How to Paint Already Fired Ceramics?

You sure do like to save your china for special occasions. And if you are a fan of aesthetic home decors, you must already have ceramic potteries at your home. But over time, these ceramics start to fade, and it’s hurtful to watch that. 

However, repainting them is a simple and independent way to save them.

So, the question is, how to paint already fired ceramics?

You must prep your ceramics before you paint them by sanding and wiping the surface clean. Then use a primer to conceal any harsh edges and lastly choose a ceramic colour of your choice and start painting them.

The piece also includes:

  • Can you paint over finished ceramics?
  • What kind of paint will stick to glazed ceramics?
  • How to paint acrylic paint on glazed ceramics?

To know more about ceramic painting, let’s go through this piece. 

Can You Paint Over Finished Ceramics?

Of course, you can. Old ceramic paints can fade away after long use and you can easily paint over them to make them as good as new. But you will need to prepare it to be repainted when the previous colour fades away. 

Ceramic glazes maintain the colour of your ceramics and tiles while adding a layer of scratch resistance. However, as time passes, you may need to repaint your ceramics to restore their original sheen. 

However, the glazed finish poses an issue. The paint will not adhere to a smooth glazed surface. This means you’ll need to prepare the glazed surface for painting. You must create a rough surface on which the new paint can adhere.

How to Paint Already Fired Ceramics?

The glaze you use on ceramics serves a purpose more than just making it appear nice. It also makes it safe to eat. Most significantly, it makes it extremely stain-resistant. This also implies that if you don’t take adequate preparation first, it will be challenging to paint over.

Here are some supplies you’ll need to repaint already fired ceramics:

Now let’s see the following steps to know how do you paint over glazed ceramics.

Step 01: Sanding 

As the glaze on the ceramic pottery is smooth, you must scrub the entire surface before applying the paint. You may believe that painting straight on the ceramic piece will work, but after it dries, the paint will chip off almost immediately.

So take a piece of 150-grit sandpaper and sand the entire glazed surface with medium pressure. Sand the entire surface, including the nooks and crannies. Only come to a halt when the once-glossy surface becomes matte.

You don’t need to remove the colour. You’re just getting ready to apply a new coat on the surface.

Step 02: Wiping

After smudging the ceramic’s surface with sandpaper, moisten a rag with water and wipe away the dust. You can scrub the entire thing with soap and water, but simply wiping the surface clean is considerably faster and accomplishes the same task.

Then allow the ceramic to dry completely after removing any dust from the surface. It normally takes about an hour. Try this step to avoid any dust from combining with the paint and creating an uneven and bumpy finish. 

Step 03: Priming

Although you can paint directly on the scuffed surface of the porcelain, you should first apply one or two coats of priming. The primer helps fill in any blemishes or irregularities on the surface as well as gives a rough surface for the paint to cling to.

You can use either a spray-on primer or a paint-on primer, but a spray-on primer is a better choice. Brushes are unable to reach the nooks and crevices of your ceramic artwork.

Place a couple of sheets of newspaper or any other scraps of paper you have lying around the house on the floor. This will keep your floor from becoming a shambles. In the center of the sheets, place your sanded porcelain piece.

Now, hold your can of primer at a 45-degree angle and 12 to 16 inches away from the thing you’re painting.

Pass the spray over the object by pressing the nozzle while still pointing away from it. The primer will not streak on the surface as a result of this. 

Apply a couple of coats of primer to the porcelain until the entire surface is covered. You should allow the paint to dry for about 30 minutes before applying a thicker coat on top.

Step 04: Painting

First, apply a base paint colour to the entire surface.

This will coat all of the primers you used previously. Then apply the same spray-painting technique as for the priming. Apply light coats of paint, sanding the surface after each one. Two to three coats should do your work.

The painted surface is easy to garnish with some extra elements.

Yes, you can paint your preferred designs using a paintbrush. You can also employ a stencil to make your designs have sharper lines and corners. After that, give the paint at least 24 hours to naturally dry.

Step 05: Setting

Allowing the paint to cure the ceramic object alone will not prevent the new paint from wearing. Preheat your oven to 200 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and then bake the coated pottery for 30 minutes to an hour.

You can also glaze the surface of the ceramic again by brushing it with pottery glaze. You’re also free to create your own.

The baking procedure ensures that the paint permanently adheres to the ceramic surface. It also makes the glaze sheerer than if it isn’t baked.

What Kind of Paint will Stick to Glazed Ceramics?

You must consider what you’ll use in the ceramics when you finish painting. If you’re going to paint over a glazed coffee cup that you want to use, for example, use food-safe colours. 

On the other hand, if you’re painting a vase or something else merely decorative, you don’t need to worry about the paint being harmful.

What kind of paint should I use to cover glazed ceramic? These are some paints that most people use:

  • Acrylics: It’s tough to work with acrylic over ceramic, but many people use it by using some techniques. But if you do decide to use acrylic then go for acrylic pens. They are simpler to use and more suited to beginners.
  • Enamel: This is the most common paint that hobbyists use to paint on non-porous surfaces. They also look wonderful after they’ve been baked.

How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Glazed Ceramic?

If you paint ceramics using acrylic, be sure to protect the paint on any ceramic dishes that you want to use for food and drink. If acrylic paint is not sealed upon a ceramic surface, it will not last.

It will quickly flake and peel away. Because acrylic is water-soluble, you may notice paint splattering on your food or drink.

Ceramics often require a glaze and firing at a specified temperature to keep the gloss on the surface. The paint will not come off if it is baked onto the surface and then sealed with a clear sealer. 

It also adds luster and increases the paint’s colour saturation for a finished look. You must use a high-quality, food-safe sealant for your ceramic. 

You must heat cure acrylic paint to seal it to a ceramic surface. You should bake the painted item rather than let it air dry. Then seal it with water-based polyurethane varnish and a clear acrylic finish

The best choice for making food-safe dishware is to use a kiln. You can also finish your job securely in a regular oven.

As long as it’s a food-safe sealer, you can use any kind you like. There are numerous options available. Some are sprayable, while others must be applied with a paintbrush.


How do you paint over glaze?

You can apply a coat of primer to the glazed walls using a paint roller to cover any opaque glaze and allow the paint to stick to the walls. You should allow the primer to dry as directed by the manufacturer.

Can I use Mod Podge to seal acrylic paint on ceramic?

Yes, indeed. Usually, you need to apply a clear acrylic coat and a water-based polyurethane varnish to seal the paint. But in case you don’t have access to a clear acrylic coat, you can definitely go for Mod Podge. 

What is a good sealant for acrylic paint?

Acrylic resin varnishes have a higher gloss, are more durable, and are more transparent than acrylic polymer varnishes. Golden Polymer Varnish, Liquitex Acrylic Polymer Varnish, and Lascaux UV Varnish are three brands of acrylic polymer varnish that are widely recommended. 


Thanks for coming this far with our article. Hope our article could help you figure out how to paint already fired ceramics. Now that you know everything about painting glazed ceramics, just get your brushes and start painting your china with the colour of your choice.

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