Upcycle an old vase into a DIY textured vase with paint and baking soda. How to transform any glass or ceramic vessel into an aged pottery statement piece!
Today, I'm sharing a tutorial for making a DIY textured vase. DIY aged pottery is right on trend and ever since I saw these upcycled vases on Pinterest, I've been dying to give this technique a try. I love how you can take an ugly thrift store vase and turn it into a gorgeous restoration hardware or pottery barn dupe.
This is an easy DIY project which uses a chalk paint and baking soda paint mixture to create an aged look on a ceramic vase. The final result is a beautiful statement piece with a textured matte finish with an aged look.
A great before and after
I remember the day I walked into the house with this old vase, I was so excited about my eBay find.
My family's initial reaction was to be expected. 'Yuck, that's horrible, what are you going to do with it?”. They knew that I was never just going to plonk some fresh flowers in this old brown vase and be done!
Just like me, they all love a great before and after, don't we all?
Table of contents
- A great before and after
- Where to find vases to upcycle
- DIY textured vase supplies
- Instructions for creating a textured vase
- How do you add texture to a vase?
- How to make textured paint with baking soda
- Textured vase base color
- Creating a second coat of texture
- Textured vase - third layer
- Using wax on a textured vase
- How to seal a painted vase
- Ideas for filling a tall vase
- How my DIY textured vase turned out
- Two-tone vase
- These posts are good too!
Where to find vases to upcycle
You can find ceramic or glass vases, large bowls of various shapes and sizes, and inexpensive hurricane vases for this fun project at thrift stores. Places like the Dollar store, Facebook Marketplace or eBay small ads are also great for picking up bargains. You might even find some vessels for free!
I found this inexpensive vase on eBay. I first thought I could transform it into a modern textured vase. Then, when I started searching for some fresh new inspiration, I came across some beautiful aged vases and was amazed at how expensive they were. I knew I could create a similar technique on my floor vase for much less than the fancy stores were asking for them.
Today, you are in for a real treat because I created this easy DIY tutorial just for you. Making a DIY textured vase is a nice summer project that you can do in a shaded area outdoors. (Avoid direct sunlight because it might make the paint dry too quickly causing it to crack).
DIY textured vase supplies
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Here are the supplies you are going to need to recreate this DIY textured vase:
- Water-based Primer
- Brown chalk paint
- Beige chalk paint
- Baking soda
- White-colored chalk paint
- Dark wax
- Water-based clear spray varnish
- Paper towels
- Paint stirring stick
- Paint tray
- Safety mask
Instructions for creating a textured vase
Clean the vase
The first step is to clean the entire vase inside and out.
I found this large floor vase on the eBay small ads. When I got it home and took a good look at it, I could see that it had been standing outside. It had cobwebs inside (luckily, the spider had legged it) and a layer of caked-on mud on the bottom.
Aged vase base layer
After thoroughly cleaning the vase with soap and water, it's ready for the first coat of primer.
A white water-based primer that's safe to use on children's toys is a good option. You can use it indoors or outdoors and it has almost no odor.
Spray the floor vase with one coat of primer. Make sure to do this outside and don't forget to wear a breathing mask.
Primer creates a base for paint to stick to and that's all you need it to do. It doesn't matter if it's patchy as long as the whole of the vase is covered, the paint will stick to it.
Paint colors for an aged vase
To create an aged look, you will need to layer a few different shades of chalk paint.
I used a few tester pots of Rust-oleum, chalky finish furniture paint in the colors Salted Caramel, Hessian, and Graphite.
I already had a large tin of Antique White chalk paint.
TIP: See the Q&A below for alternative paint you can use on a vase.
How do you add texture to a vase?
There are different methods of creating texture on ceramic or glass vases.
Some people use textured spray paint or joint compound mixture to create a similar aged effect on their thrift store vases.
I've seen people use mud to create an aged pottery finish. Although I know, a little dirt never hurt anyone, the mud technique looked far too messy to me!
You can add a small amount of plaster to your paint instead of baking soda but that will create a smoother texture.
Silica sand is also a great option for adding texture to paint. You should be able to find silica sand at your local hardware store.
I'm very happy with the textured paint I created using just baking soda and chalk paint.
TIP: See my Q&A below for using baking powder instead of baking soda.
How to make textured paint with baking soda
To create the texture you'll be mixing chalk paint with baking soda. The idea is to build up layers of paint on the vase until you end up with a gorgeous DIY textured vase.
Start by pouring a base color of the darkest chalk paint into a glass jar ready for mixing. Around one cup of paint should be enough to start. Mix in about one tablespoon of baking soda at a time and give the paint mixture a good stir.
You want to make sure you use enough baking soda to get a good texture but it shouldn't be too dry. It's a little bit of trial and error.
If the paint gets too thick, you can add a little bit of water to it. That's the beauty of chalk paint, you can always thin it down with water.
Textured vase base color
Once the paint has enough texture and is not too dry you can start painting it onto the vase.
Because this is the base coat of paint you will need to get good coverage. There shouldn't be any white primer showing through after you've finished with this first layer.
I just painted the top rim of the vase, basically, the bit that you can see. You don't need to paint the entire inside of the vase. Use painter’s tape to tape off the inside rim of the vase to help you create a clean finish.
Carry on painting the vase with your darkest color paint. Don't worry about leaving brush strokes because they won't be visible at the end.
Creating a second coat of texture
So now the first layer of paint is dry, it's time to mix up some of the lighter chalk paint with some baking soda as you did with the first paint color. You will not need as much chalk paint as you used in the first method.
Mix about a tablespoon of paint with a tablespoon of baking soda.
This time, you do not want to cover the whole of the floor vase with paint.
Brush off some of the paint onto a piece of cardboard or scrap paper before dry brushing the light-colored chalk paint onto the vase. Randomly brush on the second color to create an uneven texture.
Dry brush the paint haphazardly but make sure that the darker chalk paint is visible underneath.
You'll start to get the DIY aged pottery look that you want.
Textured vase - third layer
For the third layer, you'll need some white paint. I used chalk paint because I had some left from whitewashing my craft room table but you could also use acrylic paint for this.
Pour around one tablespoon of white paint into a jar or paint tray. Mix in about a tablespoon of baking soda to create a fine texture. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little water to loosen it up.
You won't need a paintbrush to create the third layer of texture. The first thing you'll need is a damp rag. Scrunch up the rag and dip it into the white paint. Dab off some of the paint onto a piece of cardboard or the flat bit of the paint tray first. Then, start dabbing the scrunched rag randomly all over the vase.
TIP: I've seen people use damp paper towels to dab paint onto a vase but I don't recommend it. You will end up having to pick bits of paper out of your paint when it snags on the textured vase.
Now the DIY textured vase is really coming together. If you prefer a lighter look you could stop adding color here and jump straight to varnishing.
If you prefer to have a darker-toned vase, carry on to the next step.
Using wax on a textured vase
For the fourth layer, I was planning on using the Graphite-colored chalk paint but I changed my mind because I thought that grey paint might be too light.
So, instead of using chalk paint, I decided to try some Annie Sloan dark wax. The dark wax gave my old vase the lost and found look of a beautiful clay vase.
How to add wax to a vase
You will need a wax brush for this layer. To save some time, I dipped my wax brush directly into the dark wax. If you want to keep your wax clean, it would be better to spoon some of it out of the tin onto a piece of cardboard or paint tray.
Gently dip the wax brush into the wax then brush some of it off onto a piece of cardboard. You want to re-create that dry-brush effect again.
Next, start dabbing the wax onto the textured vase. Use a circular motion to spread the wax and give it a smudged look.
How to seal a painted vase
This last step is optional. If your vase isn't going to be handled often, you may want to skip adding sealer. Otherwise, and for a little peace of mind, it's worth taking the extra step to add a clear coat of acrylic sealer.
To seal my textured vase, I used water-based clear spray varnish which is also suitable for toys.
Using a water-based sealer
I set up a spraying area outside in the garden. I recommend that you do the same. Surround the vase with cardboard to catch the over-spill from the sprayer.
Shake the can of acrylic sealer for around three minutes before making a test spray on a piece of cardboard. If the spray comes out evenly, it will be safe to start spraying your vase.
Holding the spray can around ten inches (25cm) away, spray the vase with sealer all over. After around two minutes, give the vase another coat of sealer. Two to three coats should be enough.
After spraying on the last coat of sealer, let the vase rest for at least two hours.
Ideas for filling a tall vase
This is the fun part! Now you get to give your beautiful DIY textured vase a new home and fill it with gorgeous displays. Here are some of the things you could display in a tall vase:
- Fresh flowers. Place something in the bottom of the tall vase to add height before placing a smaller vase inside.
- Branches. Gnarly willow branches make great displays for a large vase.
- Pampas grass. Pampas grasses come in many colors and are a great display option for tall vases.
- Dried flowers and grasses. You can buy some gorgeous dried flower bouquets on Etsy or even try drying some yourself.
How my DIY textured vase turned out
OK, this is how my DIY aged pottery turned out. It looks pretty good, don't you think?
Below, you can see some close-ups of the texture on the vase.
I also have another floor vase that I painted with white chalk paint a few years ago. I didn't use a sealer on this vase and the chalk paint has never flaked off it.
On this vase, I dry-brushed some white chalk paint onto it and then used fine sandpaper to sand some of the chalk paint back.
Originally the vase was green and I love that you can still see some of the green showing through the white chalk paint. It gives it a two-toned look.
The vase makeover was an easy DIY. I could have done the same thing this time but I wanted to try a different technique.
Who knows, maybe the next time I want to create DIY aged pottery, I'll give the mud method a try. Maybe in summer..........outside!
The result is truly amazing for a project that doesn't cost much money!
The baking soda and paint method of aging vases is definitely something I will try again. I love that you can take a simple glass vase or lots of cheap Dollar Store vases and transform them into a statement piece for your home.
From now on, I can tell you that I'm not going to be passing over any ugly vases on eBay!
Who knows, maybe next time, I will find a different DIY to try. If you know of different ways to upcycle old vases, please let me know in the comments below.
I hope you have a lovely week. Happy DIY-ing!
Chalk paint or craft paint are both great options for creating an aged vase effect. If you happen to have latex paint leftover from another project, that will also work.
Yes, you can. It won't create the same texture as baking soda, however. Adding baking powder to the paint will create a lighter texture. Baking soda is gritty and will create a lot of texture when mixed into the paint. Which method you use depends on how rustic you want the finished product to become.
A chip brush is all you need for adding textured paint to a vase. A bristle brush is flexible and creates more texture than a foam brush.
These posts are good too!
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OMG! That vase looks like an actual antique. You did an excellent job Jayne.
Jayne Westerholt says
Thanks, Janet! I'm so glad you like my DIY textured vase, I can't wait to try this technique on some more vessels!
Michelle | Thistle Key Lane says
Jayne, your vase is absolutely gorgeous! I'm pinning so I can try this too!
Jayne Westerholt says
Thanks so much, Michelle! Yes, definitely try this vase upcycle, it's so easy and brings great results!
Olivia Lizarraga says
When did you use the beige paint? It looks like you used white for both the second coat (dry brushing) and third coat (towel dabbing), but maybe it’s just the way it comes across in the pictures. Thanks for any clarification! 🙂
Jayne Westerholt says
Hi Olivia, after priming I applied the darkest paint (first layer). Then, I dry-brushed the light beige paint (second layer) and after that, I dabbed on some white paint with a cloth (third layer). There is a subtle difference in the beige and white paint layers but it's difficult to see in the photographs. I hope that helps.
I did not paint any amour over the paint, however planted in the pot, will the baking soda have any effect on the plants
the pot look stunning
Jayne Westerholt says
Hi Amanda, as long as you did not paint the inside of the pot, the baking soda should not have any effect on the plants. I'm so happy you enjoyed the tutorial!