DIY White Dishes

Having a cupboard full of white dishes seems to be the newest trend. But white dishes happened to be expensive. And you know me… I’m a cheap momma. But I was stricken with the beauty.

My inspiration. I fell in love when I saw this picture.

I’ve always been torn though. Like. My mom had some nice dishes in her cupboard. We used them for Sunday dinners or some special occasion. Then she has really nice old antique dishes on display. We never used those. But they are gorgeous and to this day I go there and want to do something similar. Fortunately for her she inherited those dishes from her grandmother. If I want antique dishes I’d have to go out and find some… expensive. Especially for something I would never use!

It’s kind of the same for these white dishes. I would pay so much for these and hardly ever use them. Maybe. So I decided why not make this into a diy project. I’m pretty sure other people are saying the same thing as me. I mean I know I’m not the only college momma living in an apartment out there!

So I went to a local thrift store. (I will tell you I am sensitive when I do stuff like this because I do believe thrift stores are there to help people in need that can’t afford new and expensive stuff. So when I make trips like this one I try to find stuff people wouldn’t use or at least unrealistically use. But that’s just me. Although technically I guess I am one who can’t afford expensive stuff. But I don’t have a real need for these. Just the need to decorate and do projects 🙂 Haha but back to the point.) I went shopping and as my mum and I went down the isles this time we found a jackpot! There were sooo many perfect things! I could not even believe our luck! We came out with a whole trunk full of junk 😉 and it turned into something absolutely amazing.

AMAZING!!! Right? I’m right. I know I am.

So after our trip to the thrift store and a hardware store for some spray paint we went home and washed everything. (Please pretty please do this step! Not saying people are gross but these came from other people’s homes. You have no idea what they are dirty with. And besides you don’t want to paint over dust or something and have the texture turn out bad.)

After letting it dry super well I went out and painted it.

There are some definite tricks and tips for spray painting. When I first started spray painting I had no clue what I was doing and ruined a few things. My husband fortunately gave me a few tips and so I did much better and eventually am finding out my own tips as I go.

So first off. Where. Spray paint has a lot of fumes. So no doing it in the house! The best is outside. If you line in idaho like me and 3/4 of the year is winter your garage might have to do. Just make sure you have good ventilation and aren’t breathing it for too long. P. S. Also doing it where dust or leaves can’t blow onto wet paint is good.

Second tip. Paint on cardboard or paper. Someplace that won’t matter when it is the same color as your dishes when you are done.

Third. How to spray. This might be self explanatory or instinctual to some of you but definitely not me. So here goes.

The proper way. To spray spray paint is in short quick bursts. Over and over. And from a little ways away. This helps it spread evenly and not run. If you are too close it goes on thick. If you do continuous long streaks it goes on think. The secret is actually not getting good coverage the first time. Or even the second. It takes several quick layers to make a smooth fine finish. Which is especially important on dishes!

Fourth. Start on the bottom!!! I know how badly you want to see this dish painted and pretty but if you start from the top then flip it over you will get pieces of paint sticking to the cardboard or getting smudged. I this happens to the top it’s hard to fix. But if it happens to the bottom it hardly matters. So start on bottom. Now sometimes I know it’s easy to say there is no reason to paint it from the bottom I can get it all from the top. I’ve tried it. I usually always find some little curve or niche that didn’t get painted will. Unless you have this piece raised and area around it to spray from below it works out much better to do a quick layer from the the bottom. Let it dry. Then flip it and paint again.

Fifth. Ahh this is the hardest part for me. Patience. Patience is sooo key when spray painting. I you touch it when it is still wet or tacky you can leave behind fingerprints, smudges, or even remove the paint. If it happens you can try and paint over it and cover it. But it is difficult and doesn’t always work.

My best advice is to break it up. Spray a couple layers on a couple pieces and then go unload your dishwasher. Come back in ten minutes. Turn it around spray a couple more thin coats. Go fold a batch of laundry…. if you are anything like me there is a never ending pile anyway, you might as well do something while you wait. Then go back. Paint another part or if you have waited long enough flip it over. Do it again. There’s tons of chores you can get done while waiting. It’s a win win for both of you! Dry times may depend on heat, humidity, a breeze, so judge wisely.

When you are done painting, if you can leave it where it is for a couple hours it’s best. If you must move it be very careful, put it someplace safe, then let them sit for a few hours. If you are going to stack anything, have any of it touch anything I recommend waiting a good four or five hours at least. (I left mine overnight cause I am stacking some of the pieces) it depends on what you are doing with them, and how many coats it took to cover them.

So now you have gone through the tedious process of making these pieces beautiful. Your fine! You can put them on a shelf, set pretend table settings with them. You look like a million bucks with these dishes. But really you spent the minimum!

Warning- unless you seal these with a special coating- do not serve food or eat off of these! They are decoration only!

Choosing a paint.

I personally don’t love white. I know it’s all the rage right now, but it feels soo flat, stark, and uninviting to me. I prefer a cream or off white. I went with ivory so if I have dishes that are white I don’t have to paint them, and they will still look pretty with the rest. This is a benefit for two reasons. 1. Less paint used = less paint to buy = more money saved = spend it on something else you want! And 2. You can eat out of these dishes!

I went with ACE brand ivory satin (satin so it’s not super duper shiny, but not completely matte and flat.) make sure the paint you choose works on glass and ceramic. If not it won’t stick to your dishes. If you want these to look really good be careful buying off brand paints. I know and trust ACE so I knew that was an okay choice. But I don’t do that with many other kinds. Another tip. Choose one that is easily available so you can add on to your collection as you go. You won’t have to find another paint or repaint all your pieces.

That’s it! That’s how I made my collection of white dishes… the cheap college momma way!

I will have a follow up blog about arranging my dishes on a shelf so stay tuned for that 😉 coming out soon.

Thanks y’all!

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