Whole pottery and pottery shards are the oldest objects found by archeologists. Throughout the ages pottery has been used for multiple purposes and original designs, etching and painting has always—from the earliest period—been applied to personalize and make these utilitarian pieces more expressive and attractive.
Clean your hands and workspace before beginning. Place the ceramic on the worktable and use a clean damp sponge to thoroughly clean it. Wipe the piece with a clean soft towel to dry it and remove residual debris.
Lightly sand the glaze from the area you plan to apply paint. Don’t take the glaze down to bare pottery; simply remove some of the glaze because the paint bonds better to a porous surface. Clean the ceramic one more time with the sponge and dry it thoroughly with the soft towel.
Apply a coat of high-adhesion primer on the area to be painted and allow it to dry. Paint the piece again with a second coat of primer and allow it dry.
It’s time for the artist in you to emerge. Draw the design you plan to paint by using a pencil to lightly sketch it on the ceramic. Don’t push so hard on the pencil that it pokes through the primer. You can use a stencil if you can get it to lay flat on the surface of the ceramic.
Be creative, use a lot of color and a small brush to paint in details and larger brushes for broader strokes.
It is necessary to apply three coats of paint—allowing it to dry thoroughly between each coat—so that the colors remain crisp and bold.
The final step is to apply acrylic gloss to the entire ceramic regardless if you only painted a small part of it. The gloss makes the ceramic shine and therefore must be uniform over the total surface. Apply three coats to protect the paint allowing the gloss to dry completely between each coat.