How to paint ceramic figurines?

Painting your ceramic is an inexpensive way to decorate old and warty figurines. It gives them an entirely new look and makes them attractive. We can paint our figures to provide them with a new look and can gift them to others. The painting process of ceramic figurines is almost the same as others with a slight difference. Read the full article to know how to paint ceramic figurines step by step.

The difference occurs due to the size of the project we want to paint. For painting the figurines, you can use spray, or you can do it by hand. If you intend to add details, you can use a pen or paintbrush for this purpose.

It is an excellent tip to work in an airtight place. We will tell you about two methods of painting your figurines one by one in detail.

Method 1: Paint ceramic figurines by hand

Paint ceramic figurines by hand

We will start discussing all the points mentioned above one by one. By the end of the article, you will be able to perform the step by yourself.

Selection of spraying material

Firstly, we pick the spraying material. We select latex, epoxy paint, or acrylic for this reason. We use the according to condition, like painting ceramics on walls or tiles; we use liquid paint. If we intend to have long-lasting and durable paint, we will use epoxy paint. Hence, other paints aren’t as durable as epoxies are. Additionally, when it comes to cost, epoxies are much expensive than other paint. Also read, how to paint ceramic plate?

Cleaning the figurines

The next step is to clean the ceramic figurines thoroughly. We use water and cleaner for this purpose. And use an abrasive cleaner for thorough cleaning of figures. Hence, we scrub the area with force to clean it well. We clean the ceramic figurines until they are dirt-free. After cleaning, we simply wipe them down until its clean and dry. For pieces of pottery and dishes, we wipe down the surface with a rag. You may like, how to paint ceramic lamp shade?

If you are resistant to use a rag, a sponge could be the best option for cleaning.

Application of sand

Here, we apply sand to ceramic figurines. It is useful to remove any glossy coating from the surface of ceramic figurines. We apply sand by different methods on ceramic figurines and other ceramic surfaces. Like, for dishes and pottery, we use steel or wood pieces to clean. Affix 180 or Grit 220 is used for the orbital sander. Make sure you have cleaned the ceramic surface with a damp rag after applying the sand.

The sandpaper has its advantages, like it creates more vacancy for the paint to stick. Moreover, it creates micro-abrasions on the ceramic figurine. It allows the paint to stick easily and effectively.

As we have mentioned earlier, it removes any extra glass remaining above the ceramic itself.

Applying primer

Apply paint on ceramic figurine

We apply two light coats of primer on the surface of ceramic figurines. Generally, we use liquid or oil to spray on ceramic as a primer. After applying the paint in coats, we let it dry from time to time so that it may dry completely. If you notice your primer is a little gritty, try using steel wool and sand the surface once again. We give time at least 24 hours to primer for complete drying.

Paint the ceramic figurines

We will start the painting process now. We will start painting the figurine beginning from a small area with a zigzag pattern. Additionally, don’t bring the fully dipped paintbrush onto the surface of ceramic figurines. People also search for, how to paint a ceramic pot?

Hence, dip the brush into the paint and remove excess paint or cardboard or a wooden board. Start professionally painting the ceramic figurines. So, move your roller or paintbrush in specified directions and move along diagonal lines. Start painting by prioritizing the small section of figurines.

When you finish the diagonal side, come along the next way and start painting as you did before.

Sanding the ceramic after the first coat

When the first coat is applied, we go for sanding it lightly. Notice that when paint over ceramic figurine is completely dry, use 220 grit sandpaper. Hence, you should notice the ridges on the surface of the newly painted ceramic figurine. Hold on the sandpaper in your hand and look out for debris or jumps on the painted ceramic figurines. We have to remove them using sandpaper.

Additionally, don’t apply sandpaper so hard on the surface. Instead, apply it gently and lightly. You can use a piece of steel or wood if you are sanding the pottery or dish.

Adding a second coat of paint on ceramic figurine

After one coat is done, we go for the second paint coat. We finish long and vertical stokes for this purpose. We apply the second layer of paint in a zigzag fashion. After you have completed vertical stoke, go for straight strokes of the paintbrush.

It will entirely paint the ceramic figurine with no space leftover. Apply the second coat is essential as it gives a smoother and beautiful look. You can even use the same method to paint your ceramic floor tiles or ceramic wall tiles. Both will provide the same result as ceramic figurines.

Drying of paint

The painting process is almost complete. Now it’s time to give it a stand for some time. At least 2-3 days is given to ceramic figurine. It takes at least a given day to dry completely, and to use ceramic figurines without drying is a rubbish idea.

Not only ceramic figurines, if you have painted any other ceramic miniature like ceramic floor tiles, ceramic wall tiles, or ceramic pottery, it takes time to completely dry. Don’t touch material before drying.

As we mentioned earlier, we should dry figurines in an airtight environment. We should not use artificial methods of drying it like using heat or using a fan. The use of heat can melt the paint, and a fan adds debris into ceramic figurines once again.

Application of clear urethane 

The final touch-up is giving urethane to a ceramic figurine. We give this touch-up to have a glossy finish. You can apply urethane in different coats. We wait for both coats to dry completely. It is necessary as it is a furnishing process for ceramic figurines.

If you are interested in getting even better results, try using 1-2 coats of clear epoxy to your ceramic figurine. We can make our figurine is more durable and Water-resistant. We can apply epoxy on acrylic or latex paint. It gives us a better result and durability.

by William Jon
Hello, I'm William Jon. I'm a ceramic researcher, ceramic artist, writer, and professional blogger since 2010. I studied at the NYS college of ceramics at Alfred University in the USA about ceramic. I'm a professional ceramicist. Now I'm researching the ceramic products in Wilson Ceramic Laboratory (WCL) and reviewing them to assist online customers.

1 thought on “How to paint ceramic figurines?”

  1. I have a 3 dimensional flower pot I need to paint. What can I put on it after painting to make it darker on the ridges to give it depth. I’m thinking a stain to wipe off right away. I took a class years ago and forgot how to get this look. Waiting to hear from you. Thanks in advance.


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