How To Make Your Own Ironstone Out of Thrift Store Finds

If you love neutral decor as much as I do, the odds are that you have a piece of Ironstone slipped into your space somewhere. There is something so pretty about the crisp white pieces that make a space instantly feel breezy and lighter just by having them around. They are classic and timeless and even if you aren’t an Ironstone lover, there is always a time and a place for a nice white piece of pottery.

Ironstone can be very expensive and frankly, lots of times, hard to find. I have a few pieces of Ironstone in my home but have always wanted is a small pitcher. I have looked high and low and have only come across one in the last few years and it was too pricey for me. So… the search continued.

The Dishes

I picked up this glass pitcher last year at the dump reuse building and instantly loved its shape and size. It occurred to me when I found it that I wished it were Ironstone as it looked exactly like what I had been searching for.

glass pitcher

With the pitcher being glass and having no plans to use it as anything more than a decorative piece, I decided it was time to try faking the Ironstone look with paint.

Before I did though, I grabbed a couple more pieces (again for free) that were the perfect shapes for an Ironstone makeover.

thrift store finds dishes

The Paint

It was so easy to get the mismatched pieces looking like Ironstone I really couldn’t believe it. After each piece was thoroughly washed and dried, I gave each one a few very light coats (waiting for it to dry in-between each one) of Zinzer spray primer. The primer was key in getting the look and covering up the colours of the pieces. After the primer, I added several light coats of white spray paint. That was it! Seriously, it was that easy.

small pitcher painted to look like Ironstone

thrift store dished painted to look like Ironstone

Tips and Tricks

Just remember that for both the primer and the paint, that doing light, quick passes with anything spray related will prevent drips. You may have to do 4 or 5 coats depending on the colour of the piece but the lighter the coats are, the smoother the finished look will be.

thrift store dishes painted to look like Ironstone

The only other thing to remember when you are faking the Ironstone look is the most important… Choose pieces that have the classic Ironstone look. Pieces that are in the shape of classic Ironstone will go a long way in selling the piece as Ironstone.

painted dishes to look like Ironstone

New Faux Ironstone

I was so impressed at how quick and easy it was to transform these pieces (and how good they looked after) that I think I am going to do more… What a great way to build an Ironstone “collection” for hardly any cost at all!

Queen Anne's Lace in pitcher

What do you think? Could they pass as vintage Ironstone?

Queen Annes Lace

**Please note that this post includes affiliate links for your convenience.  All links are for products that I have tried and use regularly.  By using the link, it in no way increases the cost of the item to you should you choose to purchase.  However, by using the link, a small portion of the sale is given back to help fund this blog. Thank you and Happy Creating! **


8 Comments on " How To Make Your Own Ironstone Out of Thrift Store Finds "

  1. Lisa

    JUst a tip for newbies using spray paint. It’s NOT all in the wrist. You use your whole arm to get even coverage, and for no drips spray lightly. Two coats (after the first one dries) are better than one.

    1. Lisa

      Yes it is so true that it takes lots of arm work and light thin coats are always best for sure.

  2. Lisa

    I have “painted” mugs and all the paint products that i have used recommend after washing the piece to clean it. The next necessary step is to wipe it down with rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining surface products, this helps your new design to stick to the piece of porcelain or glass.

    1. Lisa

      That’s a great tip! Thanks for sharing Beth.

  3. Lisa

    These look great! What a clever idea. Hmmm, now I am going to look at thrift store finds in a different light. Found you over at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather. Have a great day.

    XO- MaryJo

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much MaryJo! It was such a fun way to add some “ironstone” to my collection 😉 Thank you for stopping by <3

  4. Lisa

    Your spray painted thrift finds can pass for just beautiful!! Love the look and am anxious to check out the stores around here for similar glass items! Thanks for the info to paint them.

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Carol! I am so glad you like them. Have fun looking for some thrift finds for project 🙂

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