This is an easy process that has a professional look. Other than breaking the terra cotta pot, there is no way to mess this up. Have fun!
Step 1: Supplies
You will need the following items:
Terra Cotta Pot
Paint brush (nothing fancy, any brush will work)
Sponge (with a scrubby side)
Step 2: Step 1: Base Layer
Paint a base layer of a light color.
Dilute the paint with a bit of water so some of the terra cotta shows through
Step 3: Step Two: Layer Colors
Paint various colors on top of the white. Once again, you can dilute the color.
Step 4: Step Three: Aging the Paint
Using the scrubby side of the sponge, lightly rub the areas that would normally get the most wear.
After scrubbing a bit, rinse the sponge and wipe the area with the soft side of the sponge.
Don't worry, if you took too much paint off, you can just reapply.
Step 5: Step Four: Finishing
Once you have finished removing the paint, let the pot dry for a minute or two. The true colors will be revealed.
Continue this process until you achieve the desired look.
Step 6: End Result
I don't use anything to seal the paint. I figured I would let nature continue the aging process... I just helped by giving it a jump start.