Top tips to help your pottery painting party run smoothly!

Control the paint and control the party !

Prevent 90% of all problems ever starting by NOT letting children near the paint pots !. Instead put them all in a tub and personally squeeze pea-size amounts of paint onto the palettes as required (you can always add more later). About four colours per item works well and remember to use lighter colours before dark colours.

Stay on top of small accidents.

Most problem paint marks are not caused by direct spillages, but by paint transfer …. Paintbrush to hand, hand to apron, and finally apron to FURNITURE! The use of palettes should prevent large accidents but keep a wet-wipe or tissue handy and periodically check and remove any paint from the children’s hands / arms. Get older children to do it themselves when they change colours!
Only use the water for brush cleaning - then dry the brush thoroughly
The water should only be used for cleaning the brush between colours. A damp brush will thin the paint and increase the likelihood of paint-splashes so make sure brushes are dried before moving onto the next colour. Do not be tempted to use water when mixing colours.

Materials Checklist

• Paints (keep out of reach of children) • Paint palettes (one for each 2-3 painters)
• Brushes (assortment of thick and thin brushes)
• Kitchen Roll (Lots) • Wet-Wipes (or small clean damp cloths) for wiping hands
• Large damp clean cloth (in case of accidents)
• Disposable / old tablecloth or newspaper to cover table
• Jars about ½ full of water for brush cleaning (1 for each 2 or 3 children)
• Disposable Aprons or old T-Shirts - Optional

Getting Started

Prepare the Pottery : Before you begin painting, take a sponge and get it only slightly damp with clean water. Wipe off your pottery to remove large dust particles because these can cause the coloured glaze to pull away from the pottery during the kiln firing process. Be sure that your pottery does not get too wet because soaked-in water will keep the coloured glazes from adhering.

Dark Colours over Light Colours : If you want to overlap colours by painting one colour on top of another colour, it is always best to have the background colour be lighter than the foreground. This is because darker coloured glazes tend to bleed through lighter colours, and the lighter colour will not show up clearly.

Unpainted Surfaces : Before we kiln fire your pottery, we will coat the entire piece with a clear "over glaze" that will seal the entire piece and provide a glassy, clear surface. Any area left unpainted will have the natural white colouring of the ceramic.

Sponge Painting : You may use your sponge to directly apply the coloured glaze to your pottery. This results in a very nice "textured" appearance after kiln firing, and you can vary the texture density and mix colours.

Dots : You may use the other end of your brush to paint on clean, uniform dots. Only one coat is required, and this is a very fast and easy method to cover your pottery with colourful dots!

Draw Patterns : You may use a pencil to directly trace a pattern onto your pottery, and the graphite will completely burn away during kiln firing. Do not erase if you make a mistake with the pencil, just draw it again. Before painting over pencil marks, dust it off again with the slightly damp sponge to remove any large pieces of graphite.

Straight Lines and Edges : Use masking tape to create straight lines and edges on your pottery. Place masking tape as desired, then paint over the tape edge. After the coloured glaze is very dry, carefully peal off the tape. Make sure the tape glue does not remain on the pottery before painting over it as it could cause the glaze to not adhere to the surface. Only use masking tape for this.

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