InCross Stitch & Crafts, Home Décor, Thrifty Thursday

How to use textured paint to make old ceramics look like stone

I’ll show you how I used textured paint to transform an old ceramic money bank with baking soda and paint to make it look like concrete.

And so the time has come for me to try adding texture to paint with baking soda.  This is such an easy craft that I can’t believe that I did not use this method sooner.

The trick of adding baking soda to paint to create a stone or concrete-like texture has been doing the rounds for quite some time.  But this is the first time I tried it.  It is an easy and inexpensive way to update old or thrifted ceramics, vases and other décor items. 

I completed this project just in time for this month’s Thrifty Thursday: Less is More post.  We share great tips and ideas with you on how to get more from your home décor for less money.  I’m joined again this month by Sara-Lynn from the Inspired Decorator.  Be sure to take a look at her project at the end of this post.

Before we go further, please remember to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you never miss a post.  

How to add texture to paint with baking soda and update old décor items

As I said before – this project is easy, and you can probably pull it off with items you already have in your home.  I’ve had this little owl money bank for years!  I think if I remember correctly, that I got it as a gift while I was in high school.  I’ve always kept it close, but when we revamped our home office last year, and I styled the bookshelves, I wondered if it was time to replace him with something less dated.

I could not find a suitable alternative – I was not about to place an actual piggy bank on the bookshelf.  And then I started wondering about updating this little guy.  I was intrigued by concrete sculptures I’ve seen, and then I realised that I could probably pull off a stone or concrete look with the baking soda method.  So let’s dive into it.

Step 1:  Gather your supplies

For this project, you will need:

  • Your item you want to paint.  It can be ceramic, wood, plastic, glass or any other thing you wish to transform.
  • Water-based (latex) paint in the colour of your choice.  I have a whole stash of Plascon sample pots, and I used a light and a medium warm gey.
  • Baking soda.
  • A container you can use to mix the paint in and a stirrer (a popsicle stick works well).
  • A craft paintbrush.

Step 2:  Mix your paint and add baking soda

Put some paint in your mixing container – try to determine how much paint you will need for the project.  (I had too much paint and ended up painting a plastic planter as well).  Now you can start adding baking soda about one teaspoon at a time until you get the consistency paint you are looking for.

The more baking soda you add, the thicker the paint will get.  I actually ran out of baking soda and added cream of tartar to the mix as well.  Immediately after adding the cream of tartar, the paint got an almost spongy texture.  I loved the look of the texture and immediately started painting.

Step 3:  Paint your décor item and wait for it to dry

Start painting your piece, use a dabbing motion, and not smooth brush strokes.  Remember – you want the texture to show.  Move all around until the object is completely covered.  And if I can give you one tip – think beforehand where you will place your object to dry and how you need to hold it while painting to be able to set it down (talking from experience here). 

I left it to dry for a bit, but not completely.  Then added a bit more paint in a darker colour and worked it into the sculpture to add a bit of depth.  I once again used dabs to smooth the colour in and keep the texture.

When you are satisfied with the outcome, you can leave it to dry.  In my experience, the paint took quite a while to dry and was a bit runny.  It might be because of the cream of tartar that I added and might not be the same in your case if you use just baking soda.  I fixed the runny paint by dabbing the paint some more every time I walked past the drying sculpture.  Just make sure not to take the paint off if you do this.

I also put together a video for this project to show you exactly what I did. While you’re watching the video, please head over to my Youtube channel and subscribe.

It is that easy to update an old ceramic item with textured paint using baking soda

When my little owl finally dried, he was ready to sit on the bookshelf again.  I’m still debating on leaving him as is or dry-brush some darker and lighter shades for more depth. I love the outcome and do feel that it is more in line with my style now.  What do you think?

Now please head over to the Inspired Decorator to see how she painted a switch plate cover!

I am always amazed at how easy it is to transform thrift store ceramics with paint – it must be one of my favourite crafts.  If you need more inspiration, you can check out these projects:

That is all for now; I hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of exciting DIY and craft projects!

Till next time, take care!

Junette |

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1 Comment

  • Alan

    Looks great. I will be using your inspiration to make some small melamine pots into brick looking planters for some cacti. I will save money on this as the stone textured paint seems very expensive. Thankyou.

    May 6, 2023 at 8:59 am Reply
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