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Which Paint is Best for Ceramic Painting?


Red & yellow paint on paint bush bristles

Bisque ceramics offer an inviting canvas for painting, but selecting the right type of paint is crucial to achieving vibrant and durable results. With an array of paint options available, it's important to know which types of paint can be used on bisque ceramics and which one stands out as the best choice. Below we'll explore the different paint options, their characteristics & discover which paint is best for ceramic painting your masterpiece.


Your Paint Options:

  1. Acrylic Paints: Acrylic paints are a popular choice for painting bisque ceramics due to their versatility, quick drying time, and ease of use. These water-based paints adhere well to the porous surface of ceramics, creating a durable finish that resists cracking and fading. Acrylics offer a range of vibrant colours and can be easily mixed to achieve custom shades. They also work well with various techniques such as layering, blending and dry brushing.

  2. Ceramic Paints: Specifically formulated for ceramics, these paints are designed to bond with the ceramic surface and withstand high firing temperatures. Ceramic paints require a glaze firing in a kiln to set the colors permanently. While they offer excellent durability, they are often limited in colour options and may require more specialized equipment.

  3. Oil-based Paints: Oil-based paints can be used on bisque ceramics, but they require thorough drying time and a clear sealant to protect the artwork. Oil-based paints are not as commonly used for ceramics due to their longer drying time and the availability of more suitable alternatives.

  4. Enamel Paints: Enamel paints, which come in both oil-based and water-based formulations, can be used on ceramics. They create a glossy finish that provides a protective layer, making them a good option for functional pieces like mugs or plates. Enamel paints can be more challenging to work with compared to acrylics due to their longer drying time and potential for brushstrokes to show.

  5. Glass Paints: These paints are designed for glass surfaces but can also be used on ceramics. They offer a translucent finish that adds a stained glass effect to the artwork. Glass paints require heat-setting to make them permanent, which may not be suitable for all ceramic pieces.

The Best Paint for Bisque Ceramics:

Acrylic Paints are often considered the best paint option for bisque ceramics for several reasons:

  1. Adhesion: Acrylic paints adhere well to porous surfaces like bisque ceramics, ensuring a strong and durable bond.

  2. Quick Drying: Acrylics dry quickly, allowing for faster layering and adjustments.

  3. Vibrant Colors: Acrylic paints offer an extensive range of colours, including both opaque and transparent options, allowing for a wide variety of artistic expressions.

  4. Ease of Use: They are user-friendly and suitable for artists of all levels, from beginners to experts.

  5. Versatility: Acrylics work well with different techniques, such as dry brushing, layering and mixing.

  6. Protection: When sealed with an appropriate clear sealant, acrylic-painted ceramics become resistant to moisture, fading and cracking, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor display.

Acrylic paint on a disposable mixing plate with paint brush

While various types of paint can be used on bisque ceramics, acrylic paints emerge as the most versatile and optimal choice. Their quick drying time, vibrant colour range and compatibility with a variety of techniques make them the preferred option for artists seeking to transform bisque ceramics into unique and enduring works of art. As you embark on your ceramic painting journey, choose acrylic paints to unlock a world of creative possibilities on your bisque canvas.

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