Have you ever fired a piece of pottery and been unhappy with the results? Maybe the color isn’t what you wanted, or the surface isn’t smooth. The good news is you can fix it! Pottery can be reglazed and fired again, usually up to two more times, to improve its appearance.

However, it’s important to know that reglazing too many times can weaken the pottery, which happens because of the repeated firing, not the glaze itself. This guide will explain all of your concerns about reglazing your ceramic piece, thus making the pottery look its best and last long.

Can You Reglaze Pottery?

Yes, you can reglaze pottery. Reglazing is not only possible but also a practical solution for various issues that might arise after the initial firing. The process involves applying a new layer of glaze to the already-fired pottery and firing it again.

Source: Instagram

Reasons for Reglazing Pottery

Reglazing pottery can be both a corrective and creative process, addressing various needs at crucial times:

Enhances Aesthetics

Reglazing is sometimes employed when the initial firing results in a visually disappointing outcome. If you find the original glaze appears lackluster or matte, you can add a second glaze layer to intensify the colors or textures of your ceramic pieces.

Corrects Imperfections

An initial glaze firing can reveal defects like uneven coverage, pinholes, or crazing. Reglazing allows for a fresh application to rectify these issues. It’s suitable for structurally sound pieces with minor cosmetic flaws.

Updates Design

Reglazing provides an opportunity to modify pottery design without creating an entirely new piece. This can involve changing color schemes or adding new design elements, typically used when existing pieces no longer fits desired aesthetics.

Repair Damages

Small nicks or scratches can happen to your pottery. Reglazing can hide these and may even prevent them from getting worse. This can help you keep using your favorite pieces for longer, especially if they have sentimental value or you use them often.

Things to Know Before Reglazing

Before you decide to reglaze a piece of pottery, several critical factors must be considered. These considerations will help ensure that the reglazing process is successful and that the final product meets your expectations:

Understand the Risks

Reglazing isn’t always guaranteed to fix problems with the original glaze. In some cases, applying a new glaze on top of an old one can lead to complications such as further crazing, bubbling, or even flaking during the new firing process. It’s important to weigh the potential benefits against these risks.

Check Compatibility

Not all glazes are compatible with each other. Before reglazing, research or consult with a ceramics expert to ensure that the new glaze will adhere properly to the existing layer and that their chemical compositions and firing temperatures are compatible. Using incompatible glazes can cause the pottery to crack or the glaze to melt improperly.

Condition of the Pottery

Examine the structural integrity of the pottery. If there are any cracks or weaknesses, understand that reglazing and refiring might exacerbate these issues. Pottery that is already very weak may not withstand another firing cycle.

Prepare the Surface

The success of reglazing heavily depends on how well the new glaze can adhere to the old surface. Cleaning the pottery thoroughly to remove any grease, dust, or residues is crucial. In some cases, lightly sanding the surface may help the new glaze adhere better. Applying a thin layer of adhesive media, such as gum solution or hairspray, can further enhance adherence.

Firing Temperatures and Times

Be aware that the firing temperature and time for the new glaze may differ from the original specifications. Adjustments to the kiln settings may be necessary to ensure the new glaze matures correctly without damaging the pottery. Controlled firing and attention to the rate of heating and cooling are critical.

Expect Variations

Even with careful planning and execution, the final appearance of reglazed pottery might differ from what you expect. Colors can change under different glaze layers, and reactions between layers can produce unexpected effects. Conducting a test firing on a similar but less valuable piece can provide insights into potential outcomes.

Economic Consideration

Evaluate if reglazing is cost-effective. Reglazing can cost some money. If your pottery is very special or has sentimental value, it might still be worth reglazing even though it costs a bit. But for everyday pottery that isn’t anything fancy, it might be easier to just make a new one.

Reglazing at Home vs. Pottery Studio

Just like glazing, reglazing can be done at home too, but it requires specific knowledge, tools, and a kiln. For beginners or those with complex reglazing needs, a pottery studio might be the better option. Studios often have the expertise and equipment to ensure a successful application.

Reglaze Before vs After

How to Reglaze Pottery at Home

Reglazing pottery takes a few key steps to do right. We’ll break down each step one by one for you:

1. Prepare the Pottery

First, You should thoroughly inspect pottery for structural flaws such as cracks or chips. Assess whether the piece is suitable for reglazing.

Remove all dust, grease, or previous glaze particles that could interfere with the new glaze’s adhesion. Wash with mild detergent and warm water. You can use a soft brush for gentle scrubbing.

If the existing glaze is smooth, you can lightly sand the surface to create a rough surface that enhances the adhesion of the new glaze. Here is how:

  • Use fine-grit sandpaper (around 220-300 grit) to gently sand the glazed pottery’s surface. Focus on areas where the new glaze needs to adhere well.
  • Always wear a dust mask to avoid breathing ceramic dust. Make sure you do sanding in a well-ventilated area.

After sanding, wipe your piece with a wet cloth to remove all the dust. Make sure it’s completely dry before reglazing.

Apply adhesive medium (optional):

You can also apply an adhesive medium to the pottery surface before reglazing. This step is beneficial if the existing glaze is very smooth or previous reglazing attempts have shown poor adhesion.

Gum solution or commercial pottery adhesive can be used. Hairspray is a common household choice that provides sufficient tackiness.

Put a thin layer of the medium you selected only on the parts you want to reglaze. Let it dry a bit, but not all the way. It should feel slightly sticky when you touch it lightly, and then you can apply the new glaze.

In addition to the above preparations, some potters will preheat the piece first to help the new glaze adhere better to the exisiting glaze and reduce the risk of flaking or peeling, although it’s not always necessary.

2. Choose the Right Glaze

Pick a new glaze that works well with the old one. This means it needs to bake at the same temperature and shouldn’t cause any weird reactions. Ask a pottery expert if you’re not sure.

3. Choose the Reglazing Technique

Before applying you glaze, choose a technique based on the pottery’s size and design. Here are the three commonly used methods for pottery reglazing:

Technique 1: Spraying


Spraying is a great way to get a nice, even layer of reglaze on your pottery. It works especially well for large pieces or those with lots of intricate details.

To start spraying, you’ll need a special glaze spray gun (or an airbrush for smaller pieces). Hold the spray gun at a consistent distance (usually 6-12 inches) from the surface. Apply the glaze in even and controlled layers instead of one big glob.

Technique 2: Brushing


Brushing is a good choice for detailed work and thicker application.

It mainly uses soft, natural-bristle brushes for better control and smoother reglazing. Dip the brush into the glaze and apply with smooth, even strokes in the same direction. Try to overlap each stroke slightly so there aren’t any blank spots left behind.

Technique 3 Dipping             


Dipping is a fast reglazing technique for complete coverage. It’s perfect for pieces shaped all the same way, like round bowls or mugs.

Before dipping, you should ensure the glaze is well-mixed without any umps. You can even sieve it through a sieve to get rid of any clumps If necessary.

Afterward, hold the pottery piece tight and immerse it quickly into the glaze. Pull it out slowly so the extra glaze drips off evenly.

Related Article: How to Glaze Pottery

4. Apply the Glaze

Once you’ve picked your reglazing method and gathered your supplies, you’re ready to glaze your piece by following the steps above.

No matter what glaze you select, try to keep it smooth to avoid globs. You can even do a few thin layers instead of a thick one, allowing each coat to dry a bit in between.

After you’re done reglazing, let the whole piece dry completely. This may take a while, which depends on how thick the glaze is and how humid the air is.

5. Fire the Pottery

Once you’ve applied the glaze and it’s completely dry, it’s time for the exciting part: firing your pottery again. This time, you should adjust the firing schedule based on the specific glaze you used. Check the glaze instructions to find the recommended temperature and firing duration. Don’t assume a higher temperature is needed – some glazes mature (reach their full potential) at lower temperatures.

Also, it’s wise to keep a close eye on your pottery during the firing process, especially if it’s your first time using this glaze or you’re combining multiple glazes. Pay attention to how the piece reacts as the temperature rises. If something looks off, you might need to adjust the settings slightly for the desired results.

The final step is crucial. After the firing cycle is complete, don’t open the kiln right away. The new glaze needs time to cool down slowly and naturally to prevent cracking. Rapid temperatures changes can ruin all of your hard work.

I’ve also found a good video tutorial on YouTube about how to reglaze pottery. Please check it out if you’re looking for more guidance.

FAQs about Reglazing Pottery

Q1: Can You Reglaze Pottery at Home?

Yes, you can reglaze pottery at home if you have a kiln. However, understanding the glazing and firing processes is crucial to achieving successful results. Improper handling can make the final piece even worse than before. So, it’s recommended for beginners to start with simpler projects and consult resources or professionals for additional guidance. You can also check the part about “How to Reglaze Pottery at Home” in our guide.

Q2: Can You Reglaze Old Pottery?

Yes, old pottery can be reglazed as long as it has no structural damage. Thorough cleaning is necessary to ensure proper adhesion of the new glaze. Other preparations include removing all dust, grease, or particles from the piece and applying an adhesive medium if the pottery surface is smooth. 

Q3: Can You Refire a Reglazed Pottery?

Yes, pottery can be refired after reglazing to fix issues from the first glazing, such as uneven glaze, or get the color just right. But remember, firing pottery too many times can weaken or even break it (usually 2-3 times at most). Always double-check that the clay and glaze you used can handle being fired multiple times.

Q4: Can You Paint Over Glazed Pottery?

Actually it’s 100% possible to paint over glazed pottery. It’s a quick way to change the color. If you want the paint to last, use special overglaze enamels that need to be fired at a low temperature. Regular acrylic paints work, too, for decoration, but they are not suitable for food or drink.

Q5: Can You Refire Underfired Pottery?

Absolutely! You can (and should) refire pottery that wasn’t fired hot enough in the kiln the first time. This will make sure the clay and glaze harden properly. Just watch out for firing settings and ensure it reaches the right temperature this time. Firing pottery too hot, just like firing it many times, can actually damage the pottery as well.

Q6: Does Reglazing Really Work? 

Sometimes yes. Reglazing is a great way to fix imperfections or give your pottery a whole new look! But it’s important to use glazes that are compatible with each other and fire them at the right temperature. Also remember there is a risk of failure.


Fixing up your pottery piece by reglazing is a fun way to make it look great again. It might take a few tries to get the hang of it, but anyone can learn, especially with the help of our guide. With some practice and the right supplies, you can turn a boring pot into something special again. So why not give it a go? You might surprise yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *