How to Print on Dinner Plates

Updated November 21, 2016

Matching china doesn't have to come at a price, at least not a high one. If you have an eclectic collection of plates, try painting them with matching designs. If you do not intend to eat on the plates, you can also repurpose them into wall art with the same technique. Not only does this project get your creative juices flowing, printing patterns on plates this way saves you some cash and provides art pieces perfectly tailored to your tastes.

Wash your china plates in warm, soapy water to remove dirt and oils, which could interfere with how the paint adheres to the surface.

Choose your stencils. Select message stencils for your plates, especially for art pieces, or choose abstract or scrolled-stencil designs. Match round stencils to rounded plates--they'll flow more easily with the lines of your china and create a traditional pattern.

Place a stencil over a plate and tape the edges down with painter's tape so that the inside edges of the stencil shapes are flush with the china. Stencils that are not flat result in smeared or blurry figures.

Dip a sponge brush into porcelain paint and blot it on a paper towel. Press the brush gently into your stencil and bring the brush straight up. Paint the entire stencil, ensuring that you fill in each hole. Remove the stencil, being careful not to smudge the wet paint.

Allow your paint to dry overnight. Bake the plates at 149 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Let the plates cool inside the oven and then remove them.


Paint shows up best on light-coloured and white china pieces.


Check your porcelain paint's label to ensure it is dishwasher safe and safe to eat from.

Things You'll Need

  • China plates
  • Mild dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Soft towel
  • Stencils
  • Painter's tape
  • Sponge brush
  • Porcelain paints
  • Paper towels
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