1. Pick your pots - This was easy for me because I already had a bunch, but you can find terra cotta at any Home Depot or Lowes.
2. Clean your pots - You may need a scrub brush, but it's important to get them as clean and smooth as you can. Use steel wool if necessary. Don't worry about discoloration, just make sure they are dirt free and smooth.
3. Use a sealant on the inside of your pots - I guess if they were already sealed that's fine, but most terra cotta pots are not. In the DIYs I saw, I never read an explanation for why this is necessary. I suspect it might make the pot less porous which will help the paint adhere well.
I wish I could tell you the exact product I used, but my dear husband was so efficient cleaning up, the empty can went to the garbage. Anyway, I found the product in a spray can near the paint at Home Depot. I looked for a Thompson's Water Seal, but finding none I found this product that is used on gutters or along roof lines to seal cracks. Make sure you get the clear coat and apply it to the inside of the pots. Make sure you are in a well ventilated place!
4. Paint your pots - I used Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Paint + Primer. It comes in a spray can in lots of beautiful colors - some bright and others more natural. I really liked this product and chose deep blue, bright yellow and orange (so I could have a little blue and orange action for my Illini)
I used cardboard under the pots to protect the garage floor and left the garage doors open because you need good ventilation. (Seriously, these products can make you sick if you sniff them.) This paint product was exceptional - I barely needed a second coat. I painted three large pots with one can of blue and had left over yellow and orange after painting two slightly smaller pots in each color.
5. Plant in your pots and display! This is the best part! I'm very pleased with the finished product, especially with the colors of the fall mums.
This is going to be great when I finally get pumpkins and my other Halloween decorations!
Now if the flowers can just survive the javelinas . . .