What Paint To Use On Ceramic?- Get The Best Guideline!

If you want to paint on ceramic, maybe you are planning to create creative art for a mug, plate, or tile made of ceramic. Actually ceramic is really fun if you get the right paint for ceramic. So, the question is, “What Paint To Use On Ceramic?”

For painting on ceramic oil-based and water-based paint is the best option. Such as enamel and acrylic paint. Enamel paint is perfect for beautiful touch and finish. Once the enamel paint is dried, it will not be scratched or faded. Also, for ceramic painting, one can use the best artist-quality acrylic paints.

But before applying paint on ceramic randomly, you need to know the types of ceramic and what color is the best for it. We have covered every detail of the ceramic painting that you might be looking for. So, follow us to know more.

Choosing Paint for Different Types Of Ceramic

To know the perfect paint for your ceramic you should know first, which ceramic you are dealing with. For different ceramics, different paints are perfect. So, we will discuss some main types of ceramic you might be dealing with. 

Greenware Ceramic

Greenware ceramic is not dried in a kiln, it is only dried in the air. But still, it is delicate and can be used for decorative purposes. Greenware ceramic is very frail and not waterproof. So you have to work with these types of ceramic very carefully. You can use enamel and even acrylic paint for these types of ceramic. But if you plan to bake it in a kiln later, acrylic paint can be risky as acrylic paint is not fireproof.

Bisque Ceramic

Bisque ceramic is the result of firing greenware ceramic. As it goes through the firing process, it is stronger ceramic than greenware. It is not fragile like greenware. However, it is not completely waterproof also. In bisque ceramic, you can use acrylic paint, enamel paint, bake-on epoxy, etc.

Glazed Ceramic

After applying a colored glaze to a bisque ceramic, and if you fire it again you will get glazed ceramic. Glazed ceramics go through a second-time kiln firing but this time the temperature is higher. The higher temperature of kiln firing makes the ceramic almost like a glass. It is much stronger and fully waterproof. 

But you can not just paint this ceramic with any random paint. Because it is less porous and this is why paints are not able to adhere to this ceramic. 

If you insist on painting on these types of ceramic then bake-on epoxy or bake-on ceramic paint is the best option for you. Acrylic paint can be also used.

What Paint To Use On Ceramic?

Now, you are well aware of different types of ceramic. So, now it is high time to be aware of the right paint for different types of ceramic painting. There are three different types of paints available that are the best options for your ceramic painting. Let us know about them in brief, 

Bake-On Paint Markers for Ceramic

For painting on ceramic, a ceramic paint maker is one of the best choices. It is affordable and available on the market, and also you have a versatile option for choosing amazing colors. While working or painting with bake-on paint makers, you do not need to worry about its durability. 

They are also easy to use! There is a spring-loaded nib in the paint and you can control the amount of color with pressure. This means, that the more you press it, the more color you will get.

But after applying the paint, you should give it enough time to dry in the air. Then you can fire it in the kiln. Once you bake your paint and design with the ceramic, it becomes a kind of permanent. 

Bake-On Gloss Enamel Paint for Ceramic

Bake-on gloss enamel paint for ceramic is the best one for painting on ceramic. But these paints are not that popular among plate and mug decorators. Why? Because they are not food-safe. You can only use this paint for decorative purposes. Even if you insist on painting your mug or plate with this paint, then you should paint it where the food or drink doesn’t get touched. 

Enamel paints have a lot of varieties of colors. You will find opaque, glittering, textured, and even transparent enamel paint. Like baked-on ceramic makers, these types of ceramic paints also require air-drying before firing them in a kiln. But enamel paint is the best in durability and adhesion. If you are looking for durable paint then you should choose an enamel color without any doubt. 

Acrylic Paints for Ceramic

The most popular paint in the whole world is acrylic paint. You can actually use it on anything. These colors are affordable and available in the market.

But when it comes to ceramics, you should avoid acrylic paint on your kitchen ceramics product. Yes, acrylic paints are not food-safe. Then again, acrylic paints are not fireproof. So if you plan to fire your ceramic later, do not use acrylic paint. 

If you are working with glazed ceramic, then before applying acrylic paint, you need to sand the ceramic. It will ensure the paint’s adhesion to the surface of the ceramic. 

So, whatever we learned from the above discussion, let’s revise them at a glance and sort it out shortly. 

Key Comparing FactsCeramic MakersGloss EnamelAcrylic
Method Of ApplyingSpring-loaded nibBrush or rollerBrush
Baking requirementsNeeds bakingNeeds bakingNo need of Baking
DurabilityDurableDurableLess durable
food-safetyFood safeNot food safeNot food safe
Pros Right paint for glazed ceramicGood for glazed ceramicBest for greenware and bisque ceramic
ConsRequires oven to cureRequires oven to cureCan not be baked after applying the  paint
Where to get Click Here to grab the amazing paintClick Here to get the paintClick Here to get the product

Additional Tips for painting On Ceramic

Painting on ceramic is fun. But when you are trying to make a decoration piece you will definitely want to make it perfect. So, we gathered some additional tips for a better result,

  • Paint the lighter part of your ceramic first. Then go to the darker part.
  • Do not use a pen. A pen can cause flaws in your ceramic. Rather, you can use a pencil. Because when you burn the ceramic in a kiln, it also burns off the pencil’s sketch.  
  • Before applying paint, wash your brushes with water. But you should never add any water to the paint. It will make your paint thin and will decrease the adhesive power of the paint.
  • Firstly, apply the first coat of paint, and let it dry. Once it dries out, you can apply the second coat. This will make your paint more attractive and visual. 
  • Do not use a small brush for a large area. Otherwise, your brush strokes will be visible. So use small brushes when you are detailing your paint.


What Paint Stays On Ceramic?

As we have discussed above, bake-on paint makers stay on ceramic mostly. Then bake-on gloss enamel paint and also acrylic paint stay on ceramic. But the durability of acrylic paint is much lesser than the other two types of ceramic.

Greenware and bisque ceramics are porous and paint can adhere to the ceramics. Glazed ceramic is not porous which is why it is tough to make paint stays on the ceramic. For glazed ceramic, sand it before applying the paint. Otherwise, whatever the paint is, it won’t be durable on the glazed ceramic.

How Do You Apply Acrylic Paint To Ceramic?

Applying acrylic is easy and fun. Just take a little portion of the color you want to apply. Then duck your painting brush into the acrylic paint and allow your creative mind to create art. Don’t mix any water with the color. Acrylic colors are ready to paint.  There is no need of preparing the color before painting. Just dip your brush into the color and make your design.

How Can I Paint Already Fired Ceramic?

For already fired ceramic, firstly you need to remove the old glaze of the ceramic. For this, take sandpaper and sand it gently. Do not rub it harshly with the sandpaper. It can damage your ceramic permanently. Once your sanding is done, you can paint it with acrylic. If you want food safety then use the baked-on paint makers for ceramic.


That is all about painting on ceramic. After the above discussion, we hope now you know, “What Paint To Use On Ceramic”. 

You know about the different types of ceramic and which paint suits them well. So, just get your paint and start painting on your ceramic right now. 

Give your talent a chance to develop through ceramic art. Best of luck.

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