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Alcohol Inks on Ceramic Tiles

2015 Update: I get a lot of emails from people asking me about ceramic tiles. I love to help whenever I can and am always happy to answer questions, but I should probably make this clear (since I believe the existence of this old post is the reason I am getting asked)…

  • I do not typically paint on ceramic tiles.
  • I do not know how to seal them.
  • I do not know how to make them heat-resistant or food safe. I am pretty sure nothing painted with alcohol inks is food safe.

In short, my experience with painting on ceramic tiles was limited to a few brief (and now distant) experiments. I don’t like working on tiles, and I don’t want to mess with sealing them.

There are alcohol ink painting groups on Facebook where there has been much discussion about painting and sealing ceramic tiles. If you are not already a member, I suggest you search for them and join. Members share information freely, and there are lots of links to products, tutorials, etc.

This Facebook group is dedicated specifically to alcohol ink painting on tiles, so I’m sure you will find a wealth of information there.

Alcohol Inks on Ceramic Tiles - by Monica Moody

Well, I finally tried it.  I used the “I’m just gonna drip and drop some junk on here and then see what appears in it” approach, and while I don’t usually have much luck with that, it actually worked this time.  I haven’t sealed them yet, so it’s possible that they will be completely ruined…I wanted to make sure and document what they look like before sealing!  I’m not gonna use resin and all that craziness, because I don’t intend for these to be coasters or otherwise functional – except to hang on a wall.  Or go in a trash can, depending on my luck with sealing them.  😉  Each tile is 4″ x 4″.


  1. I want to paint fish on my pottery with alcohol inks. Are they food safe and if so can they be sealed and washed by hand when used?


    • Hi Jerry. I am not an expert on this subject, as most of my work is on paper and framed under glass. My experience with ceramic tiles is limited to a handful that I painted experimentally. I sealed them with Krylon Triple Thick Glaze, but they were not intended to be used as coasters or to be dishwasher safe, etc. Mine were presented on small wooden easels. I know some people mount their tiles to wood for hanging or affix them onto the top of a wooden box…or put them in a frame made for tiles/trivets.

      Again, I am no expert, but I feel pretty safe in saying that alcohol inks are absolutely NOT food safe, and I would not recommend using them for the purpose you described. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. 🙁

      • I have tried using a Krylon high gloss spray that did affect my work. Did you find the Krylon triple thick glaze did not affect your work? Just wondering how you applied it. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 😉

        • I have only done a few ceramic tiles and didn’t really like working on them. I know A LOT of folks paint on tiles with alcohol inks, and there are many different ways of sealing them (and lots of discussion online about the particulars of each). I must apologize that I am not “in the know” on this. Since I only did a few tiles and decided not to pursue doing more, I didn’t research the sealing topic much. The handful of tiles I did looked okay after spraying with the Krylon Triple Thick glaze. It has been so long ago…I THINK a couple of the tiles may have gotten some little white dots when I sprayed them? I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. Best of luck!

    • Hi Jerry – did you ever try using alcohol inks on your pottery and then clear glaze and fire them? Curious…

  2. Great work. I think you really have the talent in painting. I’m not familiar with alcohol ink, but I’m planning to use this to make a personalized marble coaster. Do you have any suggestions.

  3. This was my only foray into painting on ceramic tiles, and it was short-lived. The question of sealing was too much trouble. I am lazy.

    I haven’t tried anything on marble and would be interested to see what you come up with!

  4. I do alcohol inks on tiles quite often after the ink is dry i do a quick seal with a krylon spray and finish up with a coating of art resin add a backing to not scratch the furniture they last for ages

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