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Ceramics 101

Which Type of Paint should I use?

Read the following general review of glazes and underglazes to determine which type of paint to use on your ceramic project.

Note: 1oz glaze covers approximately 30 square inches.
One 6" x 6" tile uses less than 1oz underglaze and just a bit more than one ounce glaze. One 8" x 8" tile uses almost 2oz glaze.

Think of painting your ceramics as working in 2 steps (or more).
Step 1. Clean and paint on/or fire your greenware. Painting on greenware requires an appropriate underglaze. Fire greenware to cone 04.
Step 2. Paint an underglaze on bisque and cover with clear glaze, then fire. Or paint glaze on bisque and fire. Fire glazed ware to cone 05 or cone 06. Look at bottle label to be sure.
Optional - Step 3. Apply Mother of Pearl or Gold Luster over fired glaze and fire. Be sure to check for appropriate cone. (i.e. Mother of Pearl fires to cone 020, Golds fire to cone 018 or 019.
Optional - Step 4. Apply decal(s) over fired glaze and fire. Be sure to check for appropriate cone.


As the name implies this is a non-flowing (during firing), usually non-shiny paint that goes under a glaze.

If you are painting on greenware ~ If you prefer to detail paint on greenware you should use an underglaze. CoverCoats opaque underglazes, EZ Strokes Translucent underglazes or Western UG underglazes are ideal for this application.

CoverCoats and UGs are applied to cleaned greenware and absorbed into the clay. Since they are clay-based paints they literally become part of the clay body during firing. CoverCoats and UGs require three coats for complete opaque coverage and can be used to color large areas. So, you could paint your teapot with 3 coats of CC118 Black , then paint flowers and leaves in white and other colors over the black (3 coats on flowers and leaves) and the black will not show through. CoverCoats can be tinted using EZ Strokes or other CoverCoats, to create unique custom colors. Or paint 3 coats of a CoverCoats or Western UG color on greenware, then sgraffito (gently scratch through the color to reveal the clay color underneath) a design onto your piece. When piece is to your liking, bisque fire to cone 04.

Note: Some CoverCoats can be painted on bisque. However, it should be noted that after CoverCoats application the piece must be fired to cone 04 to 'set' the paint and make it adhere to the bisque. Then is should be glazed and fired to cone 06.

EZ Strokes are translucent and very reminiscent of painting with watercolors. They can be used alone on greenware or bisque, and can be used over CoverCoats for shading and detail work. EZ Strokes can also be used with Concepts Underglaze for Bisque. Remember that E-Z Strokes are like working with watercolors and are very translucent. Brush strokes are highly visible. E-Z Strokes can also be used to 'antique' your ceramic piece. Just wash the watered-down color onto the detailed areas of your piece (greenware or bisque), then sponge off the high sections and smooth areas, leaving the color just in the crevices. And lastly, EZ Strokes can be painted on over your unfired glaze (which has been applied to bisque) for a Majolica look.

If you are painting on bisque ~ If you prefer to detail paint on bisque you should use Concepts Underglazes for Bisque or Stroke n Coats Wonderglaze for Bisque. The first coat is translucent, the second is semi-opaque, the third gives full opaque coverage. If you apply three coats you don't have to put a clear glaze over this product as it will be shiny. However, if any of your bisque shows through you will need clear glaze to seal the item. Also, underglazes for bisque are not considered to be safe for dinnerware until they are sealed with clear glaze. You can use either Concepts Clear Dipping Glaze - CN2000D, IN1001 Envisions Clear brush-on or PB2639 Pure Brilliance brush-on glaze - over Concepts.

Both EZ Strokes and Concepts are great for Majolica design. Simply cover your bisque with three smooth, even coats of white satin glaze, drying between each coat. Paint your design onto the white glaze with either EZ Strokes, Concepts or Stroke n Coat, then fire to cone 06.

Continue to page 2 for information on applying glazes.

Page 2 - Ceramics 101

Simple, Secure, Convenient - Creative Glazes.

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