How to Kiln Painted Ceramics

Kilns and pottery have been around for centuries and used by cultures across the world. . No two kilning processes are alike though. If you want to kiln painted ceramics to change the pottery's coloring, try reduction firing. The slow reduction of heat this type of kilning process produces darkens colors and can even make physical properties stand out more. Use an electric kiln for the most accurate temperature control. Wood-burning kilns, often used for flashing (the direct application of ceramic clay to fire), require more attention and time to successfully complete this project.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Brush
  • Vacuum
  • Ceramic clay
  • Electrical kiln
  • Kiln tongs


    • 1

      Clean out the kiln before starting any project. Use a brush and vacuum to remove debris. Also inspect the kiln for cracks or other types of damage that may allow heat to escape.

    • 2

      Turn on your kiln and allow the fire to burn so the heat increases and evenly distributes throughout the kiln. The electric kiln needs to reach a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit to remove all moisture.

    • 3

      Increase the heat inside the kiln until it reaches at least 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit but no more than 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures may damage your pottery and lower temperatures may not produce the desired effect or any effect at all.

    • 4

      Insert the glazed pottery piece inside the electrical kiln with a pair of kiln tongues. Close the kiln door and begin timing. The longer the glazed pottery stays inside the the kiln, the darker the glazed colors become. There's no right or wrong amount of time to leave the pottery inside the kiln. This depends on your preference.

    • 5

      Immediately reduce the heat inside the kiln once you get the desired results. Depending on how your electric kiln works, this may require adjusting control gauges or reducing the amount of oxygen inside the kiln by closing vents. Either way, begin lowering temperature every half hour. Again, the amount of reduction time needed depends on your desired effects.

    • 6

      Remove the pottery with kiln tongs and allow it to cool off in a well-ventilated area.

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  • Photo Credit Henry Gan/Photodisc/Getty Images

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