Making Porcelain | Maine Country Home

No, this isn’t a late April Fool’s joke.  I got this crazy idea in my head that I wanted to try and recreate the look of ceramic or porcelain on these ugly lamps I bought.  I know, I know, here I go with my lamp redos again…but stick with me!

I bought these at a local seasonal flea market, and regretted it right away.  My friend said “hey, these would be great for you to redo!”  She knew it was a burning desire of mine to buy up all the ugly lamps in the world and make them beautiful.  So I got them, and I just recently figured out how I was going to reinvent them.


I’m not sure how I got the idea to recreate the look of porcelain, but all I can say is thank goodness for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®!  I’ve spray painted glass before, and I was left wanting.  It eventually chipped off which was not the look I was going for.  I was really happy using the Chalk Paint©, and I’ll pass my wisdom on to anyone who decides to paint glass:

1) Make sure the glass is super clean.  I don’t mean fingerprints.  There was some sort of polish or cleaner residue on the glass I was painting, which meant the paint pulled away in those areas.  Do yourself a favor, clean the glass really well, and make sure the surface is dry and there’s no residue before starting to paint.  Soap and hot water are always a good mild choice.

2) Give your coats enough time to dry.  If you’re painting a smooth surface you won’t run into this as much, but because I was painting pressed glass there were a lot of corners and ridges to contend with.  I didn’t wait long enough for my paint to dry properly, so it pulled off of said corners when I went to put my second coat on.  Which lead to much swearing and many more coats of paint to get full coverage.  Now this all depends on the weather, humidity, and where you are in the country.  Maybe during a snow storm wasn’t the best time to start painting…Usually 2 hours is long enough to wait, but you can always try what I call “the fingernail test”.  Gently scrape your fingernail on a small area, if it chips off, wait longer.  If it just scuffs the paint, go for your second coat!

3) Water down your second coat.  I was going for a really clean, smooth finish for my end result, I didn’t want to see brush strokes.  Slightly watering down your paint, or dipping your brush tip in water before painting, worked really well to achieve this look.  Don’t go too watered down though, otherwise you’re likely to get drips which is no fun at all!

You can see what the surface looked like after a first coat.  This is was I call an “ugly phase”.


Oh, and most importantly, if you’re going for a clean smooth finish, don’t paint with dogs in the room…I was constantly picking little black hairs out of my white paint.


All Hooligan wanted to do was “help”.

Now, as we know porcelain and ceramic have a glossy finish, which is the exact opposite of the finish we get with straight Chalk Paint.  Even adding wax still doesn’t get it quite there.  I had some Rustoleum High Gloss Lacquer sitting around so I figured I’d try that first.  And I made sure that there was no dust, lint, dog hair, or dirt on the surface, otherwise it would be forever trapped in the spray.  Hoo boy, it came out amazing!  I sprayed on two thin coats, waiting a day between coats, going in all directions, and it achieved the look I was going for seamlessly.  All I can say is, wow.  I probably could have gone for three coats, and I still might, just for another layer of added sheen.

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Finished product!  Even my first attempt at recovering an old battered shade.  Cool huh?  Now go make some beautiful faux porcelain!

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