How to Paint Crockery

Written by katharine godbey
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How to Paint Crockery
Paint crockery with interesting designs to accent your home. (jars of clay/crockery/kitchen utensil/containers.j image by L. Shat from

Crockery is also referred to as earthenware. Today, crockery is a term used when referring to stoneware with a thicker wall and rougher appearance than its ceramic or porcelain cousins. The availability of crockery varies from antiques to newly handmade or manufactured pieces. Painting crockery to accent a home turns a plain stoneware piece into a conversation piece. Common in country and primitive style homes, paint designs vary from seasonal objects to scenery. Crockery can be adapted with newer styles of painting to fit into other styles of decorating, as well.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Clear or frost matt spray paint
  • Face mask
  • Painting pattern
  • Copier or Scanner/Printer
  • Masking tape
  • Graphite paper
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Matt paint sealer

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  1. 1

    Clean the crockery with soap and water. Dry the crockery thoroughly. This removes any residue that prevents the paint from adhering to the surface.

  2. 2

    Spray a thin layer of clear or frost matt spray paint over the crockery's surface. Work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area while wearing a face mask. This layer of paint gives the surface its texture; the acrylic will adhere to the texture.

  3. 3

    Make a copy of a painting pattern outline with a copier or scanner/printer. You can locate a variety of painting patterns suitable for crockery painting online (see Resources). Painting patterns are an outline of a design, an image of a finished example and painting techniques helpful in completing the design.

  4. 4

    Lay the graphic paper --- graphite side down --- over the surface you want to paint. Lay the copied outline over the graphite paper and tape in place.

  5. 5

    Trace the outline with a pencil and the graphite from the paper will lightly cast onto the surface of the crockery. Remove the papers and tape.

  1. 1

    Paint the main areas of the design with a flat brush. Follow the pattern techniques or instructions when available. Allow to dry.

  2. 2

    Double load a flat or angled brush with two paint shades, one colour on each side of the brush.

  3. 3

    Shade the painted background areas where needed to add dimension by floating the loaded brush over the outer edges of the background shapes. Focus the darker paint shading toward the edge and the lighter shade toward the middle of the shapes. Change paint colours on the brush as needed or suggested by the pattern's instructions. Let the shading dry.

  4. 4

    Use a liner brush to complete the details of the paint design. Let dry completely.

  5. 5

    Paint two to three coats of matt sealer over the painted design. This makes the paint more resistant to scratches.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also sketch the design freehand onto the crockery instead of tracing.
  • Keep painted crockery clean by wiping with a damp cloth.
  • If you desire a brighter colour or more scratch-resistant paint, use one made for glass, which can be heat set. This type will not need the base spray coat the acrylic needs.
  • Never breathe in fumes from spray paints. Breathe through a protective facial covering and work outdoors or in a well-ventilated room.

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