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terra cotta pots holding solar lights
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5 from 1 vote

DIY Solar Lights with Neon Paint

An easy way to make a fun splash of color around your outdoor space.
30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Angie Holden

What You Will Need

  • Clay pots
  • Masking tape
  • Neon paint I like patio paint for terracotta
  • Solar lights
  • Paintbrushes


  • I am going to show you three methods for painting these terra cotta solar lights. You can go with all three or pick your favorite and make a bunch. I do recommend Patio Paint or any other paint that says it will work on terra cotta. Terra Cotta is very porous and you will use a ton of paint if you don’t buy the proper formula.
    First up is a striped version of our terra cotta solar light. Apply painter’s tape, paint a stripe, and allow to dry. Then remove and apply tape to another area. Continue until the entire pot is striped just the way you want it. Use caution to apply in straight lines as that is difficult on the angled surface of the pot. Each stripe could take 3 to 4 thin coats of paint. Be sure to allow to dry completely and according to the package directions between coats.
    painter's tape on terracotta pot
  • My next version is a poured paint technique. Add something to the hole so your paint does not escape then pour on the paint. Force it over the edge if you have to. Allow to dry completely. I found that the very top of my pot needed a few more coats but the “poured” area was fine the first time. Start with just a small pool of paint, you can always add more but it is hard to remove excess.
    poured paint on clay pot
  • Next up is a scalloped edge pot. You can find scalloped edge painter’s tape at your local home improvement store. Add that to the pot then paint with 3 to 4 coats of the Patio Paint to get the desired color.
    using scalloped painter's tape
  • Once everything has dried and cured completely (the Patio Paint recommends at least 72 hours before exposing your project to moisture), you can add your solar lights and put your creations outdoors. If you have animals and are worried then might knock over the lights, you can glue the pot and light together with a product like E6000. I have puppies so I know that is a worry around our home. If not, these should be fine just sitting inside one another.
    solar lights on steps