather it on.
- In the end, if you don’t like the results, then just go over it again. No harm here and super easy.
Check out the texture on my thrifted pots and vases. I think they really do look like terracotta, don’t you think so?
Here is an idea for the finished faux terracotta spheres
You can place the Christmas ball ornaments into a bowl all year as a bowl or vase filler. Just take the hooks or strings off and place them with the neck of the ball facing down. I also used my faux palm-leaf fans in a painted vase.
I think the baking soda paint Christmas balls are perfect for my tree. You can see them better when the lights are off.
Maybe I should make a video yet for this project but there are so many out there already since I mentioned this is kind of a craze right now. I have not seen cheap Christmas ornaments painted this way though. So that’s a new one.
So what ya think? Is that something you’d do too?