Give It a Swirl Pots

Designer: Kate Carter Frederick

Use nail polish to marbleize terra cotta pots for cute garden decor!



  • Small terra-cotta pots
  • Paintbrush
  • Outdoor spar urethane
  • Exterior primer/sealer (such as Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3)
  • Shallow foil baking pan
  • Nail polish in desired colors


1. Brush a coat of spar urethane onto interior of the terra-cotta pot; let dry overnight. Repeat, adding two more coats of sealant and allowing drying time between coats.

2. Brush a coat of exterior primer/sealer onto the exterior of the pot; let dry.


1. Pour 2″ of water into a shallow foil baking pan. Working outdoors in a well-ventilated area, drizzle nail polish on top of the water to form a film of colorant. Add other colors of polish to the water’s surface.

2. Working quickly, roll a primed/sealed terra-cotta pot across the surface of the water, picking up the swirled colors. Let dry for 24 hours.


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