How to Paint Simple Flowers on Ceramic Plates

Updated April 17, 2017

Ceramic painting has been used as a method of artistic and cultural expression from ancient times to the modern day. Painting ceramics can also be done by children, with adult supervision. Flowers make popular and eye-catching designs, which can be as plain or detailed as you wish. Floral patterns also offer the opportunity to use a wide variety of colours so it's easy to match your hand-painted plate to the rest of your crockery or household colour schemes.

Ensure the ceramic plate is spotlessly clean and completely dry before starting to paint it.

Draw your flowers on to the plate. These can be copied from magazines, books, or gardening catalogues. Use a pencil to sketch your floral design before starting to paint so that any mistakes can be easily erased. Alternatively, you can use a stencil as a guide for creating your floral pattern.

Transfer a small amount of the ceramic paints on to a palette, making sure you leave enough space between them so they do not run into each other.

Apply the paints to the plate using small brushes. Follow the pencil marks or paint through the stencil if using either of these methods. Start by painting the base colours of the petals and leaves only. Leave this coat of paint to dry according to manufacturer's instructions.

Apply a second coat of the same colour paint to the petals and leaves once the first coat is dry. This ensures even coverage.

Use a fine brush to apply a darker coloured paint to add detail or outline the flowers once the second coat of paint has dried. Alternatively, you could use ceramic pens, which are available from many craft stores.

Bake the plate in an oven at the temperature and for the amount of time recommended by the paint manufacturer.


To ensure the plate is entirely waterproof you may wish to take it to a professional potter to have it fired in his kiln, which will ensure it is fully sealed. Check local directories for where you can have this done.

Things You'll Need

  • Unglazed ceramic plate
  • Pencil (optional)
  • Stencil (optional)
  • Ceramic paints
  • Palette
  • Small brushes
  • Ceramic pens (optional)
  • Oven
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About the Author

Mary Stewart has been a news and features journalist since 2000. Her work has appeared in U.K. national newspapers and magazines, including "The Times (of London)," "The Sunday Telegraph," "The Mail on Sunday" and "The Guardian". She has a B.A. in journalism from Napier University.