Painting Ceramic Vases

I honestly don’t know how long these vases have been part of our home decor. They have been used in our bathroom, living room, on shelving, on the mantel, as coffee table decor… I bought them as a set from Kirklands, and they’ve had a good life. It’s time. It’s time for a change.

I was inspired by the simplicity of these pure white vases and these Judy Jackson vases from West Elm, but the price tag was a little high! I already had some paint in the right color, so why not paint these?

I read that you should sand the ceramic with a fine grit sandpaper, but it didn’t seem to do anything. So I just went straight in with my sander deglosser. I wiped it on with a paper towel, and let it dry for a few minutes before painting.

I used the Behr premium plus ultra enamel in a satin finish. The first coat I kept pretty thin (to make sure it would stick). Multiple thin coats is always better! I kept the brush strokes going in the same direction. It left a slight texture, but I was fine with that because it kind of made it look more like pottery.

The above is after two coats, dried. Decent coverage, and just a couple places that needed touch up. The below is after three coats (still wet).

I had one little oops, and the paint peeled off the bottom of a vase. I was painting these on a paper towel to keep any excess paint from getting all over the table. Wellllll it failed. I was pulling the towel away from the vase and it peeled some paint off. No big deal. I just repainted it. But apparently the paint wasn’t adhering as well as I thought.

These are going to sit on a shelf, so they won’t be moved around much. If you have a vase that will be used more often, you might want to prime the vases or go back and try that sanding trick.

I am really happy with the end result. It’s a clean and simple look. Any guesses how many other things I can paint? I’m running out of options.

For similar vases, try these: PB Mason Stoneware / West Elm Judy Jackson Stoneware / West Elm Pure White Vases / PB Kähler Hammershøi Miniature Vases / Hearth and Hand Bud Vase

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