Old is The New Gold: DIY Ceramic Effect Chalk Paint

Upcycle your old vases into an Instagrammable vase

By Nurul Dina / 27 July 2021

DIY Pokok.AsiaImage source If Only April

  • Upcycle your old decorative pieces or vases with baking soda.
  • If you love the soft, vintage, matte look of chalk paint but don’t love the price, this is the perfect DIY project for you.
  • Only 5 simple steps to an aesthetically pleasing decorative item.

TikTok is taking over the world as we speak! From easy food recipes to iPhone hacks that we’ve never heard of. And If you asked me six months ago where I’d go to seek DIY project inspiration, I would most probably say Pinterest, YouTube, and DIYers I follow on Instagram. With the uncertainty of a global pandemic, an unexpected chunk of time at home, and a desire for escapism, I’m a big TikTok fan right now. Like, really big.

On the app, I discovered a plethora of creative ideas. While my housemate or teenage brother’s feed is likely to be completely different, mine is jam-packed with home decor ideas, cleaning hacks, and all things organisation.

What is my most recent find? A clever little trick for transforming mismatched glass, plastic, and ceramic items into textural “terracotta” pieces that look like they’ve been plucked straight from your favourite home store’s window display. What’s even better is that it’s free. The method could not be simpler—and the payoff is enormous.

For this, we only have Geneva Vanderzeil to thank. The woman who started the trend by experimenting with adding soda to paint and producing some stunning results. She made the hashtag #trashtoterracta, which you can use to find inspiration.

The execution is quite simple – all you have to do is mix your pain with baking soda.


Why Is Baking Soda Being Used?


DIY Pokok.AsiaThe finish product of your vases should look like this; Image source By Chance Collective 

Baking soda and baking powder both act as leavening agents, causing batters to rise when baked. When a recipe calls for both baking powder and baking soda, the baking powder does the majority of the rising.

As a result, when baking soda is mixed with paint, it immediately causes a reaction. Your paint begins to rise and fluff up, becoming more textured than before. The more baking powder you use, the fluffier your paint will be.


What You’ll Need:

DIY Pokok.AsiaAll the materials needed for this project; Image source Delineate Your Dwelling 

  1. 1 Tablespoon of Baking Soda
  2. 1 cup of Acrylic Paint
  3. Paint Brush
  4. Old Vase or Glass Jar
  5. Paper Plate or plastic cup

As reminded by Geneva, there’s a difference between baking soda and baking powder. So be sure to only use baking powder in this project.


The Process


DIY Pokok.AsiaThe process of painting your vases; Image source By Chance Collective

  1. If you’re working with plastic or something that already has a finish, you’ll want to roughen up the surface with sandpaper to ensure the paint adheres. This isn’t a precise method; simply do your best to give the item a scratched-up texture.
  2. Put your paint into the paper plate or a plastic cup.
  3. Add the baking soda.
  4. As soon as you mix it in, you’ll notice that it starts to fluff up and turn into a mousse consistency. If it doesn’t fluff up much and you want a thicker texture, add a little more baking soda.
  5. Apply it with a brush to your vase or whatever else you want to paint.
  6. Allow the paint to dry for an hour or so, or until it is touch dry, before applying another coat. Keep in mind that the paint you made will dry quickly, so use it before it dries.

Simple? Yes. Overwhelming? Perhaps. Especially for someone like me who isn’t the greatest when it comes to completing a DIY project. Fret not, get proper guidance through this video by the expert herself, Geneva Vanderzeil.

Click on this link for the tutorial:  



All in all, this technique can be applied to almost any decorative object. It produces a stunning matte finish with a lot of texture and before you know it, you’ll start looking around your house for the next thing you can paint right away.

I’ve enjoyed browsing through the before and after pictures of this project. They’re just oh-so aesthetically pleasing! I hope you enjoyed this baking soda paint #hack! Don’t forget to share your projects with us on Instagram.

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