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Give a Ceramic Canister a Makeover with Paint and Artwork

Give a Ceramic Canister a Makeover with Paint and Artwork main article image
Posted on April 22, 2022 by Jennifer Carroll

I love this time of year! Spring is on its way and the summer will be here before we know it. The weather isn’t what I’m excited about though. I live in SW Florida, so we enjoy warm temperatures all year round. I look forward to this time of year because I can create for myself and gain ideas for the next show season.

I love what I do – we do art and craft shows starting in the Fall and the season ends in the Spring. Usually, around this time, I’m ready for a break. It’s my time to step away from the packing and planning that goes into a busy season of shows. Summer and Spring are spent gathering supplies and creating new things that we can feature in our shows.

This last month I’ve been experimenting with ceramic canisters that I’ve picked up at my favorite thrift store. They’re sold by weight and since I like the smaller ones, they’re just a few cents each. I like the idea of adding more little décor pieces to my inventory. The artwork is great and we sell a lot of it, but sometimes people run out of wall space. When that’s the reason they’re hesitant to buy a piece, then we offer them a shelf sitter. It works almost every time!

I decided to add some artwork to some ceramic canisters I had sitting around. There are a couple of ways to do it and I’ll explain both of them to you.

What you will need:

Ceramic canisters

Water slide paper or mod podge


I completed a few of my canisters with water slide paper. I love this product! It’s so easy to use and if you print several images per sheet, it’s economical.

I like the Hippoo brand, you can get it from Amazon. Just follow the instructions and you’ll be water sliding in no time. TIP: use almost hot water to soak your image. I use Mod Podge Acrylic sealer to seal the image as per the instructions. Krylon Crystal Clear is another option.

Since I get tired of looking at my own artwork, I’ve been decoupaging with napkins. I love the artwork that is available, and you get so many in a package that if you sell one item, you’ll more than make your money back. There are also napkin exchange groups you can join on Facebook.

I ordered a few napkin varieties from Amazon, but a more fun way would be to look at all the graphics available right here on Creative Fabrica. I put one of my favorites up here to consider. To use as a decoupage piece, just print it on tissue paper then spray it with acrylic sealer a couple of times. If this is the first time you’re using this method, be prepared to decoupage any and everything! It’s definitely one of my addictions.

For some of my canisters, I didn’t change the finish at all. Some of them were glazed and obviously, I wanted to remove the image that was there before I put on a new one. Since I was using napkins to decoupage, I decided to use the faux concrete method to finish some of my canisters. I love the way that the texture of the napkin is sort of absorbed into the texture of the paint. And because the surface is textured, if you haven’t perfected your decoupage skills, you won’t notice any wrinkles.

To achieve a faux concrete finish, just add baking soda to your paint. I use a 50/50 ratio, but you can make yours as thin or as thick as you wish. To get the best results I paint the piece without the baking soda added first. When the first coat is completely dry, I apply a coat of the baking soda mixture.

I let the piece dry overnight most of the time. If I’m in a hurry and I really need to finish a project quickly, then I put my heat gun on it for a few minutes. A heat gun is a handy tool to have in your workspace. They’re available at your local hardware store or on Amazon.

The next step is to add the image of your choice to the ceramic canister. I used napkins this time. Napkins are usually two or three layers of paper and you want to use only the layer on which the image was printed. So, separate the layers and make sure that you’re working with just the top layer. This will help to ensure that your image isn’t bubbled and wrinkled.

Start with a very thin layer of mod podge. Mod podge is available in several finishes. Satin, gloss, and matte. I always buy the matte because I feel like it helps reduce the look of any imperfections that may occur.

I start in the middle and lay the sides down one at a time. Since these napkins are thin, I don’t want to rub the paper, I just tap it down with my fingers. This is where a heat gun can come in handy too. If you’re having a hard time getting air bubbles out, just blow the heat on it while you tap the bubbles out.

When the image is completely dried onto the piece, I take a sanding sponge and sand the excess paper off by sanding away from the edges. I love this method for removing the paper because it makes the piece look like the image has always been there.

The last step is to add a coat of the mod podge and let it dry. Sometimes I add a final coat of clear finishing wax. It adds a slight sheen that I like, and it adds another layer of protection.

This is a simple project that can yield very high-end results. You can take an outdated or plain colored canister to a custom piece made specially to fit your décor style.

Until next time – happy crafting!

Please follow me here to see my latest creations.

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Give a Ceramic Canister a Makeover with Paint and Artwork

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