Follow This Guide And Paint Your Own Pottery Like A Pro

Creating new things is really amazing. From making a new doorstop to creating a beautiful scrunchie, crafts are here to stay! If you’re someone who just started the pottery journey, you might be wondering how to paint your own. Is it even possible to paint your own garden gnome or your terracotta pots for example? And what are the available options? Traditional paints are rarely used by potters when they want to add more colour to their clay works. 

Colored pottery, cups and plates

Other ceramic elements, such as underglazes, slips, and oxide stains, are commonly used by potters to paint their work, while brushes and paint pens are used to add creative fun details. This article is all about how to paint your pottery and what best works for you, no matter what type of paint you choose.

What kind of paint should you use?

Check out the different types of paint you can use for this DIY project:

1. Acrylic Paints

These are by far the best sellers and once you start using them, you will find the whole thing a rewarding experience due to the fact that they are inexpensive, dry quickly and last long. There are many different kinds, with most of them costing between a pound and a few pounds for a tube.

You can also get an entire painting kit or a craft kit for less than 8 pounds at online shops. Yes, it is really this cheap. All are great options even if you’re working with clay ceramics. Typically, you’ll want to apply this on clay cups and flowerpots. Plus, you can even use a single colour and then add another colour to it. It can be painted in a variety of ways, including a thin coat and a thick coat, which will require only one application at a time.

Plus, once the paint is dry, you’ll be able to wash it. It also takes very little time for the paint to set. In fact, after applying this, the pottery piece may just take a few minutes to dry. 

Now, if you go to the store to buy acrylic paints and intend to use them right away, make sure to get water-based acrylic paints rather than oil-based ones. The former is safer and dries quicker. 

Extra tip: You are confident that you will be very carefull while painting, but if you happen to be an artist who faces accidental spills on your clothes quite frequently, we can help you get rid of all these acrylic paint stains.

2. Ceramic paint

These paints are safe to use on pottery and should only be used with kiln ceramics. While you can get away with using acrylic paint markers on other surfaces, this type of paint is the most common one for ceramic paintings

It’s similar to acrylic in that you paint it on and then wait for it to dry. After that, all you have to do is use the dish or cup. You can also use bake-on ceramic paints, which are wonderful for giving this type of paint a glossy finish. However, the problem is that they frequently require an inspection to guarantee that they are still safe to use. 

Ceramics coloring

3. Spray paints

Another simple and convenient method for colouring your ceramic clay is spray painting. Spray paint bottles and paint sprayers can quickly cover a huge area. It also gives the pottery body a smooth and lustrous feel. Here are some of the reasons to use spray paints to paint your own ceramics:

  • Bottles are lightweight and cover a huge area in a matter of minutes.
  • Spray paints will make your job a lot easier if you are unable to reach the nooks and crevices in your clay item.
  • The gratifying sense of filling in gaps with colours by spraying is particularly enjoyable after using these paints.
  • They can be found almost anywhere and come at a very inexpensive price. 
  • Spray paint bottles are loaded with long-lasting and waterproof synthetic colours. 
  • However, if you want to be certain about the colour’s characteristics, examine the bottle’s labels. Also, look at the ingredients that went into manufacturing the colour to see if it’s safe or not.

How to paint your pottery piece step-by-step

Follow these easy steps and by the time you are done, you may even start a paint-your-own-pottery studio. The whole thing should take about an hour:

Step1: Prepare the clay pots to be painted

You’ll want to clean your clay pots before painting them, whether they’re old or fresh new. Remove all dust and grime with a scrub brush or pot brush, then let them dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step. 

It can take anywhere from a day to a few days for the pots to dry entirely, depending on their size.

Step 2: Prepare your workspace

Place newspaper on the area where you will be painting the clay pots. Even with a careful hand, painting a pot without getting paint on the surface you’re working on is difficult as you’ll have to set the pot down at some point.

Step 3: Paint your pots

Paint the base coat with your foam sponge brush first. Apply 2-3 more coats of non-thinned paint to the pot after the base coat has dried. The number of coats you apply is determined by the quality of your paint, whether you want any of the pot to show through, and the colour of paint you’re using.
Between coats, you don’t have to wait for the paint to dry entirely, but you should let it dry at least 75% before adding more paint. It will be sticky but not wet to the touch. Also, because no one will see the bottom of your pot, you don’t need to paint it. There’s no need to repaint the inside, either. 

Step 4: Let them dry

Before moving on to the following stage, make sure your painted pots are totally dried. This can take a little longer than you expect. 

Allow at least 24 hours before declaring them dry. Plus, give it even more time to dry if it is thicker.

Woman's hands painting ceramics

Step 5: Apply a sealant to the paint

It’s a good idea to seal pots with a clear coat after painting them if you don’t want your hard work to be chipped or scratched. You can go for a matte finish, but you can also go for a glossy finish if you prefer that glowing touch. 

Once done, spray the pot according to the can’s instructions. Voila! your painting session is done.

Smart tips for painting pottery pieces

We’ve put together a few tips on craft supplies and art supplies to help you succeed in this project:

  1. Never start with the darks. Light colours don’t show up well on darker paints, so paint your lights first and darks last with the exception of the colour white.
  2. Never write with a pen! The residue left by the pen will cause defects in your personalised item. 
  3. Water should not be added to the paint. It will simply thin it out. However, before adding another coat, clean your paintbrushes with water.
  4. Each colour should cover your entire piece with full and dry coatings.
  5. To add visual texture or a pattern to your ceramics, add stickers to the pot and always try a different painting technique.

The benefits of painting your pottery pieces

Pottery painting can broaden one’s mind and improve overall health in a variety of ways, such as:

1. Stress relief

Painting pottery may allow you to relieve some of your anxiety and tension. You may feel as if your worry is literally leaving your body as you work on a piece of art. You’re putting your optimistic energy to good use. 

You might even create a piece of pottery that reflects your inner feelings. Working on it might also help to divert your attention away from whatever is upsetting you.

2. Mental clarity

Painting pottery can also aid in the development of future mental wellness. Perhaps you think of yourself as someone who lacks an artistic ability, but once you’ve finished the pottery, you’ll discover that’s not the case. 

Then, you will want to try to achieve other goals that you previously felt were impossible. Furthermore, completing the piece of pottery might boost your confidence.

Three women painting handmade peaces from ceramics

3. A sense of achievement

It is psychologically beneficial to believe that you can complete tasks. For example, you may still have a few years left in your degree before graduating, or you may have worked on a project at work for a long period but have yet to see the results. 

You can finally feel like you’ve completed a task when you paint ceramics. Even if it does not have to take a long time to complete, you can be proud of the effort you put in. You will even get a higher sense of achievement when you give the pot as a gift to somebody at birthday parties or mother’s and father’s day, etc.

4. Socialisation

Even if you prefer to spend many hours indoors watching movies, stepping out to mingle is still necessary. Mingling with others will allow you to meet new people and exchange ideas. Why don’t you try it over pottery?

Socialising can improve your self-esteem and help you create new relationships. You might even acquire a more open mindset.

5. Focus

Sitting down to work on pottery needs concentration, dedication, and attention. Rather than going through a roller coaster of emotions, you can focus all of your attention on this one goal. Taking a break from your stressful life can help you to be more prepared to face obstacles when you return to that setting.

Colorful painted ceramics

Painting pottery brings you to a new and exciting world. Not only is it a great way to bring colour and personality into your home or garden but also you will get a plethora of benefits for your overall health and well-being. Now, get yourself an ice cream or a cupcake and enjoy an original work of art created by you!

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