How to Make Hand Painted Ceramic Plates That Are Non-Toxic & Food Safe

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Make plain dinner plates colorful by hand painting them.
Make plain dinner plates colorful by hand painting them. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

If you’ve got plain dinner plates at home that could do with some decorating, ensure you use the right paint so that it is safe to eat off of the plates. Use ceramic paint that says “non-toxic” on the label; these paints should be water-based. Painting the plates themselves is a simple process.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean cloth
  • Tracing paper
  • Stencils
  • Outliner
  • Ceramic paint
  • Palette
  • Paintbrush
  • Oven

Wipe the plate with a clean dry cloth to ensure there is no dirt or grease on the surface.

Draw the outline of your pattern onto the ceramic using a pencil. Use tracing paper if you do not want to draw freehand. Use stencils if you wish.

Hold the outliner tube as if it was a pen and squeeze. Cover the pencil outline with the outliner. Allow to dry for an hour.

Squeeze a little ceramic paint onto a palette or similar surface and dip in your paintbrush. Apply the paint onto the plate as desired.

Put the plate into the oven and set it to gas mark 4 or 5 or to 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 35 minutes.

Turn off the oven and open the door to allow the plate to cool completely before taking it out.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice your design on a ceramic tile before you start painting the plates.
  • Use water and dish washing liquid to wash finished plates but don’t use a scourer and don’t put them in the dishwasher as this will take off the paint.
  • Don’t allow your paintbrush to dry while you are still using it; once the paint dries on it, you will not be able to get it off.
  • Don’t use acrylic paints as they are toxic.

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