How to Use Acrylic Paint on Unpainted Ceramics

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Things You'll Need

  • Ceramic piece

  • Assortment of acrylic paints

  • Palette

  • Clear spray sealant

  • Paintbrush

  • Soft-bristled brush

Use Acrylic Paint on Unpainted Ceramics

Unpainted ceramic pieces, also known as greenware, can be created and collected for a variety of purposes. Vibrant colors can be added to unpainted ceramics by using acrylic paints that are especially made for that purpose. Readily available in most craft stores, acrylic paints are convenient to use. And because they are water-based, cleanup is a breeze. Many of the acrylic paints that can be used for painting ceramics are non-toxic, making them ideal for children’s ceramic painting and for ceramic items used for food. The color assortments offered by most acrylic paint manufacturers is vast, which will make finding the perfect color for your unpainted ceramic piece an easy task.


Step 1

Clean your unpainted ceramic piece before painting it with the acrylic paints. Ceramic dust or other particles can be left on the ceramic after it is created. If the particles are not removed they will end up in your paint, leaving behind an undesirable result. This can be done using a clean, soft-bristled brush.

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Step 2

Choose acrylic paint that is especially designed for use on unpainted ceramics. There are several companies that sell acrylic paint that is recommended for ceramics, and is water based and non-toxic. And if the acrylic paint is non-toxic, it can then be used for making dinnerware or other items that can be used to hold food.


Step 3

Decide which acrylic paint colors you would like to use to paint your ceramic piece. A small amount of the chosen colors can then be placed on a palette for easy access during the painting process. Only a small amount is necessary. You do not want to waste your colors by pouring out more than you need--you can always add more as you go along.


Step 4

Dip your paintbrush into the acrylic paint and begin the painting process. You can also use a sponge for textured designs, and you can apply the paint liberally. Just be sure to allow each coat to dry before adding the next.

Step 5

Seal your newly painted ceramic piece using a clear acrylic spray. Although the spray sealer may be more convenient, it is not non-toxic and cannot be used for pieces that will hold food. Acrylic paint cannot be put in a kiln, so the only way to give it a true shine is to use the spray sealant.


Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before using the acrylic paint.


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