What is the best way to paint ceramic? The 3 best paints!

Painting ceramic pieces can be an enjoyable and affordable way to give a new life to old home décor or create a unique gift for your loved one. The process for painting ceramic kitchenware or decorations is generally the same with a few slight nuances depending on the size of the projects. But what are those nuances? What is the best way to paint ceramics?

You can paint ceramic items using different types of paint. However, bake-on paint is the best way to use for ceramics that are glazed. These paints are very easy to work with. Another form of paint you can use is bake-on enamel, which requires the use of a brush. These types of paints are extremely durable after being cured in an oven. 

In this article, I will speak about the best ways to paint ceramics. I will discuss the most popular type of paints and all the nuances you need to know about them. You will also learn about the DIY painting process. 

What Kind of Paint Do You Use for Ceramics?

Before you start painting a ceramic item, it is important to understand a bit more details about different types of paints. Ceramic items can be painted with acrylic, latex, or epoxy paint. For a glossy and durable finish, you can use epoxy paint. Paint markers are also frequently used for ceramic items. 

As you can see there are plenty of choices available on the market. I will discuss all of them and give you detailed information on how to use them and what results to expect. 

Ceramic paint markers are rapidly increasing in popularity. There is a good reason behind it: markers are extremely easy to work, even for beginners. The spring-loaded tip releases the paint when it touches the surface of the item. Those markers can be found in hundreds of colors and are ideal for decorating ceramic kitchenware. 

Once you have painted on a ceramic item, you will have to wait while it dries before putting it into the oven. Temperature and time will depend on the manufacturer and type of marker, so make sure you check those details. 

Enamel paints are great for decorative pieces. These paints can be found with a shimmer or glitter in their formula. But do keep in mind that in most cases, enamel paints are not food-safe. Gloss enamel paints should be cured in the oven once they have been fully dried. This will increase the stability of the coat of paint. Just like ceramic paint markers, the oven temperature and time will vary between brands. 

Acrylic paints can easily be applied using a brush of all sizes. Before applying acrylic paint to a ceramic item, you will need to prepare a surface. In other words, those paints require a primer, which will improve the adhesion of the paint to the ceramic. 

It is highly recommended that you do not bake acrylic paint in the oven. These types of ceramic paints are non-bake paint. Some acrylic ceramic paint might not be food-safe so it is best to use these paints on decorative pieces only.

Does Acrylic Paint Works on Ceramic?

In general, acrylic paint does works on ceramic items. These paints are water-based, which means that they air-dry quickly and stick easily to the surface. However, if you are working with a glazed ceramic piece, you might encounter issues with the paint sticking to the surface. 

As I mentioned above, some acrylic paints are not food-safe. But if you choose non-toxic acrylic paint, it can be used for plaits, mugs, and other kitchenware. However, if left unsealed they may release a bad taste or tarnish with time. 

So, how should you seal ceramic items? To seal acrylic paint on a ceramic item, you will need to work with a sealant that is compatible with acrylic paint. Sealants come in different forms, but basically, they are a mixture of resin and solvents. Sealants form a protective layer on top of the paint. 

How Do You Permanently Paint Ceramic?

You should use epoxy paint to get a highly durable and long-lasting finish. Other types of paints especially acrylics have weak adhesion to glazed ceramics. These paints will not make a strong, permanent bond and would remain fragile to cracks and scratches. 

To receive a durable finish, let the paint two or three days to air-dry. Keep in mind that paints form an unstable bond with an unaltered glazed ceramic. This is especially true with a smooth glazed surface. 

Can I Paint Ceramics at Home?

You can make beautiful pottery at home without having a kiln or other special equipment. Painting can also be done at home, using different paints and tools. I will discuss all the steps you need to take to the result you are looking for. 

The first thing you need to do is gently wash the pottery to remove all the dirt and dust. Allow the item to fully dry. Avoid washing air-dry clay. If necessary, clean it with paper or a towel. 

Paint large, one-colored segments using a wide, flat brush. Keep in mind that you will need to wash and dry your brush persistently before switching to a different color. Allow the first layers to dry before moving on.

After your base layer is ready, proceed with details and designs over your base colors using smaller brushes. If you need to change anything, wait for the area to dry, then paint over it.

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