Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic?Things You Should Know About It

It is okay to consider reusing your home’s old and unpainted ceramic items by adding an artistic touch.

But those ceramics are not going to paint themselves, are they?

You need to consider using effective paint to do the job. Acrylic paints are suitable to paint various surfaces, but can you use acrylic paint on ceramic?

Acrylic paints are pretty effective for painting unglazed or unpainted ceramic items. However, painting glazed ones can be a little tricky. You can apply acrylic paint on unglazed ceramics simply by cleaning it properly. On the other hand, glazed ceramics require sanding, cleaning, and priming before you paint them.

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Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic

Now you know that acrylic paint and ceramics go together. But can you use this paint for all-ceramic items?

What about tiles or ornaments or bisque?

Well, I will answer all the important questions and discuss the painting process in today’s article. So feel free to dive in to explore more of your artistic side.

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How To Use Acrylic Paint On Unpainted Ceramics?

You may know unpainted ceramics as greenware. The best thing about such ceramics is that you can use them as they are or paint them as though they are your canvas. But then the question comes again, can you use acrylic paint on ceramic?

The answer is still yes, but there are a few steps you need to follow. So, here is a simple step-by-step instruction for you to paint unpainted ceramics with acrylic.

Things You Will Need

  • Ceramic item
  • Acrylic paints
  • Painting palette
  • Sealant
  • Paintbrush
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Dry rag

Step 1: Prepare The Ceramic Item

The first step is to prepare the ceramic you want to paint. You need to clean it properly to ensure it is free of any kind of dirt or particles. You can do it either with a soft-bristled brush, or you can clean it with a rag until there are no particles left on the surface.

Step 2: Decide On Your Acrylic Paint

There are various types of acrylic paints in the market. You can pick the type that will be easier for you to apply. If you are painting on dinner wares, choosing water-based and non-toxic acrylic paint would be best.

Step 3: Choose Your Acrylic Paint

Whether you want to use one particular color or multiple colors to paint the ceramic, you need to get them ready. Take a small amount of each paint on a palette. You can start with taking a small amount first and then add more if necessary. In this way, you will waste less paint.

Step 4: Start Painting

Now dip your paintbrush into your desired color and start painting your selected ceramic item. If you want to add some texture, using a sponge can be handy.

But it is optional and depends on the person who paints. But make sure to let each coat dry completely before you apply another coat of paint.

Step 5:

You can use a good-quality sealer to make the acrylic set well. These sealers usually come in spray cans.

But it is to be noted that spray sealers can be toxic and not suitable for plates or mugs or anything that is for food. But if you are painting something else, spraying sealants will leave a glossy finish.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic Mugs?

Acrylic paints are suitable for painting ceramic mugs. But before you choose acrylic paints for it, you need to choose the right mug. You should use an unglazed mug because only then the acrylic paint will work best.

Working with acrylic paint can get a little messier, especially if you are a first-timer. Remember that acrylic paints are permanent, and they stain when you work. So I suggest you cover your working area with plenty of newspapers.

If you plan to add some designs, it is best to use a pencil to make outlines. Then you can start painting your ceramic mug. Acrylic marker paints would be an ideal choice for this task.

And if you ask, I would recommend the Paint Pens 12 Acrylic Paint Markers Set. This acrylic paint set gives you various color choices. They are water-based, and the extra-fine tips are perfect for creating detailed artworks. But make sure not to paint the top edges of the mug as these paints are not edible.

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Ceramic Mug?

Sealing the acrylic paint increases the design’s longevity. It also increases the design or color’s saturation. But you need to use a good-quality sealant that is compatible with acrylic paint on ceramics.

I suggest using the Mod Podge Spray Acrylic Sealer because it dries very quickly, efficiently and prevents paints from getting yellowish over time. It is a non-toxic, dishwasher-safe ceramic sealer. That means you can use it on drinking mugs, and it will not wear off even if you wash it with water.

Before you apply a sealant, make sure to cover the working area with newspapers. Then get your mugs ready to apply the sealant. If you painted only a part of the mug and didn’t want the sealant to touch other areas, it is best to tape those areas.

After that, shake the sealant bottle vigorously so that the mixture does not remain clumped inside before spraying the sealant. For extra precaution, keep a dry rag close to your hand to clean the nozzle after a few sprays. It will prevent the nozzle from getting clogged.

Why Should You Seal Acrylic Paint On Ceramic Mugs?

Most of the paints contain chemicals to set it on various surfaces and dry. The same goes for the acrylic paints you use on your ceramic mug.

On top of that, if you use the painted mug, there is a chance that the paint will peel off or fade over time. Using a sealant can prevent most of these issues. But is sealing an acrylic painted mug essential?

The answer is both yes and no. There is no mandatory rule to use a sealant on acrylic paints. But using it will give you a few advantages.

Acrylic paints are not waterproof, and using a dishwasher on the mug can crack or peel off the paint pretty quickly. But when you use a dishwasher-safe sealant on the paint, you protect the paint from water and increase its longevity. Moreover, using a non-toxic sealant prevents paint chemicals from entering your body.

Another advantage of sealing acrylic paint is that it makes the colors stand out. A good-quality sealer increases the saturation of the paint and makes it appear glossy.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic Plates?

If you plan to use acrylic paint on ceramic plates, go for it without so much hesitation. Most ceramic plates come in white color, making them the perfect canvas for your artwork.

If the plate is brand new, make sure you have peeled off any stickers from it. If it is an old plate from your home, you need to wash or clean it properly. You can use a dry rag to wipe off any remaining dust and debris. If the dust is hard to remove, you need to wash it.

If there is any stubborn soap or sticker residue left, you need to wipe them off with rubbing alcohol. Dip a soft fabric or paper towel into the rubbing alcohol and wipe the plate clean. After that, you need to let the plate dry for an hour or two.

Now, there are various ways to paint designs on ceramic plates. You can either go for patterns, draw floral designs, landscapes or cartoons. Whatever it is, you may try practicing a bit on paper or use a pencil to make some outlines. You can also try using tapes to create shapes.

Experimenting with colors is always the fun part of the painting. Try mixing a few acrylic colors on your palette to see if they look good. If you are painting on dinner plates, you should choose non-toxic acrylic paint. You can try sealing the paint to make it last longer.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic Tiles?

Acrylic paints work fine on ceramic tiles. It is a cool way to create your customized tiles rather than spending a lot of money on store-bought ones. Besides, painted ceramic tiles are a beautiful addition to your home as various items, such as coasters, decorative items, and more.

Now, which ceramic times would be best for using acrylic paint. If you want to purchase tiles for the work, my suggestion would be the COYMOS 12Pcs Blank Coasters Unglazed Ceramic White Tiles.

These unglazed ceramics are perfect for painting acrylic paint. All the pieces come with a corked pad to prevent the ceramic from leaving marks on your dining or coffee table.

Before painting the tiles, make sure the surface is clean. If you are using tiles, you already own or installed somewhere in your home, wipe off dirt or other particles, if they have any. You can prime the tiles after drying to ensure the paint does not crack or get damaged soon.

Apply a thin coat of acrylic paint at first and wait for it to dry completely. After that, you can apply a second and third coating, if necessary. If you are painting a glazed ceramic tile, you will need to sand it before starting the entire painting process.

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Ceramic Tiles?

It doesn’t matter whether you are painting on glazed or unglazed ceramic or in which method. The right thing to do would be to seal the paint so that it will not come off easily.

You can use almost any sealant on painted ceramic tiles, but it is best to go with something that contains both Water-based polyurethane. But you can also choose a sealant that has both polyurethane and urethane.

My recommendation would be the Mod Podge Water-Based Sealer. It is water-based and highly effective. Cover the working area with some newspapers first. Then apply this sealer on ceramic tiles using a soft paintbrush or soft sponge.

Make sure the paint on the tiles is completely dry before you apply the sealer. If the paint is dried well, the sealer will set well. Once the sealer dries within an hour or two, the acrylic paint will appear clearer and glossy.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic Bisque?

Nothing makes ceramic bisque look more colorful and vibrant than acrylic paints. While any bisque looks aesthetic the way it is, painting it with some colors of your choice can make a big difference in their appearances. So yes, you can use acrylic paint on ceramic bisque.

Acrylic paints come in various forms, such as tubes, paint pencils, spray paints, etc. You can choose any form depending on your comfort and painting ease. However, most people choose painting bisque with paintbrushes.

Ceramic bisque usually comes unglazed and in white color, making them the right canvas to apply your painting skill. But remember that ceramic bisque is porous and adheres to everything quickly.

There are a few benefits of applying acrylic paint on ceramic bisque. As we know, acrylic paints are usually water-based, which makes them dry really fast.

And ceramic bisque also absorbs water, making the combination dry the paint super fast. This also benefits the painter to add multiple coatings without waiting a lot of time for the paint to dry and harden.

Moreover, acrylic paints are permanent and do not wear off easily if you paint and bake them in the right way. So even if you are a beginner, applying acrylic paint on ceramic bisque will give you a satisfying result.

How To Paint Ceramic Bisque Using Acrylic Paint?

Painting ceramic bisque with acrylic paints is not very different from painting other ceramic items. You only need to pay attention to the paintbrush and thickness of the paint.

Using the wrong brush can lead to getting paint on unexpected parts of the bisque. On the other hand, if the acrylic paint is too thick, it will cover up the small detailed areas or even out the raised areas. So if the paint seems too thick, try adding a bit of water to make it thin.

To get the best result, apply a very thin coat at first. Try not to overload the paintbrush with paints. Then wait for the coat to dry completely and apply another thin coat on top of it.

You can start with darker colors first and then move to lighter ones. And once the paint dries, dry brush the entire bisque to clean any remaining powder from the dried paint.

How Does Acrylic Paint Work On Ceramic?

Acrylic paints are water-based and will work on any rough and absorbent surface. But whether the paint works effectively or poorly depends on the type of ceramic you paint on or what steps you follow.

Usually, you will find two types of ceramics: unglazed ceramic and glazed ceramic. Acrylic paints dry very quickly on any ceramic surface, especially unglazed ceramic. That’s why you only need to paint the ceramic item and wait for the paint to dry.

This paint works oppositely on glazed ceramics. Glazed ceramics are waterproof, but acrylic paint has low adhesion on them. That’s why you need to apply an oil-based primer before painting it with acrylic.

Can You Bake Acrylic Paint On Ceramic?

Baking the ceramic piece is the best way to seal acrylic paint. The process is fairly easy and does not take a lot of physical effort. You can bake your ceramic in the oven but do not preheat it before placing the ceramic.

Preheating the ceramic will cause a sudden change in the ceramic’s temperature and can crack it. So turn on the oven only after putting the ceramic inside and closing the door.

Turn your oven’s temperature to 350° Fahrenheit. Now the ceramic will bake without you doing anything. You can bake the ceramic for around forty minutes and then turn off the oven. But do not take out the ceramic right away.

Let the ceramic stay inside the oven until it cools down completely. This process may take around an hour or two. After that, check the temperature by opening the oven door.

If the ceramic appears cool, you can take it out. Then wait for two to three days until you wash and use the ceramic piece.

How Long To Bake Acrylic Paint On Ceramic?

The ceramic baking process works through multiple steps. Each step takes a different amount of time. After placing the ceramic in the cool oven, you need to wait 10 minutes for the oven to get warm.

Then the baking takes around half an hour at 350° Fahrenheit temperature. So the overall baking process takes around three hours to complete.

How To Cure Acrylic Paint On Ceramic?

The curing process comes before sealing the acrylic paint on ceramic. It is pretty much the drying and baking process to ensure the paint is well-set on the ceramic item.

After you paint the ceramic, you need to heat it in an oven and let it cool on its own. Then you need to wait for 48-72 hours before hand washing the ceramic for use.

The best way to know if the acrylic paint is cured is to press on the paint with your nail. If you do not notice any visible mark, your ceramic item is perfectly cured.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is Acrylic Paint Waterproof On Ceramic?

No, acrylic paint is not entirely waterproof. It is a water-based paint that dries fast. It is also porous, and it makes the paint absorb water over time.

Acrylic paint is water-resistant until a certain point, which means it can become soft near high heat or be washed a lot. To make the paint last longer, you will have to seal the acrylic to the ceramic.

Q. Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic Pottery?

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on ceramic pottery. Acrylic is water-based paint and is suitable for repainting ceramic items. Some people seal the acrylic on ceramics to make it more durable.

Q. Can You Use Acrylic Varnish On Glazed Ceramic?

Using acrylic varnish is the best way to achieve the most satisfying result. And if you are looking for such a varnish, I would recommend the Liquitex BASICS Matte Varnish. It will give the paint a matte finish and prevent the paint from getting yellowish.

Q. Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic Ornaments?

Acrylic paints work well on ornaments as well. You can use a thin and pointy brush to hand paint ornaments with small strokes.

You can apply rubbing alcohol and paint the inside of the ornament before moving outside. Make sure you use multiple coats and wait for each coat to dry properly before you paint another coat.

Q. Can I Use Mod Podge To Seal Acrylic Paint On Ceramic?

Acrylic paint usually seals automatically after drying. It hardly needs any sealing unless you are using it on glazed ceramic. But using Mod Podge can add an extra sealant layer and bring a little darker shade in the paint colors.

Q. Do You Need To Prime Ceramic Before Painting Them With Acrylic?

Using a primer before painting is not an essential step. You can skip it if you want, especially if you are spray painting. But priming the ceramics can leave a glossy finish once you finish painting them with acrylic.


There is a thing about people who love doing artistic works like painting. They will paint on any plain surface they find, and that includes ceramic items. That’s why many of them would ask, can you use acrylic paint on ceramic?

Acrylic paints are most people’s first choice because it dries quickly and does not always need extra steps like priming and sealing. But these steps are essential if you paint on glazed ceramics.

Even acrylic paints come in various forms. So it is best to research well before you purchase the paint or other painting items. And I am sure the article has already done the job for you.

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