Fired Products — Cover Coats

How to Paint

The previous post talked about different types of underglazes. Cover coats were primarily designed to use on greenware. You need to paint on three even coats for full coverage, otherwise is will be uneven and streaky. Make sure it is good painting consistency and not too thick or it will peel off in the firing. The underglaze needs to be absorbed by the ware, not just layered on top. This is a good product for covering large areas, EZ strokes can be used over Cover Coats for detail work.

If transporting to another site or just uneasy about breakage when working with greenware, you can soft fire to about cone 017.


You can create original or transferred designs by scratching through the underglaze with a sharp tool. A regular cleaning tool works well. You will need to make several passes with the tool for thicker lines. The background color does not need to be solid, it can be a variety of colors. However, as you can see in the picture shown here, the sgraffito shows up the white clay underneath much better against the dark colors. This is a fun technique in which you can be very creative.

Sgraffito can also be done with Concepts on bisque, but you are only scratching through the paint and not into the underlying piece. So your lines are generally very fine.


Carving designs is very similar to doing sgraffito but the cuts are done deeper and with bigger tools. Sometimes carving is done through multiple layers of color, creating different colors in the finished piece depending on how deep each cut is made. Again, you can be creative with an original design or transfer designs to the piece. These pieces were carved directly into the greenware without benefit of underglaze.

These pictures are of carving layered clay but the same effect can be obtained by painting multiple colors of underglaze onto the piece. Make sure to use 3-5 coats so that the color is deep enough to carve through.

Cover Coats on Bisque

If you must use this product on bisque, make sure to use a wash of 50% color and 50% water on the piece before painting on your three coats of underglaze. This product was formulated for use on greenware. However, one instance where you might want to use it is when you want a solid color handle on a mug. Concepts can turn out to be streaky if you are not careful. Also, you may not have the color of choice on hand in Concepts.

Studio Stock

We have only recently added Cover Coats to the selection of products on our shelves. We most often use Concepts because we have bisque and that product is designed for use on bisque. However, many colors of Cover Coats are on hand in pint jars for student use. Those available are outlined on the color chart. Other colors can be ordered and we will pick them up on our next trip for supplies.

Carol’s Carousel
Where having Fun is why we come!

We are just getting started.
There is so much you can do with underglazes
to add detail and dimension to your pieces.
Next up, Concepts, underglaze for bisque.







About carolscarouselcreations

I am a retired math teacher. My jusband and I have been pouring, cleaning, firing, and painting ceramics since 1970 and have been teaching since 1972. We are both Duncan certified and members of IADCCT (International Association of Duncan Certified Caramic Teachers) and MVCT (Mahoning Valley Ceramic Teachers), a local chapter in North East Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. We have a home studio where we teach Technique Workshops and have Open Class time. We also have a party van which we take to local nursing homes. A new addition in 2020 is our online Facebook Live classes/demonstrations. We have two Etsy stores AfAfKidsNFriends for our African-American pieces and CarolsCarouselShoppe for our carousels. Find us on Facebook at CarolsCarouselCreations or send us an email to
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