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Ceramics/Porcelain? under mantle paint


QUESTION: We recently bought a 1926 house and I discovered unglazed porcelain? under layers of paint on the mantle. The gas log had created soot on this part of the mantle and my original intent was just to clean the soot off. I went a little too far and paint started coming I decided to go a little further and after several layers discovered painted flowers, leaves, and ribbon glued onto the wood somehow.

Unfortunately, I went to far with the acetone cleanse! The color started to leave as I was still cleaning off the mantle paint. It looks more like water color on unglazed porcelain. What sort of paint could I use to reapply the color and have the same soft/muted/unshiny result? Then when I've restored the color. what can I use to seal it with and perhaps make the plain wood background look more like marble or stone to help set it off...and seal that part, too.

I want to be able to clean it easily if the original sooting problem requires future efforts.

ANSWER: Very confusing??
How do you know it is unglazed porcelain?
It maybe a decal?
I am not sure what you have it is hard to tell by your description?
Never seen unglazed in a fire/soot?
Are you sure it is not ceramic?
There is really nothing to do unless you fire it so you would have to take the tiles out?
I am not sure what you have can you take a close-up picture?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Trying to attach pictures, but getting errors.

It's approximately 2 ft wide (1/3 the width of the fireplace). There are two of these flower "drapes" and a lamp that I haven't tried to uncover yet in the middle.

I don't know if it's porcelain or ceramic. It is raised and was glued on so it's definitely not a decal.

I'd like to touch up the original nonglossy paint and protect it somehow.

There is an Apple GLOOSY paint you can buy at Michaels. I bake it on but after time and heat from fire place it will stay. You can spray the paint with a sealer but it will take the shine out of glaze and may not stick well. There is also a paint on sealer , just to put on the painted area.


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Debra Flint


Pretty much everything on ceramics


I have been teaching for 16 years and I am certified in many different paint companies and techniques. I have been working with ceramaics for over 28 years.

I have BA in Radiology and many certification from Duncan , Gare, Kimple and many others.

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