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How to Write on Terra Cotta

Terra cotta pots are available in a multitude of sizes.
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Things You'll Need:

  • Water
  • Absorbent towel
  • Medium or fine-point permanent markers
  • Terra cotta pen
  • Paper
  • Clear varnish (optional)


Cover the item with a coat of clear varnish to help protect your writing. This is especially important if you will be displaying the item outdoors.

You can write on the terra cotta with a felt-tip marker, but waterproof is best. You can also write on the pot with acrylic paint and fine paintbrush. Just make sure to coat either with clear varnish to preserve the writing.

Terra cotta tiles or pots serve as a blank canvas for any seasoned or aspiring artist. The smooth, reddish-orange clay surface will allow you to easily add your name, a message or an inspiring verse to a terra cotta tile or an artistic creation fashioned from clay pots. While you can utilize different writing tools to make your mark, if you plan on placing the item outdoors, you may want to take an extra step to help preserve your original work.

Permanent Marker

Inspect the terra cotta object to make sure the surface is clean and dry before beginning. Wipe the item with a damp, absorbent cloth if dust or dirt are on its surface. Allow the terra cotta to dry thoroughly before proceeding.

Decide where you want to write on the terra cotta object. Place a stencil on the item to help you achieve the look you want.

Write the letters or words with a fine or medium-point permanent marker on the terra cotta tile or pot.

Terra Cotta Pen

Look at the terra cotta item and make sure it's free of dust and dirt. If not, wipe the surface with a damp cloth and allow to dry before moving on to the next step.

Leave the lid on the terra cotta pen and shake it for approximately 30 seconds. Open the lid of the pen and press the tip gently onto a piece of paper several times to stimulate the paint flow.

Write on the terra cotta item just as you would with any other writing implement. Be careful not to press down too hard with the pen or the paint may run.

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