DecoratePaintings. April 25th, 2024

50 EXTRAORDINARY Mug Painting Ideas

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Learn how to paint on mug with easy and cute hand-painted coffee mug painting ideas on ceramic plain cups using acrylic and ceramic paints.

Painting on plain mugs can turn an ordinary mug into a beautiful custom gift. In addition, you can also paint on your old and discarded mugs to breathe new life in them.

There are a variety of mug painting techniques and paints that can help you draw the shapes, patterns, landscapes, or characters of your choice on your ceramic, porcelain, glass, china or even wooden mugs.

Mug Painting Supplies:

There are some basic materials you need to paint on any store-brought ceramic mug that is already glazed. You need ceramic paints or acrylic paints would also work in some cases. Once the paint dries apply a coat of glaze medium to make it waterproof.

We recommend the following supplies for painting mugs:

1) Mugs

White coffee mugs with box

2) Paints

Acrylic paints

Ceramic paints

Porcelaine Glass Paints

Relief dimensional paint

3) Markers

Porcelaine paint markers

Acrylic paint pens

Oil-based sharpies

4) Sealer

Dishwasher safe sealer

Acrylic glaze medium

5) Painter’s tape (optional)

Scotch blue

How do you permanently paint a mug?

Purchase plain good quality mugs.

Cover your working space or desk with plastic sheets or newspaper to minimize water transfer or permanent surface staining.

Use a pencil to draw the outline of the pattern before painting. This step can help to reduce errors while drawing your pattern. One can also use painter’s tape to draw straight lines on the mug’s surface.

Paints come in a variety of vials, bottles, and tubes. Therefore, squeezing out paint on a palette for uninterrupted activity.

Use different-sized paint brushes to paint layers on the surface. Do not overlap a layer before drying the previous one.

It is recommended to keep the painted mug out of reach before it dries off completely. Air-drying a painted mug for 24 hours can help to reduce any chances of smudging the design. If you want to reduce drying time, baking the mug at 177°C for 35-40 minutes is also a suitable option.

If you bake your mug, leave it in the oven before it starts heating. Similarly, remove the mug from the oven after it dries out. Take these precautions to avoid cracks on mugs.

Clean the mug’s exterior with rubbing alcohol to remove extra paint or smudges on the surface.

Apply a coat of sealant to enhance the look and feel of the painted mug.



Easy ceramic mug painting ideas for beginners:

To learn more about the types of paints and waterproofing your designs on mugs scroll to the end of the post after choosing your mug painting idea:

Hand-painted floral ceramic mug using underglaze by Calder’s ceramic.


Painting toadstool on your mugs using acrylic paints – unknown source.


Owl friends mug using markers from Pinterest.


Hand-painted ceramics mug with lavenders, daffodils, and lilies using acrylic paints by aichabh.


Mandala ceramics mug painting by delicatedotsandrea.


Daubed porcelain mug painting idea using porcelain china paints and broad point paint outliners by Velina Paint.


Cute fox painting by noja artshop.


Abstract landscape painting by Talya Johnson Art.


Create a bespoke personalized mug with motivational quote using ceramic glaze. Caligraphy your selected quote or text on a paper and trace it on the the mug’s body using carbon paper. Add necessary detailing using ceramic glaze. Complete the process after applying multiple coats of clear glaze as shown by SIO-2.


Abstract Floral Mug Painting with white color pencil, outliners, and acrylic paints by Ana Art Studio.


Hand-painted ginger bread house mug by Craftberry Bush using ceramic paints and relief liner and then fills the house complimenting colors.


Flowers and strawberries by Just a Doodlers Feed.


Beautiful hand painted mugs:

Nature-inspired coffee and tea mug from Etsy.


Quilted patchwork painted mug from Etsy.


Hand-paint book mug from Etsy.


Colorful landscape painted espresso cups with matching saucers from Etsy.


Bird painted mug uses a mix of flowers with a bird adorned in vibrant shades using non-toxic acrylic paints and food-safe sealant from Etsy.


Hand-painted nature-inspired mushroom procelain mug from Etsy.


Hand painted Italian Rooster Mug from Etsy.


Cute fruits painting on mug from Etsy.


No inspirational quote just coffee mug from Etsy.


Herbal tea cup with herbs and dragon flies from Etsy.


Unusual mug painting ideas:

Bubble glazing mug painting idea: If you don’t want to stick to traditional mug painting techniques, then bubble glazing is an idea worth a try. Mix 1:1 of glaze with water and add liquid detergent to it. Place your mug on an unobstructed platform and blow bubbles on it using a straw or a bottle by Little Street Pottery.


Marble painting using nail polish: Create a marble effect on your mugs using only two ingredients, i.e., water and nail paint. Pour some water and abstract patterns with nail polish. Dip the mug in water and remove slowly. Adjust the pattern using toothpicks and seal by Craft Whack.


DIY Oilcloth inspired painting by Crafty Chia.


Hand-enameled ethereal rainbow painting using holographic paints for the base and acrylic glitter paints by Silverlining Ceramics.


Draw cute animals, butterflies, or flowers using finger printing technique by Mum in the Mad House.


Clay pottery mug painting ideas

Watercolor bird on a pottery mug using acrylic paints by Seasoned Pottery.


Cute duckling painting on ceramic mug – unknown source.


Gold luster painting by ever echo ceramics.


Beautiful landscape mug painting by pottery by kat.


Winter season scenery painting by Janna chip.


Painting spring meadow. Select a color gradient shade for the base and draw bushes with flowers on it. Elevate its final look by using 3D relief dimensional paint to draw beetles or butterflies on it as shown by Seasoned Pottery.


Mexican flair painting by social pottery.



Painted Best friend coffee mugs by Lucy Valdez.


Cute landscape painting on a ceramic mug using under glaze by Sylvie Pottery.


Painting your pet by Dinkypenti.


Acrylic pens mug painting ideas

Hand-painted coffee cups using permanent markers and glass paints by Aya Arts Up.


Hand-painted gift idea for mom using acrylic marker paints on porcelain mugs by Sudharsh.


Indian Art by heart creations.


Cool paint pen mug painting using porcelain paint pens.


Geometric pattern by Home Made by Carmona using paint pens.


Hand-painted milk and cereal on a ceramics mug using paint Markers by Artistro.

Artistro (1)

Funny cat face painting idea using paint pens by Artistro.


Hand Painted Banana mugs from Etsy.


Sharpie Mug Painting Ideas

How do you paint coffee mugs with Sharpie?

Use a pencil to draw any pattern of your choice on a washed and dried mug. Once completed, use Sharpie markers on the pattern. Bake the mug at 350°C for 20 minutes for permanent results.

Purple Lavenders from nataliesantoroart. Both acrylic paints and oil-based Sharpie markers are suitable for this pattern.


5 minutes vines mug painting by Delicious and DIY. Secure the design by using a non-toxic sealant.


Casual-styled scenery painting by Avi Art and Crafts. The artist uses a black marker for drawing and pencil colors to add details.


Hand-painted dollar store ceramic with watercolor flower technique using Sharpie Markers by A Piece of Rainbow.


DIY Sharpie-painted mugs with vinyl letter sticker or pencil drawing to paint any letter of your choice on a mug.

Painted custom initial mug – unknown source.


Painted mug handle – unknown source.


Harry Potter painting with sharpie markers by Yamilette Galán.


Glass liner and glass paints on mugs

Glass painting or stained glass art is an ancient decorative artwork that has been the center of medieval artwork for showcasing different historical events.

Insects and butterflies by My Modern Met.


Abstract coffee mugs by Yurii Kondratiuk uses heat-setting, non-toxic paints to achieve this excellent gifting item.


Milk and cookies mug painting by Artistro using glass paint markers.


Your favorite character inspired painting like this Up hand-painted glass mug using glass enamel paints and outliner by Vitraaze.


What are different ways to paint on mugs?

Mug painting is a fun activity that can help you personalize your favorite mugs easily. There are many methods for mug painting such as painting mugs with porcelain paints, acrylic paints, or oil-based paints. One can also use sharpie markers, paint pens, and underglaze paints for design and detailing on a bisque mug with stencils or free hand-painting.

Try unusual painting techniques like bubble glazing, marbling, abstract art, and even oil-cloth painting. One can always combine a number of techniques such as using acrylic paints and sharpies to elevate a design.

Does sanding the mug before painting take away its shine?

First up there is no need to sand a glazed mug before painting, if you are using our recommended paints. However, for the purpose of using underglazed paints it is best to use unglazed mugs.

How do you seal hand-painted mugs so that the paint won’t wash off?

Once your painting dries, a sealer like Liquitex glaze, krylon clear spray, or Mod Podge can be applied to prevent paint chipping and keep colors from fading. However, these sealers are unsafe for consumption and must not come in direct contact with food and beverages.

Are painted mugs dishwashers proof?

Painted mugs are delicate and require extra attention while cleaning. These mugs may be dishwasher safe with correct sealer. However, we recommend that they should be hand washed only with non-abrasive materials to prolong the life of the paint on the mug.

How to stick paint to glazed ceramic mugs?

If you want to use glazed ceramics, then porcelain paints are the best choice for painting a mug. Once completed, bake the ceramics in a oven at 350-360 degrees for 30 minutes to protect paint from washing and weathering.

Written by: Nageen Sohail

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Hi, I’m Hani

I’m a mom of 2 decorating and soulfully designing our home. I love to share crafts and simple ideas for home and garden.

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