i've been asked a lot lately about the paint i use to create my ceramic hand print and foot print pieces, so i thought i would do a post about it. first let me say that this paint is not food safe. if you paint on the outside of a mug or pitcher, then it would be fine to use. But plates or platters would be decorative only. now, yes, there are ceramics studios where you can go and get this done, where they would be food safe. that is because they have the ability to seal the paint and then fire it in a kiln. that is also why pieces from these places are usually very expensive. if you are just looking for a keepsake item, then this paint offers you a much more affordable option.
ok...that being said...the paint i use is called porcelaine 150.
michaels is the only craft store i've ever found it at, but the quantities are usually limited. i usually order mine from dick blick. you have to work quickly with this paint, because it will dry fast. if you have never done hand prints before, i might suggest doing a couple of practice ones with craft acrylic on paper first. but essentially, you use a brush to spread the paint out evenly over the hand. make sure it is coated well. then press the hand straight down onto the plate, press down on the back of the hand and each of the fingers quickly, and then pull straight up. if you like the print, set it aside and let it dry. if you don't like it, wipe it off quickly with a baby wipe or a wet paper towel. just make sure the plate is completely dry before you try to reprint. also, you should wash the paint off the hand completely and then re-coat with fresh paint before trying to do a second print or a reprint. once the print is dry, you can add more decorative painting or writing with a small brush or with a porcelaine 150 marker.
this hand print christmas tree, one of my most favorite designs, would be a good one to start with because it uses a limited number of colors, and doesn't require a lot of painting to finish it.
once you have it painted how you like it, set it somewhere safe to dry for at least 24 hours. if you try to fire it too soon, the paint might end up bubbling. once it is ready to fire, set it in a cool oven and close the door. then set the oven to 300 degrees. turn the timer on for 30 minutes. when the timer goes off, turn the oven off, but do not open the oven door. let the piece sit in the oven as the oven cools back down to room temperature gradually. once you are sure the oven has cooled down completely, then open the door and take it out. the paint is now permanent, and your keepsake is ready for you to enjoy!
and, just so you know, this paint can also be used on porcelain, terra cotta, metal and glass as well.
i'll be back next week with some more hand print christmas ideas! you can subscribe to this blog on the sidebar over there, or follow me on facebook or twitter, where I also post my blog updates.
here's to one-of-a-kind, handmade treasures (china can't make these!),