Spray Painting Ceramics Tutorial

Back in Febuary I did a post on my blog where I showed you some ceramic pieces I had spray painted. Chelsea left me a comment asking me what products I used. I told her I would post a tutorial "next week". Oops, two months have gone by! How did that happen? Hopefully she believes better late than never!

For this tutorial I started with these ceramic candlesticks I picked up from the Goodwill.  I really liked the size and the raised detail on them, but the dark blue color would not work in my house.

First I primed them using this. I like to use gray primer because if I'm painting the object white, I can be sure I haven't missed any spots. Krylon is great because the can says "drys in 10 minutes or less" and It's true!

Here are the candlesticks all primed. ugly

For this project I used Krylon White Flat spray paint. Spray lightly and do many light coats, letting each coat dry completly. This way you will get a nice, even, finish; without ugly drip marks.

Here is how the candlesticks look pure white.

I found that using the flat spray paint on ceramics can leave these crackle marks. They don't bother me, but if you want a smooth finish I have an alternative.

Remember when I spray painted these four ceramic objects?

I used Rust-Oleum Heirloom White in a Satin finish. It has been my experience that the satin finish doesn't crackle.

After spray painting I used Ralph Lauren Faux Technique Glaze.

You can choose a color to have mixed into the glaze and mine is Smoke. I, like so many people, learned all about painting things white and glazing them from the wonderful sisters at Shanty2Chic.

The candlestick on the left has the glaze on it and the one on the right doesn't. When you glaze an object you just brush some glaze on, then wipe the excess off with a rag. Avoid overlapping of glazed areas.

I like things to look even more rustic than the glaze provides so I dry brush on some craft paint after the glaze has dried. In the past I've used brown, tan, charcoal and black paint. It all depends what look you're going for.
To dry brush: Squirt some paint onto a paper plate and place some paint on one side of the brush, then wipe most of the paint off. Lightly brush the raised areas of the object you are painting with the paint side of the brush. Then use the dry side of the brush to soften it. If your brush starts getting too "gooped up" with paint, squeeze the excess paint off into some paper towels.

The candlestick on the left has the glaze and craft paint on it and the one on the right only has the glaze.

Finally if you want to, you can spray the whole thing with some poly, but make sure you buy poly with a matte finish. You don't want your object to be too shiny and glossy. I recently tried this Krylon Clear spray paint and it worked really well and was waaay cheaper than spray poly usually is. I found it at Walmart.

Here are the completed candlesticks!

Here's the "before" again.

And the "after". Happy painting!


  1. These are lovely. I cannot thank you enough for putting a photo of the glaze "recipe" on this post. I have heard about Ralph Lauren Smoke Glaze, but when I went into HD they had never heard of that particular color. Seriously, I really appreciate it!

  2. That was a great tutorial Lisa. I'm gonna have to bookmark this post for later use! Hope you are having a great week!

  3. Your candlesticks are just gorgeous and the tutorial is wonderful. Thanks. Hugs, Marty

  4. Oh I love this tutorial, thank you Lisa! I always see ceramic things at the thrift store, but they are always awful colours...I have wondered what I could use to paint them! Your pieces turned out beautifully! Thank you so much for sharing:) Wishing you a lovely day ~ Tina x

  5. Where did you find those amazing candles?
    Great HOW TO guide!

  6. i really enjoy your blog and am finally leaving a comment lol. Your candlesticks came out beautiful, good to know I can spray ceramics!

  7. what a fantastic transformation and a super tutorial, I can't wait to try it out myself :)
    Hugs Melly

  8. Excellent redo! They look amazing in white. Is there anything that white paint can't fix ?
    They really look great. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a lovely comment today !

  9. These are really beautiful. I need to keep this tutorial in mind. Thanks!

  10. What a good find at Goodwill! I am jealous. And I think I need to go glaze everything I have ever spray painted. What a difference! I'm visiting fomr Just a Girl- I linked up to the party too! http://attemptingtobecrafty.blogspot.com/2010/04/my-mantel-before-and-after.html

  11. Thanks for the tutorial! I am afraid of spray paint, but I might have to give it another try! Love the candle sticks!

  12. I love how these turned out! Thanks for the info on how to do that :)
    Thanks for stopping by. So glad to see another LV-ian ;)

  13. great job on the candlesticks! super tute too!
    they look really pretty.

  14. Those are beautiful! :) I loooove spray painting anything & everything. Have a wonderful weekend.


  15. Your candlesticks look great - and I am so glad you posted about "how to" paint ceramic. I will be painting a ton around here now! Thanks for linking up to Be Inspired last week!


  16. Just what I was looking for today! I have two lamps that I want to paint white and glaze and I had no idea what to do or where to start! I knew just where to look to figure it out! Thanks Lisa!

  17. Great tutorial! I have a very large vase and it is the same colour blue as your candlesticks were to begin with! Thanks, I will be using the same method as you have detailed so very well here and hope to achieve a good result.

  18. I googled "paint glazed ceramic". Imagine my surprise in finding this great tutorial, to paint the exact same blue candlesticks that I picked up at a garage sale! Guaranteed success! Thank you!

  19. I love how spray paint can change vase in a heart beat!! Love it..I am also drooling over that frame. I have kept my eye for something as cute as that. You are such a lucky girl…and have a fabulous eye for beauty yet to be “uncovered.”