How to Paint a Plate to Eat From

Painting your own dinner plate is a great way to design original pieces that match your kitchen decor. Or, it can be a fun family activity for all ages to let out your creativity and create one-of-a-kind dishes that make special gifts. Either way, it's important to use effective and safe supplies when making quality, food-safe plates.

Dinner background
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How to Paint a Plate to Eat From

Plates That Work Best

After painting, plates must be baked in the oven to retain the painted design. For this reason, it's essential to use materials that are safe to put in the oven. Antique plates are not always oven-safe, but most newer materials are, especially ceramic.

Most manufacturers label their dishware with safety information. Check in the center of the back of the plate to find whether or not your dish is safe for the oven. If not, it may crack or release unhealthy chemicals. If there is no safety label stating whether or not the dish is safe for the oven, play it safe and choose a different plate for your painting project.

White ceramic plates are a popular choice for painting as their blank canvas is perfect for ultimate creativity. Glass plates make for a unique look and are often oven-safe.

Paint Type

Plates are meant to be eaten off of, so make sure the paint you use to decorate your plate is safe. Food-safe paints are often labeled as such and can be found at your local art supply store.

Craft retailers often stock specialty ceramic paint that you can apply freehand with a brush or, to kick it up a notch, use stencils or stamps in your design. Ceramic paint pens are great for detail work, too. These paints will work well on ceramic plates and will typically last longer than basic acrylic paints.

Specialty paints for other materials, such as glass, are also on the market. They are usually clearly labeled for safety and come with usage instructions.

Safety Considerations

The top priority for this crafty project is health and safety. Using the incorrect plate material could mean risk of injury due to cracking and possible exposure to toxic chemicals. Using the incorrect paint could mean a less durable design and the ingestion of harmful materials. Always read labels of your materials to be sure your chosen product is nontoxic and safe for high heat.

Project Overview

Once you've found your oven-safe plate, head to the craft store and pick out food-safe specialty paint in your desired colors. Before painting, you will need to wash and dry your plate. Paint your plate as desired and pop it in the oven to set the paint and boost its durability. Use the instructions on your specialty paint to find what temperature and length of time needed to bake your dish. Once it's done baking, allow the plate to cool and enjoy!