diy {painting on ceramic and porcelain}

I have a file box full of tear sheets of projects I’d like to try. In January 2006 (yes, that was nearly 5 years ago) I pulled out an article from Martha Stewart Living on Dot-Painted China. The minute I saw it, I knew I wanted to try it. I’ve meant to do if for quite a while now but I was stuck at finding the paint. I know craft paints, but I just never seemed to find the time or remember to look for paint for china.

I’ve gone to a few of those paint your own pottery places and honestly am usually disappointed with the results. The paint seems to be too thin and not as detailed as I wanted. We are a form & function house, so I needed something easy to clean and durable. FINALLY I found the perfect paint. Martha did not share with me in her magazine the pointers for finding the paint supplies, so I will share with you what I have found that works.


China, Ceramic, Porcelain….it needs to be able to go in the oven and cook at 350. My bowl is from Walmart, plate from Target.

Pebeo Paints:

Porcelaine 150 1.2 paint pen – for larger dots

Porcelaine 150 0.7 paint pen – for smaller dots

Porcelaine 150 paint (comes in a small little round container)

Porcelaine 150 outliner (comes in a small tube with fine point end)

There is also a little set that that has applicator bottles and fine point end you can attach to the bottle. This works great for making dots and fine details with the colors of paint that don’t come in pens.

You can get the paint at Micheals,, and other craft stores.

Martha has tips for transferring a pattern onto the china before painting it. For me that was just another step to figure out, so I skipped it and just started freehanding it as I went…while looking at Martha’s designs for inspiration. I started with the large paint pen to get the basic design and then filled in details with the more fine point pen.

After you finish painting the dish needs to dry for 24 hours. Once that period is over you cook it in the oven for 35 minutes at 300 F. Double check your paint instructions, especially if you use a different brand of paint. Also be sure to remove any stickers from the bottom…you don’t want to cook those!

To keep it real…I painted these with a 1 year old on my lap. She is still working on cutting 4 molars and really likes to be held. I took this picture to remind me one day of what creative endeavors were like during this phase of life. One day I won’t have little ones on my lap when painting…I think I’ll be okay with that.

1,000,000 ways to make this cute as a gift.

There are so many ideas floating in my head now, you’ll be seeing a lot more of this kind of stuff soon!

Keep in mind not all paint is food safe. I’d do most of your painting on the outside of bowls, cups, mugs. If you paint the top of a plate like I did, you can use it to serve wrapped food (like cupcakes) or use it for decoration.



In other diy news, my monthly post on Design Aglow will be up sometime today

…what my ‘studio’ looked like to get the product shots:)

Have a Great Weekend!!

UPDATE: If you make a mistake it is super easy to correct. The plate you see in the post was actually my practice plate. It was full of all kinds of colors and designs. Once I was done practicing I just washed it all off and started over. The paint can be washed off until you bake it…then it is set for good. My plate has been through the dishwasher too…and still looks quite lovely.

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • Becka @ Life as an Artistpreneur - Love these! I would love to do one with a flock of tiny birds. Although I’m afraid I’m not nearly as good at freehand as you are. Mine might end up looking like ants…although that might be cool too. ;)

  • Yanet - Oh, this is how I craft oh so many times! With a baby on the lap (even if the “baby” is 3 or 4).

    Great idea for Christmas gifts. I use a similar idea to personalize popcorn bowls for friends or family members.

  • Kelly - These are fun and I’m glad I’m not the only one who has had ideas of projects I want to do for multiple years. :)

    My husband is a big fan of tiramisu and for his first birthday we were dating I made one for him, the first I’d ever made. I proudly stuck candles in the top and when we went to blow them out a HUGE cloud of cocoa blew up and settled over me as I was holding the tiramisu out to him. :) Someone captured a photo. Such a fun memory. Kelly

  • presente com bossa | Decora Casas - [...] Imagens via [...]

  • presente com bossa - [...] Imagens via [...]

  • Kitchen Progress » A Beautiful View - [...] plates I painted myself. I found the idea on my go-to spot for creative [...]

  • Jer - I tried this project today and bought the same pen — the Pebeo Porcelaine 150 fine point. I wasn’t able to get it working consistently. It took a really long time for the paint to come out and when it did it was all blobby and the paint wouldn’t come right to the tip of the pen, so I wasn’t able to make any dots… any suggestions for getting the pens started and working consistently?? Thanks…

  • Cari Bella - I think we were separated at birth. I love your ideas!

  • How To Paint Ceramic And Porcelain Tableware | Shelterness - [...] minutes in the over at 300 F. Although these things might vary depending on the paint brand. Visit Ashley Ann Photography for more details and more [...]

  • Kristen Buley - LOVE.IT!

  • Billie - This perfect since I can’t find the dishes i want. I will just make them. Thanks for the info.

  • diy: tile coasters - [...] my dad informed me looks like a sun bear. hah. & another awesome paint on ceramic type link: under the sycamore’s painting on ceramic diy now for some lemonade…  + props: pugly pixel’s blog overlays This entry was [...]

  • Centsational Girl » Blog Archive » Dot Painted Dishes - [...] a great project on Pinterest a few weeks ago and I’ve had in on my mind ever since – it was these fabulous dot painted plates and bowls by Ashley Ann at Under the Sycamore.The idea of dot painted porcelain dishes sat with me for weeks [...]

  • cailan - What! Since when did you continue to put out amazing projects into the weekend? You just don’t quit. :) I love it – so pretty.

  • Valerie - I did something similar to these except in an alice in wonderland theme on white tea mugs that I bought at the thrift store. I am not that great of an artist and am not able to freehand it but I instead bought some graphite paper from the art store to help me with this. I taped the graphite parer to my mug (graphite down;) and taped my image over the graphite paper and traced it, this left a light pencil like image on the mug that I was then able to paint over. I didn’t actually use the pen because I found that the tip was too large for my liking so I instead used toothpicks to paint my design on and it worked perfectly! I gave them to my sister and they are her favorite mugs to drink tea out of!

    good luck!

  • KC - Those plates and mugs look great. Just had a question though can you eat out of those plates and mugs???

  • diy blogs | Pearltrees - [...] diy {painting on ceramic and porcelain} » In other diy news, my monthly post on Design Aglow will be up sometime today …what my ‘studio’ looked like to get the product shots [...]

  • Thiptop - I Love your idea and Work,I wish to do as you too,so inspiring me! Thank U!

  • The Art of Darkness » Blog Archive » The Lost Link Dump of Atlantis - [...] set has been sold, but if no more are forthcoming the design looks reasonably easy to DIY. This tutorial gives some general tips on painting ceramic [...]

  • danielle - I wanted to stop by and let you know that I featured this on my “What I Bookmarked This Week” post today stop by and see – and grab a button if you’d like.

  • tracy_a - lovely! thanks for making this clear – and thanks for the info about washing/redoing – makes it more likely that I will do it!

  • Nancy - Um, the product information on Dick Blick and the Pebeo site both say that the markers aren’t intended for eating surfaces…

  • Meghan - I love this idea and the way you’ve executed this! However when I’ve looked into doing similar things before on ceramics there’s always a warning on the paints (including the one you link to) that recommends you not use it on the surfaces that directly come in contact with food. For me that includes the little saucer you show cake being eaten on. Just thought I should point that out.

  • truebluemeandyou - You cannot eat off plates or drink out of cups (if your lips come in contact with the design) where the marker is. There is a European product and others other than Pebeo that are food safe. I don’t think people read past the “non-toxic” part of the description. I’ve stopped posting all ceramic tutorials using this marker.

  • 25 Simple Handmade Mother’s Day Gifts - [...] DIY Dot Painted Ceramic Cup – Under the Sycamore  [...]

  • » Weekly Pinterest Finds – April 24th Lovely Home Life - [...] DIY Custom China Patterns I thought this was a really cool idea and a fun way to personalize the dishes you use daily.  Find the tutorial here. [...]

  • Denise Smith - Do you think i could use these pens to “paint/decorate” my ugly backsplash tiles in the kitchen??? :))))

  • Crafting for mothers day, a double roundup | Marie, Oh Marie - [...] and blue 4. fingerprint jewelry via Sarah Ortega 5. bathroom labeled jars via The Idea Room 6. painted ceramic dishes via Under the [...]

  • summer pinterest challenge: bright, flowery art + our dining room « Two Live Colorfully - [...] So, I scoured my Pinterest boards for some inspiration and found this ceramic dish art. [...]

  • Knock Off Anthropologie Monogrammed Mug | airplanesandtreadmills - [...] Inspiration from here, here, and here. [...]

  • Marutxi - I love the results and very helpful your blog :) Thank you very much

  • Niru dhar - When you put the porcelain in the oven ,do you put in on BOTH UP AND DOWN heat to bake or JUST the above one only?

  • Christmas Gift Giving Guide: Marcy, The Etsy Queen | The Accidental Okie - [...] kids to work making keepsakes for grandparents, aunts, uncles and teachers. Inspiration, Tutorial, Tutorial, [...]

  • Ellise - These are darlin’! I’ll definitely have to try this! Awesome Christmas gifts!

  • im6234 - Sorry ifthis has already been asked or answered but how long does the design last.

  • AshleyAnn - im6234 – Mine designs still look great…

  • Tamar - I have made plate with the outline paint. It is puffy. The paint is food safe so I had figured that people would eat off of the plates. Do you know if there is any sort of clear coating that can go on top of the paint? I’m worried that with cutlery the paint will get chipped off. Your dishes look beautiful, thank you for sharing!!!!

  • I Love Gifting - This is pretty Ashley and it would make for such a lovely gift too.

  • Countdown to Christmas: Last Minute DIY Handmade Christmas Gift Ideas - [...] Floral Suitcase from A Beautiful Mess | 5. Ruffled Cardigan DIY from Welcome to the gOOd life | 6. Ceramic Dish Set from DIY from Under the Sycamore | 7. Shrink Plastic Key Chains from How About Orange | 8. Pretty Needlebook [...]

  • melody - Hi I have about 20 pounds of china paint in every color you can think of FOR SALE.. My grandma was an art teacher and just passed receantly and I dont want her stuff to go to waste. I dont paint at all. So please if anyone is interested or knows some one who would be please contact me. My name is Melody phone is 801-886-7589 please send the word out. Thanks for reading

  • Jolene - Did you put the design on both sides of the bowl or just one?

  • Brenda Kirk - I found a stack of old meat platters in a box of old wrapped stuff that I found along the road on trash day in Cleveland, Ohio, about 6 years ago. Obviously, They had been packed up for a number of years, and were so covered with dust that the designs were covered up. I decided to take a shot at cleaning them; mostly just to see what they were like. I found one that was badly chipped and had some pretty good “crackling” on it, but the shape was so intriguing that I could almost envision a scene painted on it. I am no artist by any means, but decided to research possible ways to embellish them with some easy, yet decorative designs. I had no idea how or what to use on them, but have run across this page and thought that if it could be done, I should be able to handle it, too. So, I want to thank you for bringing the project a try. I think I should be able to find some suitable paint at the local craft store, so I am now quite anxious to find out if I am talented enough to make it work. Normally, I do things like sewing, making jewelry and have even tried my hand at working copper into designed plaques, but this idea seems quite unusual, and I don’t believe I have ever seen anything done like what I have in mind. Thank you so very much for making the information available to me.
    Hoping for another art form in my life,
    Brenda (BJ) Kirk

  • Christmas Gift Giving Guide: Marcy, The Etsy Queen - [...] kids to work making keepsakes for grandparents, aunts, uncles and teachers. Inspiration, Tutorial, Tutorial, [...]

  • 31 Painting Techniques for Interiors and Art - [...]  How to Paint Designs on Ceramic Dishes ~ Take plain white dishes (dollar stores carry them) and buy special paint pens to customize your [...]

  • Megan @ Two Live Colorfully - I loved this little flower doodle so much that I put it on a giant colorful canvas!!!

  • Papel de parede em são paulo - Uma empresa séria e dinâmica que inova no ramo de decoração de interiores, destacando-se neste abrangente e promissor mercado, oferece produtos de altíssima qualidade, além de disponibilizar aos clientes os melhores produtos para decoração de ambientes, o Mundo do Papel de Parede compromete-se em oferecer os melhores serviços.
    Veja mais em:

  • 44 Beautiful and Useful Painting Techniques - Tip Junkie - […] How to Paint Designs on Ceramic Dishes ~ Take plain white dishes (dollar stores carry them) and buy special paint pens to customize your […]

  • Angie - I did all of the steps and I can still chip off the paint..why??

  • necla - harika boyamalar ellerine sa?l?k ashley:)

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *