Homemade Painted Pottery

Homemade Painted Pottery

Skip the pottery painting class and try it at home with these instructions.

Before You Begin
Decide what will work best for you and the ceramic items you want to purchase. For example, if you get a paint that will set on its own without firing, you probably will need ceramic items that are finished and slick. If you get a paint that requires firing in the oven, look into unfinished pieces. Ask your local art supply retailer what will work best on particular materials.

Types of Paint

  • Several types of water-based acrylic enamel craft paints are on the market and can be found at most art supply stores.
  • Some paints dry automatically with a glossy finish after being fired in your oven at home.
  • Some will require a glaze.

To keep things simple, focus your home pottery painting on one item, such as simple ceramic mugs or flowerpots. You can find unfinished pots online or at your local nursery.

Creative Touches


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  • Use ice cube trays, pie tins or candle votives for paints and brush-cleansing water.
  • Pick up a few fun stencils and lay them out on the table.
  • A roll or two of clear or masking tape is great, too, for artists who want to paint straight lines or create patterns.
  • If you’re using finished mugs, include a few paint pens in the mix of materials too.
  • Don’t forget to cover your table and floor with drop cloths, and put out a roll of paper towels. Keep cleaning supplies handy for any unexpected messes.

Where to Find Pots
Stop by a paint-your-own-pottery store and inquire about buying some of their unfinished mugs. If you need plain, finished pots, pick up a few at your local discount retailer.

Pot Painting Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)
  2. Write, draw or trace on pot
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, and then set on a cooling rack to cool

Tip: For a fun pet project, you could paint and fire personalized ceramic food and water dishes for cats or dogs.

Tip: Don't stop with pots! Use these instructions on coffee mugs too.

An Important Note: If you choose to paint something that will be used for food and drink, make sure you know whether your paints are safe for this use and inform your guests. 

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