Some different approaches can be taken when painting ceramics. Ceramics can be painted with an all over color or can be painted using a variety of colors. Ceramic pieces can be a very simple piece or have a lot of detail in them. Choosing an application will depend on the effect that is trying to be achieved and the design of the ceramic piece. Supplies for painting ceramics are available through ceramic stores, some craft stores and online.
There are a few types of glazes that are used on ceramics. You can use an underglaze on your ceramic piece. An underglaze is a ceramic glaze that is applied to greenware. Greenware is an unfired piece of ceramic. Once the underglaze is applied to the greenware and dried, it is then fired in a kiln. Overglazes are ceramic paints that are used on a fired piece of ceramic, and then fired again in a kiln. Lusters, like gold luster, are low fire ceramic paints that can be painted on a piece of glazed ceramic, and then fired again at a low temperature.
Stains are applied to a bisque piece of ceramic. This is a piece of ceramic that has been fired in a kiln. A stain is applied to a piece of ceramic that has been fired with a glaze or acrylic paint that has been applied. Once the stain has been applied over the glaze or paint, it is then wiped down so the stain remains in the crevices to add depth. A sealer is then applied. This can be a glossy finish or a matt finish, and can be brushed on or sprayed on.
Acrylic paints are paints that are water-based and can be applied to a ceramic piece without being fired in a kiln. Acrylic paints are inexpensive and can be purchased easily at local stores. Craft stores carry a large assortment of colors and brands. A base primer coat normally is used first before the acrylic paint is applied. This keeps the acrylic paint from being absorbed into the ceramic piece. The base coat will also give a smooth application when applying the paint. After the acrylic paint has dried, a glossy or matte sealer can be used.