An artisanal ceramic vase lends a touch of earthy sophistication to your floral arrangements.

However, many ceramic pieces tend to come with a hefty price tag. Thrift store vases, on the other hand, can be acquired for only a few dollars. And if you can look past the outdated pattern or finish, you can often find shapes and silhouettes that are similar to high-end vases.

All you need to give them a modern makeover is one simple (and affordable) ingredient: baking powder. Simply add it to water-based paint and coat any thrifted vase with it. The result is a textured matte finish that resembles a handcrafted ceramic vessel. The best part? It only takes a couple of hours to do, and you can use any paint color you like.

Here’s how my vases (scored for a grand total of $6) looked before painting:

Bold colored thrifted vases

Steps

Step

1

Remove any price tags from the vases. If you have any stubborn tags that won’t come off or leave a lot of residue, rub some white vinegar on them and let it sit for a few minutes.

Afterwards, the tags and residue should scrub off easily.

Purple vase with orange sticker

Step

2

Clean the vases with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly.

Wiping down a dark red vase

Step

3

Add ½ cup of paint to an empty jar or container (recycled yogurt cups or soup cans work great). Sprinkle a tablespoon of baking powder over the paint.

Baking powder added to a cup with gray paint

Step

4

Stir the baking powder into the paint until combined. You’ll notice the paint start fizzing and bubbling a little, but that’s normal and what actually gives the paint great texture.

Gray mixed paint

Step

5

Use a paintbrush to paint a thin layer of paint on the entire vase.

Pro tip: Opt for cheap chip brushes because their coarse bristles will leave a really nice texture.

Painting a dark red vase gray

Step

6

Make sure to paint inside the rim of the vase to give a consistent look.

Painting the inside lip of a vase

Step

7

Let the first coat dry for an hour, and then paint a second coat. If needed, repeat with a third coat.

Putting the second coat of paint on a vase

Step

8

Once the last coat of paint has dried for a few hours, your new-to-you vases are ready to use with dried florals. Wait at least 24 hours before filling with water and fresh flowers.

Neutral painted vases to look ceramic

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