That buttermilk terra cotta pot ageing trick

A new terracotta pot showing spots of moss or mould or algae

I didn’t believe the hype. Then I tried it. It worked surprisingly well! So I figured I’d shared what I did.

First, I made a mixture of unsweetened yoghurt (not Greek), buttermilk, and a bit of powdered sugar. I pulled up a few bits and bobs of moss from around my garden and sort of crumbled them in, and then I shook the mixture really hard.

I then took a silicone basting brush, painted it all over the brand-new terracotta pots I wanted to age, didn’t like how it looked (striped and uneven), and gently wiped the solution in with a microfibre cleaning cloth. (I suspect the big splotch above is where I missed a bit!)

Then I planted out my planters, watered the contents myself only once, and left them alone. After only a month or so, this!

To be fair, another planter didn’t have as much success:

This one wasn’t planted out as early, and I had left it in a sunnier spot after painting it up. It’s also naturally in a spot with more sun and less damp.

Still, these results pleasantly surprised me. I don’t think the mossy bits made a lick of difference; I think it was mostly down to actual mould forming, haha, but it worked! I also think it helped that the first pot was placed on an aged concrete plinth that already had similar splotches of mould/lichen/moss/algae growing on it. But providing the food for it to spread seems to have been successful. Yay!

It’s nowhere near as good looking as my authentically aged terra cotta pots, which have naturally gotten that way over many years of use. But it’s better than it was, and was dirt cheap from Ikea, so it’ll do!

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