Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic?

Certainly, you’ll agree with me that painting your ceramic items, such as mugs, is big fun and a great way of customizing them. However, in case you don’t know, there are many benefits attached to customizing your ceramics using the right paints. One of them is that it helps to beautify the material, making it more attractive. Apart from that, painting is also therapeutic, as it helps to relax the mind.

As far as ceramic painting is concerned, it can either be done by hand or with spray paint. However, regardless of the method you’re opting for, one thing is important, and that is – you need to make use of suitable paints. Furthermore, when it comes to painting ceramic items, enamel paint is certainly one of the best options, as it offers a beautiful finish. But here’s a burning question, is acrylic paint also effective to use on ceramic items?

Depending on the item you want to customize, acrylic paints are one of the best options for ceramics. Although the paints are best for canvas, there are some of them out there that are suitable for bisque or unglazed ceramics. However, to protect the paint from peeling off, you need to seal it with a suitable sealant.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic
Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic

If you don’t know, there are tons of benefits attached to choosing acrylic paints for your ceramic bisque items. In the rest of this post, we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about decorating ceramics with acrylics. These will include the pros and cons of using acrylic paints on ceramics and the best practices of applying the paint. That said, without further ado, let’s get straight down to business.

Pros And Cons Of Using Acrylic Paint On Ceramic

As earlier mentioned, there are lots of benefits attached to using acrylic paint on ceramic items. However, it’s also worth knowing that, just like many other paints, using acrylic paint on ceramics also has a few disadvantages. That said, you can check below to see the pros and cons of using the “water-based” paint on your ceramic items.


1- Super fast drying time 

One of the advantages of using acrylic paints on your ceramic items is that they dry super fast. With that, it means you’ll only have to wait for a short while, before applying sealants. That said, by making use of acrylics on ceramics, you can always rest assured that the customization process won’t take most of your time.

Furthermore, since acrylics dry very fast, it also means that you’ll be able to make use of more coating on the ceramic item, without having to worry about time. It also means that you’ll be able to ship them as soon as possible, without having to keep your customers waiting – so far you are extra careful.

2- Toxicity level

Acrylics are water-based paints, meaning that you can thin them with water alone, without having to use toxic spirits. Because of their less toxic feature, you’ll be able to wash them off brushes by using just soap and water.

Furthermore, the less toxic quality of acrylics when applied on bisque or unglazed ceramics makes them very safe to be used around kids and pets.

3- Different methods of use

Another great advantage of using acrylic paints on your ceramic items is because they can be used in several different ways. With that, it’s safe to say that acrylics are versatile in terms of their usage.

As far as the various methods of using acrylics on bisque or unglazed ceramics are concerned, one effective way is straight from the tube. Apart from applying them safely from the tube, you can also use them in thin washes, such as watercolor.

4- Comes in different types for use

One of the benefits of using acrylic paints on ceramics is that it eliminates the need to apply a single type of paint. That’s so because water-based paint comes in several different forms for use on ceramics. That said, some of the different types of acrylic paints for use include glossy acrylics, satin acrylics, lacquered acrylics, matte effects, water-soluble acrylics, and transparent acrylics.

5- Durability & permanent

Another benefit of using acrylic paints on ceramic items is that they’re durable and don’t crack easily when you compare them to other oil paints. As such, you can rest assured that the paint will be able to withstand pressure and last longer.

Furthermore, acrylic paints are permanent when it comes to applying them on bisque or unglazed ceramics. However, in case you make mistakes while customizing them, you can easily wash them and paint again – of course, that’s before they dry out. Once they are dry, they remain permanent, without falling off.


1- Super fast drying time

As earlier mentioned, one of the benefits of using acrylic paints on ceramic items is that they dry super fast. Since that’s the case, it means you’ll need to be super fast yourself, and work very quickly.

Furthermore, in case you make any mistake while customizing your ceramic item, you need to spot it immediately and wash it off as quickly as you can. Once the paint dries out, it becomes pretty difficult to wash and fix the error.

Although you can easily wash the paint off your brushes and clothes after customization, with soap and water, it’s worth noting that this can only be achieved before the paint dries out. As soon as it dries out on your clothes, nails, and brush, you’ll find it very difficult to remove it. Well, the best method of addressing this issue is by placing a bucket of water close to you, so you can always wet your brushes before they become dry.

2- Darker colors

One of the disadvantages of using acrylic paint on ceramic items is that you don’t always end up with the same color once the paint becomes dry. For instance, when painting your ceramic item with acrylics, you’ll most likely notice a bright color. However, once the paint dries out, the color becomes dark.

How Do You Apply Acrylic Paints On Unglazed Ceramics? 

When it comes to painting your ceramic items, such as mugs, using acrylics, here are some of the materials that you’ll need; Paintbrushes, acrylic paint, paint plate, pencil & eraser, oven, newspapers, paper towel, water, and rubbing alcohol.

  • Get your workspace ready

To start the paint application, you need to choose your workplace and make use of newspapers to cover the workspace. There’s a probability that the papers will slide out of the workspace. As such, ensure you make use of tapes to hold them down.

  • Prepare the acrylic paint

Next, pour the acrylic paint into the paint plate. In case, you’re interested in using a mix of different acrylic colors, ensure you pour a little amount of each paint inside the paint plate and mix thoroughly using separate brushes.

  • Design the item 

After that, what’s next is to create a design on the ceramic mug or any other items you’re customizing. By using a pencil, ensure you mark all the designs on the ceramic item. Having an eraser in place is highly recommended, as you’ll be needing it in case you make mistakes.

  • Start painting the ceramic item

Next, you need to start painting the ceramic item. However, before starting, ensure you wet the brushes with water. After that, use a soft clothing material to dry the brush.

  • Add extra coat for smoothness 

Continue painting the item, moving from one layer to another. Do that until you finish all the layers. If you’re looking for a smooth look, try adding another coat to the item. This won’t take much of your time, since the paint dries out super fast.

  • Dry naturally and bake

After the whole process, what’s next is to naturally dry the ceramic item. You can do that by storing it in a dry and cool place + certainly, this won’t require much of your time when you compare it to using oil paint.

After drying, what’s next is to bake the ceramic mug or any other item. To do this, you’ll need an oven and a baking sheet. That said, place the dried ceramic mug on a baking sheet. After that, switch on your oven and set the temperature to the right value – 177 degrees Celsius.

Next, place the acrylic-painted ceramic mug inside the oven and leave it to bake for about half an hour. Lastly, switch off the oven and remove the ceramic mug and cool it off.

  • Hand wash the ceramic item

The last step in the customization of your ceramic item with acrylic paints is washing. However, it’s advisable to hand wash the item, to avoid ruining the design. That said, ensure you wash the ceramic mug with the right dishwashing soap and clean water.

What Kind Of Paint Should You Use On Ceramics?

There are lots of acrylic paints out there that are suitable for ceramics. However, for you to decide the right one, you need to put a few factors into consideration.

One of them, which is very important, is the drying time. You need to ensure that the paint you’re opting to use dries quickly.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Ceramic?
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