Painting ceramic mugs and plates are fantastic crafts to do with kids or friends. The process is fun and easy enough for all ages. Plus, they make excellent souvenirs and gifts. If you’re looking into ceramic painting projects, you have probably already wondered, “how can you bake acrylic paint at home?”
You can bake acrylic paint on ceramic mugs and plates in a conventional oven. Acrylic is non-toxic. However, the paint may wear off with constant washing, and you should take a few precautions. It’s only considered food-safe if you fire ceramic dishware in a kiln.
In this article, we’ll show you how to bake acrylic paint on ceramic mugs and plates. Follow the steps below and use our list of safe paints and sealants for your project.
Why Seal Acrylic Paint on Ceramic?
When creating ceramic dishware that you plan to eat and drink from, make sure to seal the paint. If you don’t seal acrylic paint onto a ceramic surface, the paint will not last. It will flake and peel away quickly. You may also notice the paint coming off into your food or drink because acrylic is water-soluble.
Usually, ceramic requires glaze and firing at a certain temperature to keep the glaze on the surface. Baking the paint onto the surface and using a clear sealant prevents the paint from coming off. It also adds shine and boosts the color saturation of the paint for a complete touch. The sealant you use must be high-quality and safe for food.
Can You Bake Acrylic Paint on Ceramic Mugs and Plates?
You can bake acrylic paint on ceramic mugs and plates. There are two main options: Fire the paint in a kiln or use an oven.
An oven is much faster than the hours it takes to bake ceramic in a kiln. However, you must take precautions if you plan to eat and drink out of your new dishware. The paint must be oven-safe and non-toxic. You also don’t want to use an oven for cooking food after baking paint inside.
How to Seal Acrylic Paint on a Ceramic Mug or Plate
To seal acrylic paint to a ceramic surface, you need to heat cure the paint. Instead of letting it air dry, you want to bake the painted piece, then seal the paint with a water-based polyurethane varnish, clear acrylic coat, or modge podge. A kiln is the best option to make food-safe dishware. You can also use a traditional oven to complete your project safely.
The protective sealant you use can vary, but it should be food-safe. There are many options. Some come in spray form, while others require a paint brush for application.
Sealing Acrylic Paint on a Coffee Mug
First, you must learn how to bake a painted mug. After curing the acrylic paint in your oven and allowing the mug to cool, use a clear sealant on the painted area for longevity. You can use modge podge or a thin layer of clear acrylic paint.
Start by setting down a layer of newspaper to protect your workspace. Use painter’s tape to cover any area you don’t want to seal. Place the mug upside down on the newspaper, then spray or paint on a sealant. Apply it in thin, even layers until the mug is coated.
Avoid getting the sealing coat on the inside of the mug or around the top inch of the mug, where a person’s lips would touch the surface. If you’re using a paintbrush, you may also want to avoid leaving visible brush marks behind.
Leave the sealant to dry. Some acrylics or spray varnishes may only take 15 minutes, while other sealants take much longer.
Sealing Paint to a Plate
Similar to the steps above, sealing acrylic paint to a ceramic plate requires baking the object and sealing it to make the result safe for the dishwasher. Layer newspaper to protect your workspace, then seal the paint using modge podge or clear acrylic paint. You shouldn’t need painter’s tape. But it’s best to avoid adding sealant to the bottom of the plate.
How to Bake Acrylic Paint on Ceramic in the Oven
If you want to bake acrylic paint onto ceramic in your oven, follow the steps below. Using the baking method is required if you want to eat or drink from the dishware or wash it in the dishwasher later.
Step 1: Allow the Paint to Dry
Paint the ceramic surface with non-toxic acrylic paint. You can use spray paint or hand-paint designs with a paintbrush. Leave the first coat to dry all the way before applying the second coat. Allow the paint to dry for no less than an hour before baking the object. Drying the painted item for 24 hours before placing it in the oven is highly recommended.
Step 2: Preheat the Oven
Glass and ceramic need to heat gradually, or they may crack. To avoid breakage, never place the painted ceramic in a hot oven. Set your painted ceramic mug or plate in a cool oven. Then, preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (F).
Step 3: Bake the Ceramic
When you hear the preheat timer go off (if your oven has this setting), set an alarm to go off in 30 minutes. You want to bake a painted plate for around 30 to 35 minutes. A small mug may take less time.
Step 4: Allow it to Cool
After 30 minutes, turn off the oven. But leave the ceramic mug or plate to cool for at least an hour or two before you touch it. The surface takes a while to cure and cool.
Is It Safe to Bake Acrylic Paint in the Oven?
Baking acrylic paint is entirely safe in the oven as long as you don’t eat out of it later. Only use an oven that’s intended for ceramic projects because toxic fumes may emit from the oven afterward. Acrylic paint releases a chemical as it heats that is not safe to breathe in large amounts.
However, allowing the paint to nearly dry before heating it over 90 degrees F ensures you avoid exposure to dangerous fumes. This means the paint is not toxic if you have enough ventilation and avoid exposure later.
Also, make sure only to use oven-safe, non-toxic materials. Check the ceramic labels to see if it’s safe in the oven. Check the paint to see if it’s non-toxic and safe to cure in the oven as well. You can contact the manufacturer if you’re not sure.
For this reason, many people find a toaster oven as a suitable option for baking acrylic paint to ceramic, especially with mugs and plates. The appliance is small enough for the project but not too large to prevent you from buying an extra oven for painting projects only.
Does Acrylic Paint Work on Ceramic?
Acrylic paint is made for canvas, but you can use it on ceramic. Acrylic works on any absorbent, rough surface. It’s widely available in any craft store, making it widely convenient and affordable to use. Plus, the water-based paint is easy to clean and non-toxic, making them excellent for children’s painting crafts.
However, it would not work as well if you want to paint a ceramic that’s pre-glazed with a glossy finish, or the paint will peel. For glazed ceramic or glass, you should use spray paint like Krylon Fusion or acrylic paint that’s made with the surface in mind.
Is Acrylic Paint Dishwasher Safe?
Although acrylic paint works on ceramic, it may rub off over time, especially with constant cleaning. Luckily, heat setting the paint and sealing it enables the ceramic to become dishwasher safe. Wait at least 72 hours before washing a newly painted mug or plate in the dishwasher. Always avoid cleaning the painted mug or plate with an abrasive sponge as well.
What’s the Best Paint for Ceramic Mugs and Plates?
Most acrylic paint is suitable for ceramic. You can also use spray paint. Oil, enamel, and water-based paints are best for ceramic crafts, but for safety reasons, you may not want to cure oil-based paints in an oven.
However, check the paint label before you purchase. Some acrylics are best for unglazed ceramic. Look for dishwasher-safe paints. Glitter paints also are not ideal for curing in an oven.
Best Paint for Ceramic
While you have a few paint choices when it comes to ceramic projects, acrylic paint is an excellent option if you want to cure the paint in an oven at home. It’s also ideal for projects with children. Here are the best acrylics to use on your ceramic project.
Arteza Acrylic Paint Set
The Arteza Acrylic Paint Set comes with everything you could need. The colors are highly durable, and the set comes with every shade you could imagine. It has 60 colors with rich pigments. There’s even metallic shades, and you can keep the paint tubes in the included storage box.
Arteza paint is highly affordable. The artist-quality colors are ideal for kids or well-seasoned artists. Plus, the paints are ACMI-certified and safe. If you don’t enjoy using this acrylic paint set, the manufacturer offers a 100% money-back guarantee.
Artistro Paint PensArtistro Paint Pens are a fun way to decorate surfaces like rock, stone, ceramic, glass, canvas, and wood. The pens allow you to draw creative designs, and the extra-fine tip allows you to have a ton of versatility in detailing your work of art. This set comes with 12 premium-quality paint pens.
Plus, the paint pens are entirely safe. The ink is water-based, durable, and dries fast. They meet ASTM safety standards. However, you want to keep the paint from coming into direct contact with food, so do not use them for a mug or plate you plan to utilize daily.
Best Food-Safe Sealant for Mugs
If you’re looking for the best sealant for ceramic mugs and plates, keep reading. There are many sprayable and liquid options to consider. Here are some of our favorite food-safe and non-toxic sealants.
Krylon K01305 Gallery Series Artist Aerosol
Krylon makes a UV-resistant clear acrylic coating in an aerosol that dries quickly. Because it’s sprayable, the paint dries in minutes rather than hours. It becomes touch dry in as little as 10 minutes. You also don’t need to use a paint brush or try to avoid brush marks as you apply the sealant to your painted ceramic piece.
The clear acrylic paint is permanent and designed to resist moisture. It’s safe to use on ceramic, as well as many other surfaces. Krylon also makes an aerosol varnish spray that’s ideal for ceramic mugs or acrylic paintings.
Liquitex Basics Matte Varnish
This non-spray permanent varnish is excellent for acrylic paint. It offers a matte finish that provides a less glossy texture for your mugs and plates. However, you can mix it with a gloss varnish to create varying sheen levels. The brand also offers varnish in satin or glossy finishes if you prefer.
The 250-ml container is large enough to use on all your other painting projects too. You can expect the varnish to dry to a clear protective layer that resists yellowing over time. It’s certified by the ACMI and meets ASTM safety guidelines for educational use, so it’s entirely safe for kids to use as well.
You can bake acrylic paint on ceramic plates and mugs. However, make sure the materials you buy are non-toxic and food-safe. You also don’t want to use the oven for cooking food afterward. For safety reasons, follow the baking process by sealing the paint to the surface. You can use a water-based polyurethane varnish, modge podge, or clear acrylic paint.
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