How To Texture Paint Terra Cotta

I Discovered An Unusual Use For This Commercial Building Product

Using Patching Compound For Creating 3-D Decorative Paint Technique Embellishments

How to paint terra cotta with a durable, textured pattern? OK … I’ll tell you the “secret” ingredient in this decorative paint technique that allows me to create raised, 3-dimensional embellishments on my terra cotta pots and other garden objects.

As a matter of fact, I’ll gladly tell you … and it’s the product I’ve used from day one with a marvelous success rate.


Alright, technically the product is called an elastomeric compound. It is formulated for indoor or outdoor use, so getting it wet poses no problem, and it remains somewhat “flexible” after curing.

Now, there are probably a couple of different manufacturers of this type of product, but what’s available in my locale is made by DAP®. It’s called ElastoPatch® Flexible Patching Compound and I purchased it in the paint department at a home improvement store.

ElastoPatch® is a ready-to-use compound that expands and contracts with surface movement to prevent cracks from reappearing. It works on wood, masonry, stucco, drywall, plaster … and terra cotta pots! It’s water resistant and paintable. It’s available in a smooth and textured mixture. I use smooth for my projects.

As I mention in my article: A 3-Dimensional Decorative Paint Technique, I give Christopher Lowell (of cable TV fame) credit for giving me the idea to use this product for a decorative paint technique crafts project. However, what Christopher was using in his TV demo was a powder compound called “Fix-All” (a brand of extremely durable plaster found in home improvement stores, also called “Quick Fix” on the East Coast).

I will assume “Fix-All” will give you satisfactory results, but you do have to mix it with water because it’s a powder. It is approved for outdoor use — the package states it can be used to repair concrete and stucco.

Please be advised that I have NO experience with “Fix-All” product.

Note: In order to achieve the kind of 3-dimensional embellishing using ElastoPatch® that I teach to you in my articles, you will also need disposable cake decorating bags and a variety of tips.

If you want a more “ready to use” & “less fuss” type product, and you’re willing to spend more …

I’ll briefly mention this as I do try to over-deliver information for my web site visitors! Delta, the big-name craft product company, has a pricey new product — Texture Magic™. I say pricey because it’s about $9.00 retail per 4 oz. tube (versus about $8.00 for 32 oz. of ElastoPatch®). But, it is only OK for outdoor use IF you paint the interior of porous pots (terra cotta) and then top-coat (paint over) the pot with paint. I was given this information by Delta’s #800 customer service technician. And, the decorating tips are not included with the tubes.

So, There You Have It.  My Secret. Elastomeric Compound … Who Woulda Thunk? 🙂

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