Home » Ceramic painting technique: Oilcloth flowers

Ceramic painting technique: Oilcloth flowers

Here is a ceramic painting technique you’ll love – we’re painting oilcloth flowers! Such a fun way to create a beautiful mug for coffee, tea or even as a planter.

Ceramic painting technique - oilcloth flowers

This is inspired by our favorite vinyl floral fabric we’ve all come to know and love.

This ceramic painting technique is a good idea to use with any other kind of paint as well. Have fun and experiment with different colors!

bolts of oilcloth fabric
Photo: Joe_Potato


I even used these ceramic paint designs on shoes, purses, even jeans! It looks so beautiful on ceramics though.


Video link

About oilcloth

It comes in so many different designs, I chose one of the classic floral designs. Look at the turquoise bolt in the center of the picture above. 

Oilcloth is a type of fabric that has been treated with oil or a similar waterproofing substance to make it resistant to water and stains. It is commonly used for tablecloths, aprons, bags, and outdoor accessories.

The treatment process gives oilcloth a shiny, smooth surface that is easy to clean.

Traditionally, oilcloth was made by coating a heavyweight cotton or linen fabric with linseed oil.

The fabric was stretched and tacked onto a wooden frame, and then multiple layers of linseed oil were applied to both sides using a brush or roller.

oilcloth flower patterns

After the oil was absorbed, the fabric was hung to dry in a well-ventilated area. This process was repeated several times until the desired level of waterproofing was achieved.

However, modern oilcloth is typically made using vinyl or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) as the base material instead of natural fibers.

The vinyl or PVC is coated with a layer of oil or a similar waterproofing agent, often with additional additives to enhance durability and flexibility. This manufacturing process allows for a wider range of colors, patterns, and designs to be printed on the oilcloth.

The use of vinyl or PVC as the base material makes modern oilcloth more durable and easier to clean than traditional oilcloth. It also eliminates the need for repeated oil treatments. However, it’s worth noting that PVC is a synthetic material and has environmental concerns associated with its production and disposal.

Now let’s use it as inspo for a ceramic painting technique

Funny story

I watched The Mandalorian while painting this batch of mugs. It kinda shows when you see the end result. I used a glaze called Speckled Tuxedo. It’s black with little white specs – they look like stars after the firing process is all finished! 

Speckled Tuxedo by Mayco.

Painting oilcloth flowers is one of my favorite pottery panting ideas, I use it a lot! I think it would be cute to paint a flower pot with this style

Non-fired technique: The best way is to use glass paint or multi-surface enamel paint that can be baked in the oven. Make sure to hand wash and keep the paint away from the mouth area.

Fired technique: This project uses traditional ceramic materials and is fired in a kiln to cone 06 (1828 degrees F). You can use a bisque piece or a piece you made on the pottery wheel. 

Pottery glazes: This is a low-fire project, so I’m using glazes to match. The ceramic surface is porous and needs to be sealed to prevent bacteria getting in there. 

Creating an oilcloth-inspired ceramic mug and firing it at cone 06 requires several steps, from designing your mug to applying underglaze and glaze, to the final step of firing your piece. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Materials for this ceramic painting technique:

ceramic painting technique - oilcloth flowers

Unpainted bisque mug

Liquid underglaze (I used Mayco Stroke and Coat)

Clear dipping or brush-on glaze

Paintbrushes (various sizes for detail work)

Mechanical pencil

Kiln (for firing)

Paper towel and a cup of water (for cleaning and drying brushes)


Bisque mug

Ensure your ceramic mug is clean and dry. First thing: Wipe down your piece to remove debris!


Sketch out your oilcloth-inspired design on the mug (it will burn off in the kiln). Oilcloth designs often feature bold, vibrant colors, and typically include floral and geometric patterns. 

Base coat

Ceramic painting technique, blank bisque mug

Draw large circles all around the mug, leaving enough space to add leaves. The circles do not have to be perfect. Draw some stems and leaves. Keep your designs loose and big. Don’t worry about straight lines, it looks more organic if it is a bit wiggly!

Start with one color (I used Dandelion) and add three solid color coats to a set of the circles. Do it a second time, and then a third. Let dry between each coat. Repeat for another set of circles, using a different color (I used Pinkie Swear). Repeat for the leaves.

Ceramic painting technique

Use a liner brush and a little bit of a darker color to add accents lines inside each circle. Use another shadow of the color and add more lines.

Add black lines inside each flower (circle) and white polka dots in the center.

Ceramic painting technique

Leave a halo of white around each painted design. Then outline around the white with black using the liner brush. 

Ceramic painting technique

Fill in using a bigger brush to cover a large area brush and add two more coats. Remember – three coats of paint will give you an opaque look.

Ceramic painting technique

Let It Dry 

Allow your mug to dry completely. It will look and feel dry and chalky. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on the thickness of your underglaze application and the humidity in your environment.

Apply clear glaze

Ceramic painting technique

This will cover all the unpainted areas. Like the white halo. Once your underglaze is completely dry, apply a coat of clear glaze to the entire mug. This will protect the underglaze and give the mug a glossy finish. If you don’t have dipping glaze, use a brush-on glaze and apply with a fan brush.


Once the glaze is completely dry, you can fire your mug. The firing temperature for cone 06 is approximately 1828 degrees Fahrenheit or 998 degrees Celsius. Please note that the actual temperature can vary slightly depending on the specific glaze and underglaze you used, so always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. NOTE: The pencil lines will burn away during the firing process.

Use a stilt to elevate the mug from the kiln shelf. Firing will typically take approximately seven hours, and about seven hours to cool before you can open the lid. 

Remember, ceramics is a slow process and rushing can lead to breakage or damage to your piece.

ceramic painting technique - oilcloth flowers

The key is patience and enjoying the process. If you are new to ceramics, consider finding a local studio or community college where you can take a class and have access to the necessary materials and equipment.

Painting ceramics is so relaxing, and exciting. The wait is everything, right? There are so many different ways to paint oilcloth flowers! This is just one way, but it’s very easy if you take it step-by-step. You’ll love the finished product! 

Check out my other pottery painting ideas!

How to add gold luster to ceramics

How to silkscreen on ceramics

Ceramic Glazing with Mayco Elements

Reverse painted glassware

DIY Mickey Ears: a The Little Mermaid craft


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