How to Paint on Dinner Plates

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Decorate plates to use during the holiday season.
Decorate plates to use during the holiday season. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Design your own dinner plate by painting across the surface of the dish. Emblazon it with your family's name, holiday greetings or cooking illustrations. Creating the design is not the only critical part of the process. You must also set the paint to the plate's surface properly, to ensure the permanence of your artwork. If you are painting plates for everyday use, baking the paint to the surface is the best way to ensure the paint does not flake into food. Alternatively, for decorative plates, you can set the paint solely through prolonged exposure to air.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer and printer
  • Scissors
  • Glass plate
  • Tape
  • Wax paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Opaque acrylic paint, various colors
  • Paintbrush
  • Washcloth
  • Ceramic plates
  • Ceramic paint markers

Painting Glass Plates for Daily Use

Edit the desired image into the appropriate dimensions in a blank document on a computer. Flip the image 180 degrees so that it appears backwards. Painting the image on the backside exactly as you want it to appear will make it the image backwards when you flip the plate over to use it. Follow a backwards template so that the image is oriented properly from the top view.

Cut the template out of paper with scissors. Lay the template face down on the top side of the glass. Affix it to the surface with small pieces of tape. Use more than one template in order to position the images on the plate correctly, if necessary.

Tear a sheet of wax paper. Lay it on a baking sheet. Place the plate on the covered baking sheet with the plate's underside facing up.

Tear a small piece of wax paper to use as a palette. Squeeze a dime-sized bead of each acrylic paint color onto the paper.

Dip the paintbrush into the paint. Paint the plate in smooth, even strokes. The painted image should be opaque. Follow the template as a guide.

Continue painting the plate until you complete the design. Allow the paint to dry overnight.

Remove the tape and templates from the front side of the plate. Wipe the surface with a washcloth to remove any residual tape adhesive. Place the plate face down on the baking sheet.

Place the sheet into the oven. Bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off. Allow the plates to cool in the oven slowly. Remove the plates from the oven when they are room temperature.

Painting on Decorative Ceramic Plates

Cover you work surface with one or two sheets of wax paper. Place the plate on the wax paper with the plate's top side facing up.

Tear a small piece of wax paper to use as a palette. Squeeze a dime-sized bead of each acrylic paint color onto the paper.

Dip the paintbrush into the paint. Pick-up small quantities of paint at a time. Paint on the the plate in smooth, even strokes. The painted image should be opaque.

Allow fresh paint several minutes to set before layering another paint color over it to keep the lines looking strong and sharp.

Outline the painted imagery with ceramic paint markers. Use a color that is darker than the image. You can also add fine details with markers, if you find detailed brush application difficult.

Continue painting the plate until you complete the design. Allow the paint to dry for 48 hours.

References

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