Ceramic painting – To paint ceramics or porcelain, you neither need many materials nor endless skill – only creativity.
With a few steps and some tricks, you can uniquely refine any tableware piece, even if you are generally not a great artist.
There are no limits to your imagination. This is how you create very personal gifts or beautiful home accessories that fit timelessly into any ambiance.
A related video about “Pebeo Painted Ceramics” here to watch.
Video Credit: Jane Monteith
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Table of Contents
Ceramic painting – How To Paint Ceramic?
Before you start decorating, your art object must be getting cleaned thoroughly. Please do not use a dishwasher or any commercial detergent. These often cover the dishes with a film, which does not allow the colors to take hold properly and therefore does not last long.
Clean the ceramic or porcelain with the help of a sponge and abrasive cleaner. Then polish it with high-proof alcohol. It is best to use disposable gloves; otherwise, your fingers will leave a greasy film again during cleaning, affecting the colors’ durability.
Material is needed to paint ceramics:
- Plain porcelain or ceramic: cups, bowls, plates
- Unique porcelain colors, either porcelain pencils or brush colors
- Porcelain stickers
- Cotton swabs
- Nail polish remover
- Painter’s crepe
- Wooden skewers, brushes, sponges
- Baking oven
Preparing ceramic or porcelain for painting
Before you give your ceramic or old porcelain a new shine, you must first prepare it so that your work of art will stick later.
- First, clean the ceramic or porcelain at the highest permissible temperature.
- Your design will only stick securely to the ceramic or porcelain if it is 100% free of grease. It is advantageous to wipe the porcelain with a little alcohol afterward.
Tip: If you don’t have suitable porcelain to hand, you can also get so-called raw porcelain in specialized ceramic shops, where you can let off steam creatively.
Painting ceramics easy in 7 steps the best way!
If you count on your drawing skills, you can get right to work and paint freehand directly on the ceramic. Otherwise, you will find plenty of templates on the Internet and in specialist shops, which you can use to draw a wide variety of motifs on your porcelain.
- Suppose you want to work with a template. First, place a tracing paper sheet on the prepared porcelain. Then the template is put on top of it.
- The motif you then draw on the template. Through the copy paper, the motive is getting transferred to the porcelain.
- Alternatively, you can draw your unique design on a sheet of paper with a pencil. Before you start drawing, sketch the area’s outline to be painted on the paper sheet to align the drawing accordingly.
- After you have brought the motif on the porcelain, you paint the contours with a ceramic pencil.
- If you have an accident with the ceramic pencil, you still have the option of removing your less successful drawing strokes with a little alcohol.
- As soon as you finished with your design, the porcelain goes into the oven to make it last. At a temperature of about 180 degrees, leave the painted ceramic pieces in the range for about 30 minutes. The exact temperature and oven time can be getting found on your ceramic painting pens.
- You can also get various porcelain stickers in specialized shops, but you only apply them after being burned in your painted design.
Ceramic Painting Techniques
Drawing ceramics with a pencil technique
Would you like to draw your motif? So use a normal to hard pencil and color your drawing afterward. You can still make visible pencil strokes, but you don’t have to erase them, because they will burn away in the oven and not be visible anymore. Please apply light to regular pencil strokes. If they are too thick, the glaze will not adhere well to the area and become bumpy.
- The etching is no problem.
- Pencil strokes burn away.
- Please do not press on too firmly, so that the glaze does not become holey.
Ceramic colors mixing technique
Colors can be getting mixed if necessary, but please do not mix with water! Use this only to wash out the brushes. Put a glass of water in your place.
If you want to paint colors over each other, paint darker colors over light ones. Because the colors melt together in the oven, color pigments are mixed. For example, dark blue will swallow or enormously change a yellow-painted over it.
White is the exception: it contains the highest pigment density. Therefore, you can dab white, creamy dots over dark colors. White is not getting swallowed so easily.
- If necessary, colors can be getting mixed.
- Use water only for brush cleaning, not for mixing.
- Paint dark colors over light ones, not vice versa.
- White can be getting placed over any color.
Ceramic circular dots technique
You can arrange dots in many variations on your ceramics to a beautiful pattern. Dip the back brush style into the paint and dab the paint onto the surface – get a new color for each dot. Then the beads will be thick enough to develop bright colors.
- Dip the brush style once into the color for each dot and put it straight on.
- One layer is enough.
Ceramic scratch or scoring technique
After applying 3 to a maximum of 4 layers of paint, you have enough substance to apply the scratching technique. Use a sharp wooden stick and wait until the paint has dried.
Make sure that the paint is dry. When scratching, the white of the ceramic should reappear. The white line will become clearer later, as the glaze settles in and brightens up during firing.
If the paint becomes dry and hard to getting pushed away with the stick, moisten it again with a brush.
Many crumbs are getting produced when motifs, patterns, or writing are scratched quite precisely. Please do not wipe them away with your hand, but use a broad brush and finally brush them off over the trash can.
As soon as you are finished, all color crumbs have to be removed to not fall into the glaze or form unsightly mounds on the ceramic.
- Precise carving of motifs, patterns, or writing possible
- Paint must be thick enough like 3-4 layers and freshly dried.
- Slightly moisten the color if it becomes too hard.
- Wipe crumbs dry only with a dense brush, not with your fingers
Ceramic blubber technique
Would you like to conjure up a pattern of colored bubbles on your ceramic? Then mix the color meticulously according to our recipe:
- Mix about one tablespoon of paint with two tablespoons of water and a small drop of dishwater in a glass
- Little rinsing, otherwise it will repel the glaze or make it brittle
- blow through a straw into the liquid, let rising air bubbles fall on or into the ceramic
- watch how the bubbles slowly burst by themselves, do not break
- Leave the ceramic dry and do not move it anymore
Ceramic stamps technique
Would you like to use motif stamps for the design of your ceramics? Remember: stamping on ceramics is a bit more difficult because the ceramic trap is thicker than ordinary stamping ink.
Therefore, apply only a hazelnut-sized amount of ink to a small sponge and smooth the surface with your index finger. It should not penetrate deeply into the sponge, nor should there be a painted nose sticking up.
Then gently and carefully dab the stamp with the sponge. Only the raised areas should be getting wetted with paint. If paint gets into the grooves, you will not get a clean stamp impression.
Practice once or twice on paper to be on the safe side. The stamp must be clean before and after.
Alternatively, you can dab an ink blob with a smooth surface sponge, place the stamp on it, and seal.
Use only dark colors for stamping on ceramic. Why? You can only stamp a skinny layer at a time because you will never hit the same spot a second time.
- Make an ink pad from a sponge.
- Dab the stamp very carefully.
- Use only darker colors.
- Make a test print on paper.
Masking on ceramic technique
You can mask lines with tape crepe or use motif dancers. Punch out motifs from paper or self-adhesive label paper and stick them onto your ceramic because paper sticks are relatively well if you moisten it. Paint over the motifs with one or up to three layers; it is best to dab over them with the painting sponge.
As soon as the paint is dehydrated, remove the adhesive strips or paper motifs with a stick. All taped areas are then white. Please don’t forget to remove the sticky tape; otherwise, the glaze won’t reach the area and will remain rough even after firing.
- Apply or glue motifs with motif punch made of paper.
- Overpaint and remove cleanly.
- Be sure that no stickers were getting forgotten.
Ceramic stencils technique
Apply and carefully dab over with the color sponge so that the outlines do not become unclean. If the stencil is only loosely applied, it is safer to trace the contours with a pencil or scratch into the primer.
- Carefully dab with a sponge.
- It’s best to use a pencil for sketching or scratching directly.
After you have decorated your artwork, you must let it dry. Whether ceramic or porcelain has to be getting baked in an oven cannot be answered in a general way. It depends on the colors used. Pay attention to the instructions. In this case, you usually proceed as follows:
- The ceramic or porcelain must dry for about fifteen minutes.
- Afterward, it comes for about 25 minutes at 160 degrees into the oven.
- Later, it must cool down in the oven.
As a rule, the inks used should be dishwasher and even scratch-resistant, especially if fired. But make sure that you always use colors from only one manufacturer, because the care and after-treatment can differ.
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