What kind of paint can I use on ceramic that has never been painted?

I have new pieces of ceramic that were in a store where they usually painted and fired them in a kiln. I don't want to go through the trouble of firing in a kiln. What kind of paint or sealer, etc. can I use on them? I mostly want them to be all one color.
  13 answers
  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Feb 12, 2017
    Are you going to use these for eating on? If not, acrylcic can work.

    • Dvh14732907 Dvh14732907 on Feb 13, 2017
      Thank you for replying. I am not worrying about eating on any of the pieces I have. They are all decorative and figurine items. I just want some tints or glazes of all one color.

  • Pallet Man Pallet Man on Feb 12, 2017
    If the ceramic has been glazed and fired, it is difficult to get paint to stick. You would need to etch or abrade the surface first. Etching gel (hydrofluoric acid) can be used. Or, you can sand the glaze with silicon carbide sand paper to get a rough surface. There are some epoxy paints that claim to stick to ceramic.
    If the ceramic is unglazed white ware, it will accept many different paints. The type you would use would depend on the type of finish you want and whether you need it to be water resistant. Some spray can paints claim to work on unglazed ceramic. Enamel paints would usually be the strongest finish but artist acrylic paints can be used for artistic pieces that will not need durability.

    • See 2 previous
    • Pallet Man Pallet Man on Mar 28, 2020

      What did you use to clean the soot off?

      If it was just painted brick or earthen tiles, a strong cleaner could penetrate deeper than expected.

      Any time you need to harshly clean a new surface, it is best to test an inconspicuous place first.

      You may need to finish removing all of the paint then adding a masonry primer then a finish color.

  • William William on Feb 12, 2017
    You would need to seal with a primer first or the paint will soak in and possible crack when dry. You can use a spray primer. Then you can use any acrylic paint and seal with varnish or a spray clear glaze. Do not use polyurethane. It will crack and craze. This would not be food or dishwasher safe.

    • Dvh14732907 Dvh14732907 on Feb 13, 2017
      Thank you for your reply. Can you tell me specifically what kind of primer I would need please. I am not worried in this case about being food same. One of the main things I want to do is a nativity set. The heads are unfortunately broken on two pieces. Any way to glue them that will stay?

  • Celia W Shell Celia W Shell on Feb 12, 2017
    I have had very good luck using chalk paint! I sponged it on to look like marble and then sealed with a ceramic gloss! That was two years ago! Love it

  • JEWEL C JEWEL C on Feb 12, 2017
    You didn't say if this is green ware or bisque. If it is green ware it will have to be fired. Also I agree with William about the food safety.

  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Feb 13, 2017
    I also have had luck with chalkpaint, post pics when you finish!! Have fun!

  • William William on Feb 13, 2017
    Krylon or Rustoleum spray primer would work. Several light coats letting each coat dry. To glue porous surfaces, as your ceramics are, I use Locktite Gel Control Super Glue. The liquid super glue just seeps into the pores. I learned! For a high gloss finish use clear spray glaze in about two to three light coats. Available at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

    • Dvh14732907 Dvh14732907 on Feb 13, 2017
      Thank You. I will go to the store in the morning. I am anxious to try some of the suggestions.

  • William William on Feb 13, 2017
    Please post your project here. We all would love to see it!

  • Judi Judi on Feb 14, 2017
    Check out this website:www.askthebuilder.com/painting-ceramic-tile

  • Shirley Miller Shirley Miller on Feb 20, 2017
    I have used gesso for many projects. I was an art major and used it to prime canvases, but found it covered many things. I covered ceramic lamp bases prior to painting. I've used it to refinish my kitchen cabinets and antique my dining set. It takes to marblizing and antiquing techniques. Sometime I use paint over it or just wipe on the diluted color. It is similar to chalk paint, but very sturdy and hides flaws. It is a very old method of furniture finishing. Available in art supply stores etc.

  • Lyn Buerger Lyn Buerger on Feb 22, 2017
    You can even use chalk/pastels. Rub them in the fingers, cloth, etc. Layer them to get lovely looks. You can go soft or hard. Finish with a final coat either flat or glossy. I would prefer flat finish on pastels. It is a lovely look and very forgiving.

  • Cra11823795 Cra11823795 on Feb 24, 2017
    They do make a glass/tile paint that can be baked in the oven for a shorter time frame and not nearly as hot as the 1800 degrees you need for china paint. China paint is what I used when I painted tiles for a tile company that were fired in the kiln.

  • Donna Ridenour Donna Ridenour on Dec 16, 2017
    I have a large nativity set I want to paint that's been fired once from greenware to bisque. Then I want to antique. What paints/antiquing do I use/