Also visit

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 And if you can look past the outdated pattern or finish, you can often find shapes and silhouettes that are similar to high-end vases.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




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



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

Wiping down a dark red vase



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



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



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



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

Painting the inside lip of a vase



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



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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

fourteen + fourteen =


We don’t believe that renovations should be daunting. The key is to arm yourself with the right knowledge, people, and products to achieve your goals. It also helps to ask the right questions: How much does it cost to renovate a kitchen? How do I find the right general contractor in my area? Where do I even start if I’ve never remodeled before? This is where we come in. Through hard-to-believe before and afters, first-person renovation accounts, and step-by-step DIY projects, we demystify every aspect of remodeling and give you a ton of full-house, bathroom, and kitchen renovation ideas. Semihandmade was built on a strong make-it-yourself spirit and we’re carrying that legacy beyond DIY kitchen cabinets (though we’ll certainly touch on those too) by bringing you a ton of weekend projects for novices (have you ever tried making your own planter?) and experts (try your hand at a full-wall media center). What do people really mean when they say a house has “good bones”? Before and after projects show first-hand what’s possible in a transformative remodel. How do you make the most of a narrow galley? Should you swap your upper cabinets for floating shelves? What would it look like if you opened up your small kitchen? Renovation ideas abound in our spotlighted projects. A lot goes into a kitchen renovation, but it’s usually hard to tell from a beautiful “after” shot. Our monthly series “Island Hopping” is about getting a behind-the-scenes account of what the process is like through honest conversations—you know, the kind that typically take place around a kitchen island. We’ll chat with designers, homeowners, and architects about their projects, hoping to peel back the curtain on picture-perfect spaces.