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Give a Thrift Store Vase a Plaster-Look Makeover

Neutrals and earthy, organic textures are rolling in hot for 2022. Materials such as plaster, concrete, wood and terracotta across the board are going to reign supreme in decor and home accessories and in pottery it’s no exception. Large scale concrete and plaster looking vases are becoming very popular, and many with a really high price tag. I decided to give a thrift store vase a plaster-look makeover using an old favorite: baking soda paint. There’s a video with this post where you can take a peek at the plants I scavenged from around my yard to fill it, and a sped up portion where I paint the actual vase and show you the technique.

Faux plaster vase thrift store makeover with collected stems and on a table with a green wall behind it

I used baking soda paint previously to give these ceramic bunnies a colorful terra cotta look. It’s the perfect medium to makeover an $8 ceramic vase as well. I loved the shape of the vase, especially with the handles. It was also a great size for my smaller table, but the color and design screamed early 2000’s to me and not in a good way at all.

Thrift store vase makeover to look like plaster

The trick to painting over the ceramic vase is to use a multi-surface paint as the base. This will help the top layer of paint stick. I would recommend only using the vase for dried flowers because water could loosen the paint layers. If you don’t have multi-surface paint, you can also use a primer paint for glass or non-porous surfaces.

To paint this plaster-looking finish you’ll need a vase, multi-surface paint in white or a white multi-surface primer, baking soda, acrylic craft paint in white and beige (mixed to your color choice), Brown or Burnt Umber craft paint, water, paint mixing containers, a soft brush, and paper towels

Painting a base coat of multisurface paint on a yellow vase

To begin, clean the vase with soapy water and remove any residue or oils. With a soft brush, apply the white multi-surface paint all over the entire surface to be painted and let dry.

Mix paint to a plaster abd plaster like consistency

Mix a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and acrylic paint until a thick consistency is achieved. It almost reminds me of a heavier shaving cream.

Brush paint onto vase with a soft brush

Paint the entire vase with the paint mixture using a soft brush. Once covered, use a palette knife to trowel on an extra amount of the terra cotta paint to give it a plastery look, and let dry 24 hours. That’s also a greet way to cover any unwanted design or texture like I had on my vase.

Use a palette knife to spread the thick paint to cover up any flaws and create a plaster texture

Once dry, mix a 50/50 mixture of brown craft paint and water to create a brown wash. Apply this to the vase, being careful not to scratch the surface (if you do you can touch it up with craft paint). It soaks in pretty quickly.

Use a soft brush to add the water and brown paint glaze to the vase

Use a paper towel to gently spread it into the surface. If it seems to heavy or dark, use a lightly dampened paper towel to remove some of the glaze. You can also use a paper towel to add texture by dipping it in the paint and glaze and dabbing it on. It will give it a more mottled and aged look to the vase.

A damp paper towel helps spread the glaze on the plaster vase

Once the vase is covered, let dry. Once the plaster-look paint is completely dry, take a brush and some white craft paint and lightly go over the surface of the more raised areas to give it a slightly “bloomed”appearance .

Dining area with green wall vintage art and a plaster look vase and candle and plants with a thrift store vase painted to look like plaster

This is such an easy way to get a high-end look! You can see in the video how I scavenged my yard for the right feeling dried stems to fill it. I really wish I lived somewhere with tumbleweeds, so this dead Japanese Knotweed stem is the closest I could get.

Thrift store vase makeover with plaster paint in a dining area with green wall and vintage art with plants in the background

It has a great “spiky” feel that gives it that look, and the brown color (which looked reddish outside) really looked awesome against the plaster vase treatment. It just shows that sometimes the best stuff is in our own backyard.