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.
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!
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.
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.
They are made by Apple Barrel.
- antique parchment
- lite mocha
- territorial beige
I started with the lighter shades first and then gradually brought it a little darker with each coat.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- To start, clean the bowl well first to get all dust and debris off. Lightly sand if desired.
- 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.
- Then, apply the first coat of paint mix and allow it to dry completely.
- For the next coat, I remixed paints with acrylic to get a stone color and reapplied.
- Allow the second coat to dry completely and do a third coat if needed.
- 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.
- 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.
- Allow to cure before decorating with it.
- 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!
- 7 Fun Finds from the Thrift Store Near Me
- Prettiest Thrift Flip Idea for the Front Porch
- How to Decorate on a Budget with Thrift Store Finds
- How to Plant a Fall Garden in a Flea Market Find
- Thrift Unique Decorating Ideas
- My Thrift Store Vintage Finds for 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?
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?
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I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years. With a deep passion for gardening, I enjoy helping others find their inner green thumb with all things plants and flowers, as well as find ways to bring the outdoors inside their homes too.
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