One way to paint clay pots is to use regular paint to create images on its surface. Other ways to paint clay pots include using a dipping technique, painting them with paints designed for outdoor use and spray painting them.
Using regular paint on clay pots makes it easy to decorate them as gifts and for holiday decorations. One idea involves using a sea sponge to apply a mixture of blue and white paint to the top of the pot to create the sky. Use another sponge to paint mountains onto the middle of the pot using purple paint and add white to the peaks for snow. Add trees and grass to the bottom portion of the pot using green paint. Allow the pot to dry naturally, or use a hair dryer for faster results. Spray the entire pot with a clear glaze, and allow it to dry overnight.
To use the paint dipping technique, place a large rubber band around a clay pot at an angle so the pot appears to be tilted when the paint is dry. Paint the portion of the pot under the rubber band with primer and allow it to dry again. Paint the bottom portion of the pot with acrylic craft paint, and allow it dry once more. Use two to three coats of paint to allow the paint to saturate the pot, making sure that each coat dries completely. Place aluminum foil around the unpainted portion of the pot, and use masking tape to cover any uncovered spots. The tape must also seal the aluminum foil to the rubber band. Apply two to three coats of shellac to the painted portion of the pot, and let it dry. Loosen the paint around the rubber band by scouring it away from the edges. Cut the rubber band, and gently peel it away from the pot, removing the foil and tape at the same time.