Super-creative Ideas to Paint Your Intricate Pottery at Home

Pottery painting is easy to learn and an enjoyable hobby. You can paint ceramic bisque to create some beautiful looking crafts. Here are various ideas on pottery painting for kids, beginners and hobbyists.
Today, there are many studios which allow you to pick up an unpainted ceramic bisque. You can paint your ceramic piece with the paints provided at the studio, or carry the ceramic bisque at home for painting. Once you are done with the painting, you can give it back to the studio and they will fire it and glaze it for you. After few days, you can collect your finished ceramic bisque. Such stores or studios are all over the world and easy to find. You can even find them online. Many such studios even organize painting parties at home for an affordable price.

However, if you don't wish to go to the studio, then you can paint your own pottery at home. This means you will require the necessary supplies. You will need paints. But, ordinary paints won't do. Invest in ceramic paints. Acrylic paints are used for painting ceramic. You will find them at the ceramic studio or at large stationery stores. If you wish to keep your ceramic painted piece outdoors, then buy outdoor ceramic paint. You will also need good quality paint brushes. Some should be big enough to cover large areas quickly, and some should be 0 or 2 to paint the details. You will also need clean rags to wipe the brush, newspaper to cover the work surface and a spray-on sealer.

You can take a look at the various painted ceramics first before going through the below ideas.

Here are some basic painting tips that you should know, before you start painting.
  • Wash your ceramic bisque with plain water and then let it air dry for few minutes.
  • With a pencil, draw the design on the ceramic piece. If you are not good at drawing, then simply take a hard copy of a simple design and trace it out on the bisque. Alternatively, you can also use stencils.
  • Start painting your ceramic piece from bottom to top. This will allow you to hold the bottom part, while you paint the top part.
  • Then use paint brushes and cover the large areas and then progress to smaller areas on the piece.
  • Once, you are done with this, check the piece to see if you have left any white spots. If you find such spots, then cover them up with the right paint color. You might want to apply two or more coats of paint in case you want a darker color.
  • Finally, use a small numbered brush to add details.
Note: It is important that you wisely choose the ceramic bisque that you are going to paint. Choose small objects like mugs, paperweight, frames, etc., to do simple painting. In case you are an advanced learner, you can paint detailed designs on ceramic bisque like plates, lampshade, teacup set, etc.

Ideas for Kids
  • Paint simple designs like stars or butterflies using stencils.
  • Paint your name on a mug.
  • You can also paint colorful flowers on a plate.
  • A short message to a friend or relative like "Happy Birthday!" or "Merry Christmas!" can be painted.
  • Cute ceramic piggy bank with colorful dots or stripes can be painted.
  • You can paint a doodle of your favorite cartoon character like SpongeBob or Scooby-Doo.
  • Paint a hand mirror's frame and handle with cute flowers.
  • Paint a photo frame with light blue base and draw smiles on it.
  • Stamp your hand prints on a plate and write your name under it.
  • Draw a family tree on a plate with doodles of faces of family members, and write their name under each doodle.
  • Take an animal-shaped ceramic paperweight and paint it in a funky way.
Ideas for Beginners
Here are some simple ideas for novice teens and adults to try.
  • Take a large coffee mug and use cut-shaped sponges and a colored glaze and paint the bottom half of the mug with random strokes of the sponges.
  • Take a white soup plate and draw a simple dark green vine on it.
  • Buy a ceramic chess set and paint the chess pieces in two teams; one can be the red team and another can be the blue team. Make sure you only paint their clothes in either red or blue, rest of their body and accessories can be painted in realistic colors.
  • Buy a set of bathroom accessories and paint them with a cool floral design.
  • Take a flowerpot and paint it dark purple on the outside, and inside, paint it with a medium dark shade of aqua blue. Then on the outside surface, draw an intricate design of white flowers surrounded by aqua blue vines.
  • Buy a set of ceramic jars. According to the things you are going to store in them, paint them. Suppose, you wish to store cookies in a jar, then paint the jar with a light color first and then draw few cookies over it.
  • You can buy a ceramic pumpkin and paint it orange and black and use it for Halloween decoration.
  • Use a ceramic flower vase and paint it completely black. Then draw a branch which is divided into few sub-branches. On this branch, draw few light pink or purple flowers.
Advanced Painting Ideas
If you have been practicing ceramic painting for quite sometime, but don't know what to do next, then try these ideas listed below.
  • On a plate, draw some detailed floral design on the edges.
  • Draw a scene on a paper, for instance; a deer among trees in jungle or sunset on a beach. Then paint this scene on a plate with tiny patches to give a mosaic effect.
  • You can take a family picture and paint a detailed portrait on a ceramic key hanger.
  • Look online for some detailed Turkish designs on a bowl and create something similar on the bowl.
  • Buy a ceramic votive and paint some intricate but elegant design on it. Watch the beautiful design come to life with a lit candle placed inside the votive.
  • Paint a classic scene like an English cottage on a lampshade.
  • Have you tried merging colors on ceramics? No? Then take different sponges dipped in various colors and dab them on a ceramic surface to create a colorful looking art piece.
  • You can also buy a large ceramic piece like a garden gnome and paint it yourself.
  • You can buy a teacup set and paint it in simple Zen style or Turkish style.
Image Gallery
Here are some pictures of painted ceramics that will give you a better idea about painting.

Click on Images for Enlarged View

Blue Floral Pattern on VaseColorful PotBlue and Pink leaves design on vase
Brown Scene Design on White PlateBlue Vase with Sunflower DesignMulti-colored Jug
Orange Flower Design on Cup and SaucerBlue Flower Design on Small CupOrange Grid Design on Pot
Painted AmphoraPainted Mug with LidPainted Vase
Pink Flowers Design on VaseWhite Flower Design on Small Flower PotRoyal Blue Pattern on Plate
Multi-colored BowlPitcher with Small Blue Flowers DesignVase with Abstract Pattern
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If you have a kiln, you can bake your ceramic bisque yourself or give it to a ceramic store or studio and they will fire it for you for a small price. Then you can either enjoy hot chocolate in the mug you painted or keep the beautifully painted showpiece in a glass cabinet, and enjoy the compliments!
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