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Upcycle Ideas to Make a Ceramic Bowl Look Like Stone

Got an old ceramic piece that doesn’t match your decorating style anymore? Don’t toss it! Flip it with these upcycle ideas.

I can’t tell you how many items I have laying around my home that need a little face lift to go with my new decorating style here at the new house.

It’s not that they were horribly ugly before, but they just need a little makeover to make them…better.

In today’s post, we will give a thrift store find a facelift with some paint and baking soda to make it look like old stoneware.

These upcycle ideas are budget-friendly, easy-to-do, and a great way to recycle things you have!

Wait until you see how we flip this thrift store find into something that looks like old stoneware.

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What is Upcycling and Why Should We Do It?

In general, upcycling means reusing or recycling something in a way that increases its value.

So instead of tossing things we aren’t using anymore because they don’t match our aesthetic anymore or don’t use. we can flip to make them better or use in other ways.

For example, I bought this old piece of art with a super cool wood frame from Facebook Market place for like $20. The art was a little dingy, so I painted the frame and turned the artwork into a chalkboard. And now we have framed art where we can create season chalkboard designs.

Another example would be this adorable old baby stroller I found at the thrift store for like $30. Instead of using it as a carriage, I upcycled it as a planter for my front porch.

And it looks amazing!

Anyway, I love to recycle and reuse things in other ways. Particularly if it’s for my garden, plants, or flowers.

thrift store fluted bowl before upcycling it to look like stone
Thrift store fluted bowl before updating it to look like stone

So How Do You Make Something Ceramic Look Rustic and Old?

So I’ve seen a few bloggers and content creators do some cool upcycled ideas to refinish different pieces to look like stone.

And that’s what we are doing with this ceramic bowl today.

It’s actually pretty easy and minimal supplies are needed to achieve the look.

I used acrylic paints and things that I had on hand so aside from thrifting the bowl for $4, that’s all I spent!

Washing the ceramic bowl before refinishing it to look like stone

Upcycle Ideas to Make a Ceramic Bowl Look Like Stone

When I was thrifting a few weeks ago, I found this ceramic fluted bowl for $4. I think it still had the Homegoods tag on it that said it was $15 so I got it for a steal. LOL.

When I saw it, I thought it would look great on my dining room table filled with some dried gourds and fall foliage or other seasonal decor.

It’s a great size, with perfect height, and width, so I bought it figuring I could refinish it.

To be honest, the design on the bowl isn’t all that bad but doesn’t go with the vibe of my vintage farmhouse.

I wanted to try some upcycled ideas on it to make it look better.

And here’s how I did it.

Supplies needed to update ceramic bowl on a wood table
Supplies needed to makeover ceramic bowl to look like stone

Supplies Needed

While not much is needed to make a ceramic bowl look like rustic old stone, it’s helpful to have a few different shades of paint that resemble stone so you can mix them, layer them, and make it look old and kind of dirty.

Here’s what you need.

  • Acrylic paint in a mixture of shades to create the color of stone
  • Baking Soda
  • Paint Brush
  • Disposable Cup to Mix Paint
  • Sea Sponge
  • Dark Wax

Note: When making this project I mixed these colors to get the look I was going for. I don’t have exact ratios of the colors but here is the list of paints that I used.

Mixing acrylic paint with baking soda in a disposable cup to create a stone look

They are made by Apple Barrel.

  • antique parchment
  • lite mocha
  • ivory
  • beige
  • territorial beige
  • khaki

I started with the lighter shades first and then gradually brought it a little darker with each coat.

applying the first coat of paint - upcycle ideas for making over a ceramic bowl to look like stone

Upcycle Ideas: Directions to Make Ceramic Look Like Stone

This project was very easy to do, but took a while because I needed to allow the paint to dry in between coats before doing the next one.

So keep that in mind as you work.

But I LOVE how it turned out!

As you paint, the coverage is fairly thin, so you may need a few coats to get the desired look.

upcycle ideas - making over a ceramic bowl to look like stone
After the first coat of paint with baking soda

Preparing the Bowl

Since I am mixing acrylic paint with baking soda, that should adhere well to the ceramic without doing a light sanding.

I’ve not done this before and I prefer less prepwork, so I’m skipping the light sanding.

To start, clean the bowl well first to get all dust and debris off.

Mixing the Paint

Next, mix some paint and baking soda in a cup or bowl. I mixed a few different colors together and just added baking soda to thicken it up.

So I’m not sure what the ratios are, I just went by feel.

upcycle ideas - ceramic bowl madeover to look like stone after second coat

Applying the Paint Mixture

Then, apply the first coat of paint mix and allow it to dry completely.

I did not do this at first, and the paint mix started to come off. So be sure to allow each coat to dry off in between. Once it fully dries, it adheres well.

For the next coat, I remixed paints with acrylic to get a stone color and reapplied.

Again, I mixed the color by visual and considered what stone looks like while making the batch.

Allow the second coat to dry completely and do a third coat if needed.

For the third coat, I made a new mixture of paints, but mixed them a little darker to layer a different tone on top and applied it a little thinner so the first two layers would show through.

Allow to dry overnight to ensure it is fully dry before adding more texture and dimension.

Applying a darker shade to add texture and dimension to the bowl - upcycled ideas to make a ceramic bowl look like stone

Adding Texture and Dimension

Next, I used a sea sponge with a darker shade of brown. Blot most of the paint off first, and then lightly go over the bowl in different spaces to add some texture and age.

When you get the desired look, use dark wax to age it some more. Grab an old rag or paper towel to apply it.

I dabbed it on and lightly rubbed it in to soften the look. Keep going until the bowl has the desired look you want.

Then go over it with a light clear wax to protect the finish.

Allow curing before decorating. I waited a day but it is recommended to wait longer. See the directions on the wax for full curing time.

upcycle ideas ceramic bowl after the makeover to look like stone in dining room decorated for fall with greenery and pumpkins on dining table as centerpiece

What I Would Do Differently Next Time

I love how the ceramic bowl turned out don’t you? When I first saw it at the thrift store, I knew it would look amazing on my dining room table as a centerpiece.

Since I never used this upcycle ideas technique before, I wanted to try it without doing the light sanding first.

While the paint mixture adhered well, next time I would do a very light sanding first before cleaning it.

Although the paint adhered well without doing the light sanding, when I tried to apply the second coat without allowing it to fully dry it pulled right off the ceramic while I was working.

I’m pretty impatient when I refinish things, so I like to work before it’s fully dry. Aside from that, the paint mixture adhered really well.

So the key is to either presand the piece before so you can work a little quicker or be patient and wait until it’s fully dry between coats.

I’ve banged the finish piece a few times and there is no chipping on the finish.

Let me know what you think in the comments! Would you try this upcycling idea?

Upcycle ideas to make a ceramic bowl look like stone finished in dining room as a centerpiece with greenery and pumpkins for fall

Upcycle Ideas to Make a Ceramic Bowl Look Like Stone

Got an old ceramic piece that doesn’t match your decorating style anymore? Don’t toss it! Flip it with these upcycle ideas.
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Calories:
Cost: 10

Equipment

Materials

Instructions

  • To start, clean the bowl well first to get all dust and debris off. Lightly sand if desired.
    Washing the ceramic bowl before refinishing it to look like stone
  • Next, mix some paint and baking soda in a cup or bowl. I mixed a few different colors together and just added baking soda to thicken it up.
    Mixing acrylic paint with baking soda in a disposable cup to create a stone look
  • Then, apply the first coat of paint mix and allow it to dry completely.
    applying the first coat of paint - upcycle ideas for making over a ceramic bowl to look like stone
  • For the next coat, I remixed paints with acrylic to get a stone color and reapplied.
    upcycle ideas - making over a ceramic bowl to look like stone
  • Allow the second coat to dry completely and do a third coat if needed.
    upcycle ideas - ceramic bowl madeover to look like stone after second coat
  • For the third coat, make a new mixture of paints, but mix them a little darker to layer a different tone on top and apply it a little thinner so the first two layers show through.
  • Allow to dry overnight to ensure it is fully dry before adding more texture and dimension.
  • Next, use a sea sponge with a darker shade of brown. Blot most of the paint off first, and then lightly go over the bowl in different spaces to add some texture and age.
    Applying a darker shade to add texture and dimension to the bowl - upcycled ideas to make a ceramic bowl look like stone
  • When you get the desired look, use a dark wax to age it some more.
  • Then go over it with a light clear wax to protect the finish.
    upcycle ideas ceramic bowl after the makeover to look like stone in dining room decorated for fall with greenery and pumpkins on dining table as centerpiece
  • Allow to cure before decorating with it.
    Upcycle ideas to make a ceramic bowl look like stone finished in dining room as a centerpiece with greenery and pumpkins for fall

Notes

  • I used a mixture of colors that resemble stone to get the look I was going for.
  • There is no specific ratio I used when mixing acrylic paint with baking soda but I make the consistency thick that resembled chalk paint or similar.
  • While you don’t need to presand, if you are impatient like me and want to work before the paint is completely dry, I’d presand first.
  • If you don’t want to presand, make sure each coat of paint is completely dry before moving on to the next coat or it will blot off.

Want to See More Thrift Store Finds?

I’ve been sharing lots of cool items I found for our new home and garden.

Come thrift with me!

vintage thrift store find shutters with milk glass vase and fresh cut flowers from the garden

How My Friends Use Their Thrift Store Finds

My good friends Kim and Jennifer also went thrifting this month to decorate their home and garden spaces.

Wait until you see what they found!

Kim from Shiplap and Shells found some great things while thrifting for her beautiful cottage by the sea in the Pacific Northwest.

I love how she mixes her finds with items from her garden to add character to her adorable sea cottage.

Don’t they look so pretty for fall?

fall vintage decor in cottage kitchen with fresh cut flowers

Jennifer from Cottage on Bunker Hill shares how she decorated for fall this year with her thrift store finds.

She does a lot of thrifting in New England that I think has amazing stuff!

I love hitting the local antique stores and flea markets when I’m up there.

Doesn’t her consol table look so pretty and festive for autumn?

decorating with thrift store finds for fall on console table in new england home

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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

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12 Comments

  1. Was wondering if you can give the name of the product for poison ivy ?
    Yes I knew it was there and yep got in it anyway ! Thank you !

  2. I laughed out loud about being patient and waiting for the paint to dry!!!
    Nice job, it looks so much more modern now!!

  3. This looks so good! I love it with the greenery and little pumpkins with those gorgeous candleholders (which I’m guessing were also thrifted!). Thanks for sharing!

  4. I can’t even believe this is the same bowl, Stacy! It’s amazing what you can do with a little creativity. Love this, my friend.