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How to Make Easy DIY Marbled Pots: Which is the Best Paint Marbling Technique?

Learn how to make painted faux marbled flower pots

Spring is in the air and I am ready to get outside and enjoy this nice weather. So when it came to coming up with my next DIY project, I was thinking that I need to try to make DIY marbled pots. I REALLY needed to update some of the old terracotta pots I had on my deck.

I HATE paying the price for cool, larger and modern pots! You wouldn’t believe how expensive silly pots can be!

Therefore, I decided I was going to learn how to make DIY marbled pots. How hard could it be? For this paint marbling project, I tried two different techniques to see which one might work better.

DIY Outdoor Ideas

I also hate paying for other things like an outdoor dining room table or a playhouse for my children and that is why we are always doing DIY projects that can be used outdoors.

I found this great list on Country Living of frugal ways you could also think about adding to your outdoor space and our list of 22 creative planter ideas. These lists may inspire a future easy DIY outdoor project!

The DIY Project Challenge

This outside DIY project definitely was pretty simple, but there are a few catches and tips I will give you along the way! This DIY marbled pot project was perfect to add with my DIY friends in our project challenges!  

Last month, we were challenged to make something under $50 that was used for the organization of your home. I did this awesome Midcentury Modern Dresser for FREE using supplies I already had! This month’s #DIY PROJECT CHALLENGE is to create a knock-off product for under $50.

Make these DIY Marbled Pots for under $10 with image of two faux marbled pots and green plants

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full privacy policy here. 

How to create these DIY faux marble pots (with bonus DIY marbled mug at the end)

Cost of creating DIY Marbled Flower Pots

My TWO terracotta marbleized pots only cost around $12, because I had some of the spray paint colors already on hand. 

What is hydro dipping?

So technically this technique I am sharing has a name called hydro dipping. Hydro dipping is when you transfer paint from the surface of water onto an object. In this case, we are spraying spray paint on the water to create a fun design and dipping our flower pot into it to print on the surface.

The fun part about hydro dipping is that you can do this technique on more than just flower pots. We really hope to try this soon on large plastic planters and think it will really work.

If in the meantime you are looking for more simple flower painting ideas, check out these black and white designs you can get done in 30 minutes.

DIY Marbling Technique: Spray Paint & Water

Before you begin, I spray painted my terra cotta pots with a white GLOSS spray paint with primer built-in. I did this the day before and let them dry overnight.  The terracotta pots do soak up a lot of spray paint, so be prepared for this.

In my opinion, they do not have to be perfect, because the marble design will cover any imperfections.

Terra-cotta flower pot before DIY flower pot makeover

Supplies needed:

White spray painted terracotta planter before DIY marble paint technique is used

Please note: I bought my terracotta pots at my local big box store, but if you are an amazon prime member, you may just want to order them. Here is a 30-Day Free trial if you are already not a member. You can find some on sale online depending on the size you want.

How to set-up DIY Marbling Station (Not using a good plastic bin)

Other DIY bloggers, will tell you to use a large plastic bin. I don’t know about you, but plastic bins can be expensive. I didn’t want to ruin a bin that would cost more than my whole project.

So I came up with a FREE and better solution. I taped a large garbage bag inside of a diaper box. Added water from my hose and I had a waterproof dipping and marbling station ready to go.

Box with garbage bag filled with water, spray paint, tape and terra cotta pot spray painted white

Get ready to create an AMAZING DIY Marble Effect!

TIP: YOU MUST WORK QUICKLY!!!!!! Taking the pictures to show you all how this worked slowed me down a little and the marbling on the pots would have been easier if I was not trying to document it for you. But I love inspiring all, so I made it work…QUICKLY!

First, I sprayed my gray spray paint in. Then black and then gold. If you feel comfortable spraying two cans at once, go for it!

Again, DO IT QUICKLY!!!!!!!

As fast as you can, take a skewer and just move the paint around. If the paint starts to stick to the skewer, you are moving too slow! I used gray spray paint, but my guess is that black and gold would still give you the awesome marble design on your pots.

Gold spray paint in large bag in box getting stirred to create DIY marble effect

Dip the Terracotta Pots to make your DIY Marbled Pots

Marbled spray paint with white terra cotta pot getting dipped in to create DIY marble look

As soon as you have all three colors in, dip your terracotta pot and rotate it to cover the areas you want… and… you have a BEAUTIFUL DIY MARBLED POT! It is that simple. I have even seen somewhere the bottom is just dipped to create a cool effect. I believe that would be easier than trying to quickly rotate the pot to get the marbling effect on all sides.

DIY Flower Pot Drying Tip

DIY marbled pot resting upside down on wine bottle

Depending on the size of your terracotta pots, you should be able to flip them over and place them on a wine bottle with the cork in to dry. As you can see in this picture, the wine bottle with the cork sticking out.

This fit perfectly in the hole in the bottom of the terracotta pot. After these dried for a few hours, I then used a clear coat spray to help seal the outside.

Scraping out spray paint film left over after DIY marbling process

If you want to dump the water in between each dunk, go right ahead. However, I am all for not being wasteful and I am a little lazy.

Therefore, I used a wooden skewer and a small cup to scrape off the top layer of spray paint in between each pot. As you can see, if you do not work quickly, you will be left with a not-so-great spray paint film stuck to everything.

Zoomed in view of gold. gray and black DIY marbled effect on terracotta pot

I ABSOLUTELY think these are a gorgeous makeover. I can’t get enough of these FABULOUS DIY marbled pots!!!!! These turned out so well that I am wondering if next, I can try to marble large plastic planters?? Any ideas? I will post about it if I do attempt to take on such a huge marbling project! 

Yield: Painted Flower Pots

DIY Faux Marbled Flower Pots

white and gold faux marbled pots with green plants

Use spray paint and terracotta pots to create these fun faux marbled pots. No one will know how cheaply you were able to make them!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost under $10

Materials

Tools

  • Large Box with plastic bag or plastic tote
  • Packing tape

Instructions

  1. Use a large plastic bin or make your own box with a large garbage bag that water can go in. You need to fill the box so that you will be able to dip your pot in it.
  2. Use white spray paint to put a base coat on your terracotta pot. You only need to spray a little on the inside. No need to waste spray paint.
  3. Let the paint dry. It should not be tacky.
  4. WORK QUICKLY (like as fast as possible)!!! Using two different colors of spray paint, QUICKLY spray both colors in the water. Use the skewer to move the paint around.
  5. Pick up the pot and carefully dip it into the water. Roll the pot around so that all sides get covered.
  6. Place the terracotta pot upside down on the wine bottle so it can dry. Allow to fully dry as it should not be tacky to the touch.
  7. Use a clear coat spray or this product with a brush to fully protect your faux marbled flower pot.

Notes

You could use any color combinations .you would like with this project. You just might want to stick with colors that you know will mix well together.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

If you loved this painting technique, you may also want to check out some of my amazing DIY painted accent walls or paint art projects for kids. I hope to help inspire creativity in all ages with all different types of art and home projects. 

If you are like us, we sometimes have DIY mistakes! We didn’t do accidentally spray paint in extra places on this project. However, if you need to know how to remove spray paint from glass this may be helpful.

Gold, Black and Gray DIY Marbled Pots using spray paint

But what about the DIY Nail Polish Marbling Technique?

Green and blue nail polish colors over water

As promised, I also decided to test out the nail polish marbling that is all over the internet. I simply tested this method out on a white ceramic mug. Therefore, this was SUPER easy because I didn’t even have to use white gloss spray paint for a base coat.

Green and blue Nail polish in water ready for DIY marbled project

How to use nail polish to create marbleized mugs

I decided to use two colors of nail polish to create the DIY marbling effect. I poured a few drops and stirred.

Again, it seemed that you had to work QUICKLY.

However, the nail polish may have been a little more forgiving with time.  I placed it to dry. The biggest con I could tell about using this method is that if you held the mug too long, the nail polish would create a thicker film. I liked the look of the quick dip and rotate better.

DIY blue marbled mug

Just a note, I am not sure if drinking from this mug would be “food-safe”. I will for sure just be using it to store pens on my desk (another DIY project) or I might even plant a small succulent in it!

This DIY marbling effect is a sure way to spruce up any item on a budget. If you love this DIY project, you may want to check on the faux marble effect we got on our Easter eggs and paper place cards. You could use this paint technique on a variety of DIY home decor items inside or outside your home.

The DIY Project Challenge

Now let’s see what my AWESOME DIY friends have created for this month’s knock-off challenge. The ladies in this group are very talented and I can’t wait to see what they have created! Let me know if you want to join us in the next round! Feel free to click on the links below to find more AMAZING inspiration. 

Joyful Derivatives: DIY Faux Marble Lamp Makeover

Kippi at Home: DIY Garden Screen Trellis

Never Skip Brunch: Anthropologie Hanging Planter

Life’s AHmazing: West Elm Inspired DIY Geometric Desk Decor 

Our Happily Ever Home: Wayfair Inspired DIY Wooden Candlesticks

Southern Yankee DIY: Knockoff Pottery Barn Floral Napkin Rings

Mama Dares to DIY: Knock-off Pottery Barn Floating Shelves

I would love to hear about your DIY projects or if you have used one of the faux marbling techniques we showed today.

Follow us on Pinterest or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

We hope you loved this DIY marbled flower pot tutorial (and marbled mug, too) and that all of these awesome DIY projects inspire you to go out and make something!

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Jacinda

Thursday 8th of April 2021

Hello! I was wanting to do this with glass vases. I have black and grey spray paint and I already have gold acrylic paint. Do you think that would work mixed in?

Thanks!

Erin

Friday 9th of April 2021

Hi Jacinda. I haven't tried mixing the two types of paint. This sounds very interesting and we may need to try it out. I would recommend testing the hydro dipping technique on something small first (even a dollar store glass vase before testing it on your real ones). You also could see how the paints mix by doing it quickly and dipping a piece of paper to see what happens. Good luck and I would love to hear how it goes.

Maureen

Tuesday 12th of January 2021

Love the marblized pots. How much water did you use and did you empty spray cans of paint completely?

Erin

Wednesday 13th of January 2021

Hi Maureen. I put enough water in the boxes so that I could dip the flower pot completely without hitting the bottom. Also, for this DIY flower pot project you only need a quick spray of each color. You have to work very fast so you do not want to spend too much time spray the paint. Good luck with your project.

Carla

Wednesday 12th of August 2020

I tried these right away on a cement coaster. It looks good but I got a lot of air bubbles beneath the paint. Do you have any ideas why that might happen?

Erin

Thursday 13th of August 2020

Hi Carla, I wonder if you stirred (or swirled) the paint too fast with the skewer before dipping your flower pots. I may have had a few bubbles, but nothing that really ruined my design. They would have just popped and left an imprint. Did you make sure the white coat of spray paint was completely dry? The biggest issue I encountered was working quickly in the hot weather.

JENNIFER GULIZIA

Monday 22nd of June 2020

These are so fun and pretty! I can't wait to try this.

Erin

Monday 22nd of June 2020

Hi Jennifer! They are so fun! I absolutely love how quickly I was able to get a fun paint flower pot! I want to try this on large plastic pots next year.

vilma

Tuesday 2nd of June 2020

Erin, you sound like such a fun person and I would think anything done with you would be an awesome experience. The cup marbling - you can actually bake the cup in the oven and use safely for drinking afterwards. Can't remember offhand the tempreture or length of time but it is on Pinterest. I will definitely come back just to have you make me grin. Wonderful.

Erin

Tuesday 2nd of June 2020

Hi Vilma! Thanks for the kind words. I will have to look into baking the nail polished marbled cup. I have experimented with a mug decorating technique using oil-based sharpies where you bake it, so I am sure that is a similar idea.

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