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Painting and decorating non-fired ceramics


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#1 mduron

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 10:30 PM

Hi all. I'm fairly new to ceramics but have fell in love with it quickly. I found a place in the neighborhood where I can paint ceramics and then they take care of the firing. Recently my husband bought me acrylic paint so I can paint at home. So now my questions are:
1) I do not need to fire the piece when using acrylic paint right?
2) but then its also only ok for decorative pieces and is not food safe right?
3) do I need to do anything to the piece after painting then? I have been reading about brush on sealers and spray sealers but do not know if I need to do that or which is better.
4) if I want to write on the piece that is not being fired what is the best tool to use? A certain paint pen that is good for non- fired pieces? Or just like a squeeze bottle filled with the acrylic paint?
Any suggestions are extremely appreciated!

#2 oldlady

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 11:03 PM

these questions would be better answered by the person in charge at the studio which supplies the items you are painting. putting acrylics on items originally intended to be finished in a kiln moves them out of the realm of ceramics and into the strictly decorative.
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#3 Pompots

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:37 AM

1) not only you don't need but you can not fire acrylic paint, it will burn out.
2) exactly, only for decorative purposes it wont hold water and it is not food safe for the same reason the paint will peel off at contact with water, even if you apply a finish varnish.
3) after painting with acrylics you need to apply a clear coat, spray sealers are good, Krylon brand is really good but any non yellowing will do, varnishes are also a good option for this.
4) Liner brushes are good for writing also calligraphy brushes are good for this purpose

#4 Frederik-W

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:42 AM

Duncan Ceramic Arts is a manufacturer of a large range of ceramic glazes and they have a large range of acrylics and stains (called "nonfire") specifically for people who do not have a kiln. They are also non-toxic.
(I have no affilliation with Duncan).

http://www.duncanpai...ID=PUT_SID_HERE

If you make decorative items you do not need to fire them. Paperclay is a very strong type of clay and dries rock-hard without cracking easily.
You also get a type of clay which has some kind of cement in that becomes rock hard, it is specifically made for e.g. schools and people who do not have kilns but want to be creative.
There is no need to stifle your creativity if you do not have a kiln.


#5 Idaho Potter

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:54 AM

There is also polymer clay that can be fired in your oven, but it is NOT food safe either. I am assuming you are using slip cast items (dishes or sculpture) and might want to construct something of your own. Whatever type of clay you use, make sure you find some written instructions on the best way to handle and finish it.

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#6 maorili

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:57 AM

If your ceramic will stay in the house for decoration only, you don't have to put a seal on it.
Just be careful to take colours that don't fade out in the light.

I think you are using ceramics which were fired once to be painted? Or do you want to to the modelling yourself?
Normal acrylic colours are okay for once fired ceramic pieces. I don't now about their use on stiffened paperclay or only air dryed clay.

It's fun doing it, for "what you see is what you get". It is like a 3D screen for you.
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#7 mduron

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:32 AM

1) not only you don't need but you can not fire acrylic paint, it will burn out.
2) exactly, only for decorative purposes it wont hold water and it is not food safe for the same reason the paint will peel off at contact with water, even if you apply a finish varnish.
3) after painting with acrylics you need to apply a clear coat, spray sealers are good, Krylon brand is really good but any non yellowing will do, varnishes are also a good option for this.
4) Liner brushes are good for writing also calligraphy brushes are good for this purpose



Thank you for the brush recommendations! So is it better to return the acrylic paint for something else and then have it fired?

#8 mduron

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:33 AM

If your ceramic will stay in the house for decoration only, you don't have to put a seal on it.
Just be careful to take colours that don't fade out in the light.

I think you are using ceramics which were fired once to be painted? Or do you want to to the modelling yourself?
Normal acrylic colours are okay for once fired ceramic pieces. I don't now about their use on stiffened paperclay or only air dryed clay.

It's fun doing it, for "what you see is what you get". It is like a 3D screen for you.



#9 mduron

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:40 AM

I am not modeling it myself. I actually found a website where I can buy the pieces and then paint at home. They have several options - buy the ceramics only, buy pre-glazed ceramics, or I can opt to have it fired and send it back to them for them to do it. I do not have a kiln. But my husband bought me only acrylic paint. So some items I want to paint would be only decorative and that will be fine but some would be dishes and such. So I am debating if I should keep the paint, exchange the paint, etc. I can rent the paint from the website I found also but since the paint was a gift I would like to use it! Just not sure if it would be better to get something other than acrylic so I can use it on everything? I am very excited to start a project but I want to have all the right supplies first.

#10 Pompots

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:06 PM


1) not only you don't need but you can not fire acrylic paint, it will burn out.
2) exactly, only for decorative purposes it wont hold water and it is not food safe for the same reason the paint will peel off at contact with water, even if you apply a finish varnish.
3) after painting with acrylics you need to apply a clear coat, spray sealers are good, Krylon brand is really good but any non yellowing will do, varnishes are also a good option for this.
4) Liner brushes are good for writing also calligraphy brushes are good for this purpose



Thank you for the brush recommendations! So is it better to return the acrylic paint for something else and then have it fired?


You are welcome.
If you want the look of a finished ceramic piece, then you need to buy undergalzes, which are totally different than acrylic paint, the most common brand of low fire glazes are "Duncan" they have them in a very wide range of colors and some you can even mix to make your own colors, in this case, the aplication is different, here you have to follow the label instructions, then you have to apply a coat of clear glaze, on top of your painted surface, remember all this needs to be temperature comaptible, usually underglazes fire between cone 04 and 06, so your clear glaze needs to be cone 04 or 06 too. Stores like "color me mine" do that, you go there and buy the ceramic piece already hardened (bisque), they provide the paints (glazes) for you to paint your piece, then they fire it for the final step. So, you need to decide if you want to do this or paint with acrylics, I have done acrylic paint long time ago with very satisfactory results once I've panited a whole Nativity set to look like bronze, it was a real big project but the results were amazing it looked very much like weathered bronze. So, you can get pretty good stuff with acrylics but honestly nothing compares with a glazed piece.
Best of luck.




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