How to Paint a Ceramic Plate

    by Kathryn Hatter

    About the Author

    Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.


    Bring some imagination and ingenuity to your dinner table with hand-painted ceramic plates, or paint a plate to display as a decorative object. Start with a basic white ceramic plate and imagine the different ways you can add personality and individuality to it. You can make an entire set of painted ceramic plates, with each plate being similar, yet not exactly the same for that true hand-crafted effect.

    Things You'll Need

    • Cloth
    • Paint thinner
    • Pencil
    • Ceramic paint
    • Paint palette
    • Paintbrushes
    • Small cup
    • Paper towels
    • Oven

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    Prepare the ceramic plates for painting. Remove any surface dust with a damp cloth, then clean the plates thoroughly with paint thinner to remove invisible traces of dirt. Allow the plates to dry completely.

    Decide what design you will paint onto the plates and sketch it on paper first. Make it abstract or plan to paint specific motifs onto the plates, such as flowers or fruits. Draw faint outlines of the objects with a pencil, if you desire.

    Place small dollops of ceramic paint onto the paint palette. Fill a small cup with water for rinsing your paintbrush, and place two to three paper towels near your work area for blotting your paintbrush after rinsing it in the water.

    Paint your design onto the plate with a paintbrush. Rinse and dry the paintbrush completely if you change paint colors. Continue painting until you have created the entire design or painting on the plate.

    Allow the paint to dry completely. Consult the paint label for a specific drying time.

    Apply a second coat of paint after the first coat dries, if necessary. A sealant or glaze is unnecessary because you will be baking the plate in the oven to cure it.

    Consult the paint label for curing instructions. Preheat the oven to the recommended temperature and place the painted ceramic plates in the oven. Bake the plates for the recommended time and then remove them, wearing oven gloves. When the ceramic plates come out of the oven, they will have a shiny glaze.

    Allow the plates to cool completely before using them. Wash the plates either by hand or in the dishwasher, if the paint is dishwasher safe. Consult the paint manufacturer's recommendations for specific washing instructions.

    • For more detailed designs, draw your design on tracing paper and transfer it to the ceramic plate with a pencil.
    • Decorate the plate using a rubber stamp with ceramic paint, or make your own stamp by cutting a kitchen sponge into a fun shape. You can also use contact paper templates or painter's tape for certain designs.