How To Paint Ceramic Mugs? (Step by Step Guide)

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My passion for crafting and DIY goes way back to the time I was a young girl. As a kid, my parents encouraged and helped me make my toys from scratch.

Although I had a fair share of trials and failures, the experience helped boost my self-esteem, and now, I love doing things with my hands.

A few weeks ago, my childhood friend started her first business, and I wanted to get her a unique gift.

After much thinking and deliberating, I decided that a homemade painted ceramic mug would make a perfect gift.

The only problem with my plan was that I did not know where and how to start painting the mug.

However, after many trials, I painted a nice looking coffee mug for my oldest friend.

That’s why I have decided to provide you with this step by step guide on how to paint your ceramic mugs to spice up your kitchen cabinet or gift someone.

How to Paint Your Ceramic Mugs

Depending on your speed and design, you can complete the ceramic mug painting project in about 3-4 hours.

Painting the design takes about 20-30 minutes. Once you finish, you will need another one hour to let the paint dry.

Finally, bake for another 30 minutes in an oven and let it cool down for 30minutes.

These are the things you will need for the project:

  • A ceramic mug
  • Paint brushes
  • Pencil
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water
  • Newspaper
  • Masking tape
  • Paint plate
  • Oven

So, how do you paint your ceramic mugs?

  • Prep your work space – Once you choose a perfect, well-lit workspace, lay down your newspaper to prevent the paint from spoiling your counter or table. Tape the edges using masking tape to ensure the paper doesn’t move around while you are working.

  • Clean the ceramic mug – Wash your mug with water and dry using a towel. Apply rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and gently rub it on the surface of the mug. Rubbing alcohol removes extra oils that might be on your mug.

  • Pour acrylic paint into the paint plate – A paper plate is an excellent alternative for a paint plate. Do not pour large amounts of paint once. If you want to mix paints, ensure you only mix amounts you will need. You need to use separate brushes to mix the paints.

  • Outline the design on the ceramic mug using a pencil – Before you start painting, mark all the designs on your ceramic mug using a pencil. A pencil gives you the option of erasing the drawings in case you make a mistake. If you need to draw a straight line, use painters tape to make it easier.

  • Start painting – Once all the preparations are over, dip your brush into the paint and paint whatever you want on the mug. Use a thicker brush to paint larger areas. If you want to paint smaller areas and details, use a thin paintbrush to get the best results. Apply a second coat over your design to get a smoother look.

  • Cool and wash the ceramic mug – Once the baking process finishes, place the mug in a cool place and let it cool. Wash the ceramic mug using water and dish soap and place it in your cabinet.


It can be challenging to paint a ceramic mug, especially if it is your first time. However, with the tips above, the task can be less challenging.

The most important things to consider is the appropriate cleaning and degreasing of the ceramic mug.

Also, draw the designs using a pencil before you start painting.

Do not use a dishwasher to clean a painted ceramic mug, as that can ruin the design.