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How to Paint a Vase with Baking Soda and Paint Technique

Ready to turn that old vase into chic decor? By adding baking soda to paint, you can transform an old vase into boho-style pottery with a few easy steps. This baking soda and paint technique transforms any glass container into a ceramic boho masterpiece!

We all have those items in our home that we love the shape of, but it might not be the right style or color any more. Especially if you are strapped for cash, purchasing a ceramic piece you’ve been eyeing may not be practical, but this fancy trick allows you to decorate your home on the cheap!

Even if you don’t have any “trash to treasure” pieces lying around, you can certainly find one from a local thrift store for just a few dollars! 

Woman holding a floral vase and paint materials at the background before the makeover

Here’s the one that I found at Goodwill for a couple buckets. The design was outdated, but the shape was perfect for what I needed on our picture ledge shelves.

Painting a Vase with Baking Soda and Paint Video Tutorial

This technique is all the rage on TikTok! In fact, I made our own version that you can watch below as a quick tutorial on the process.

What is trash to terra cotta?

This popular painting technique is called #trashtoterracotta. The first time I saw someone do it was Geneva from Collective Gen, here’s her tips that you should definitely check out.

Basically, you paint a vase by using a mixture of baking soda and acrylic paint to transform it from trash to terra cotta!

When you find a vase you love in a thrift store (or maybe one you already have!), chances are the colors and patterns aren’t exactly what you would choose. With this technique, you can paint over the outdated (or ugly) patterns to get the color you want with the shape you love.

I used a similar technique when I made vintage pottery from upcycled vases when I added both joint compound and dirt. Both options are great, cheap DIYs!

This tutorial is for a terra cotta look with a light brown clay color. It’s definitely got a boho vibe to it! If you are looking for something more traditional, you can also transform any old vase into a new bright white farmhouse-style masterpiece. 

You can also skip the paint and warm up a glass vase with an old sweater.

What happens when you add baking soda to paint?

Adding baking soda to paint creates a ceramic look and texture, much like a terra cotta pot. Basically, it creates a chalk style paint that will easily adhere to just about any surface without a lot of preparation, like sanding or finishing.

How to Paint a Vase with Baking Soda and Paint

Supplies for painting vase laid on table with bottle of rubbing alcohol, floral vase, paint brush, cup, box of baking soda and three bottles of craft paint

Supplies for making a baking soda painted vase:

  • Old vase of your choice – I found one at the thrift store
  • Acrylic craft paint – I mixed some Orange and Beige to get this color because I didn’t have what I wanted on hand
  • Baking soda
  • Rubbing Alcohol
Woman wiping the floral vase with tissue and rubbing alcohol to clean before painting

Step 1: Clean the vase.

Thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the vase using rubbing alcohol. Be sure to remove any price stickers, too.

If you have a particularly stubborn price sticker, the rubbing alcohol will take the stickiness right off!

Mixing baking soda and three paints in the small cup

Step 2: Mix the paint.

I didn’t have the perfect terra cotta color on hand, so I simply mixed some different colors together until I was happy. To get the terra cotta look, mix orange and beige paints in a cup.

Then, add about a teaspoon (or so) of baking soda to the paint and mix well. You don’t have to measure it… More baking soda, more texture.

You can darken the orange-clay color more or less by adding more white or more orange to the mixture. You could also experiment with different colors of acrylic paint to create a colorful, chalky look.

If you do not have acrylic paint, any leftover wall paint will work, too.

Painting the floral vase with the mixed paint and baking soda in the cup using paint brush

Step 3: Paint the vase.

Using a paint brush, apply the paint to the outside of the vase in a single motion. A few coats of paint may be necessary to completely cover the pattern.

Newly painted tan boho vase with  stems of pampas grass on wood floating shelf with other bohemian style decor

If you want to uplevel your vase even more, try these tips:

  • Move your paint brush in a circular motion to create more of a clay look.
  • Add sand to the paint mixture for a concrete look.
  • Add joint compound or plaster of paris for more texture, like I did in this vintage pottery tutorial.
  • Try baking powder instead of baking soda.
  • Add dirt to the vase after you’re all done for a vintage look like I did in this upcycled vase tutorial.
Painted vase on the wall mounted wooden hanging shelf

With this fancy baking soda and paint trick, you can breathe new life into just about any item, including jars, wine bottles, and plant pots!

What will you paint next?

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