DIY White Faux Ceramic and Milk Glass Vases

Lately I have been drooling over white in decor-stark, shiny white. (Like that makes any sense with three boys and a big dog!)

I have been noticing white glass and ceramic everywhere as well.  These Ceramic vases from West Elm are gorgeous (and on sale right now!)

Or how about this Milk Glass lamp from Pottery Barn? I swoon!

When we were packing up for the move I realized I have boxes upon boxes of vases that I neither like nor use.  Many of these are cheap florist vases that I received when my husband was deployed when we were dating. (He was wooing me, I got a LOT of flowers that year! Nowadays I prefer an extra hour of sleep to flowers!) Some of the vases I had picked up at the dollar store to use as centerpieces for charity events I used to plan.

So as I unpacked all those vases last week for the umpteenth time since we got married I decided to try to transform them into something I’d actually like looking at!

Since we pretty much go to Lowe’s daily since the move it was a no-brainer that I was going to need some spray paint.  I used Rust-o-leum Universal in Gloss White, It worked great on my IKEA Bookcase Makeover and I love that you can use it on any surface.

(And yes, the grass seed in the backyard is sprouting very nicely, thank you for noticing!)

Twenty minutes later and voila! Faux milk glass/ceramic! I actually couldn’t decide what it looked like more hence my somewhat indecisive blog post title! The ornate glass vase looks a lot like milk glass but the smooth dollar store vases remind me of the West Elm ceramic vases I had been coveting.

Regardless, they look a heck of a lot better than before and I am just giddy at how they turned out!

Now on to my plan for how to use these vases….you know that weird space above the cabinets in the kitchen? You know, the one that everyone had covered in fake plants when you were a kid? Well I have an idea for that space in our new kitchen and these vases are step one in the process.

After the vases were dry I went to set them up there but the crown molding all but made them disappear.  After rummaging through the garage amid all the moving box chaos I found some wood scraps from our DIY Reclaimed Wood Headboard and DIY Stained World Map and used those to prop the vases up and here  is how it looks now!

I think they look great up there and play off the white subway tile we chose for the backsplash. I’m slowly but surely figuring out what else I want to put up there but I’ve accepted that its going to be a while before it looks like my “vision.” To see the whole kitchen tour hop over to this post.

Do you have an obsession with white? Check out my Office/Craft Room for more eye candy!

office light fixture

Like what you see?  Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest-I have some great projects in the works coming up that you won’t want to miss!

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  1. says

    I did a few light coats and had no dripping at all…it looked even better than I had thought it would. Before I started I wasn’t too worried about the finish because I knew I would be putting them over the cabinets and no one would see them up close but they turned out so nicely I wouldn’t mind having them on display!

  2. Carol-Anne (Use the Good Dishes!) says

    What a great idea! You didn’t find that the paint dripped or anything????

  3. says

    Haha! I also have scrapwood and even some cardboard boxes propping up my glass on top of the cabinets too! Although I don’t have any faux milkglass yet, but I’m off to buy some white paint today. :) Thanks! I’ve got 3 or 4 vases that I could easily paint so that I would actually use them. Now I’ll just have to remember which ones are the real ones my Grandma gave me and which ones are the ones I made myself…

  4. says

    Hi Melissa, Had to say WOW the vases are just so cool . Love it . Just found your blog, and I am sitting up now ready to have a read . Just love those vases, will have to check out paint choices here, in Australia, I haven’t seen your product here. Your finish on the vases is so good my airgun is put to shame . Cheers

  5. says

    PS Melissa, I must of pressed the wrong button , I am good at that . I have came up as Unknown …. my name is Candice . Hi .. I am off to read now . Cheers .

  6. says

    I cannot wait to try this with some old vases I have under the sink that were just waiting for a chance to breath! I am ur newest follower! Thanks for the kool idea! (:
    -Carrie Eve @

  7. says

    Wow, what an awesome idea! I love Rust-o-leum paints. I have some clear glass hurricane lamp bases that I wanted to change. So over adding shells and other things to add interest. I’m working on my livingroom makeover with blue and white accents. I have loads of cobalt blue glass and so making my lamps white will take it over the top!

  8. says

    Thanks for linking up to the Piece of Cake Linky Party! I love ceramic vases and now I can have more for quality cheap–thank you! You’re project will be one of the three I will feature this week. Be sure to grab a featured button!

  9. says

    I LOVE, LOVE how these turned out! I have several similar vases, and this would be a great way to spruce them up! :-)


  10. says

    I’m getting out my spray paint now! You did a fabulous job and sooo easy. Can’t wait to get started painting my old glass. Lori

  11. says

    I, for one, would appreciate some information about the actual painting process you employed. Did you spray on the outside? On the inside? Both? How many coats? How long did you wait between putting on additional coats? Did you experience any runs and drips and if so, what did you do about them? Inquiring Minds Want To Know!

    • says

      Hi Jan,

      I sprayed the outside of the vases and the inside around the top. I used two light coats and had no problem with drips and runs. I made sure to shake the paint thoroughly beforehand and do a test spray before spraying the vase to make sure there were no splatters. I only waited about 20 minutes between coats but it was pretty warm that day. I hope that answered your questions, please let me know if you have anymore, thanks for stopping by!


    • says

      Thanks, Melissa. That is very very helpful. I have a couple of clear glass vases that I would like to try this on, but I’m too chicken to just go out and “do it” without having some kind of directions!

  12. Patty (Patty's Pretty Things) says

    I love these vases and really want to do this. I enjoyed reading your blog. Very interesting posts! Following you now..

  13. Anonymous says

    I just did this with two vases I had lying around and they turned out beautiful!! I am currently obsessed with white so now I cant wait to find other things I can paint! Thanks for the tip!

  14. says

    I love this idea! I have seen inexpensive vases at the thrift store, but could never imagine them in my house. Now, I can pick up a few, or more than a few, and turn them into something beautiful. Thanks for the great post!

  15. says

    WOW! Thanks for the info. I have a medium blue ginger jar lamp from way back when that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with. My colors are green, brick red, and gold, so the lamp’s in hiding. This would make the lamp fit in. White goes with everything, so even if I change colors, the lamp will still work. Black would also work as I have a small black ginger jar style lamp. Oh, the possibilities are endless.

  16. says

    I like the way you solved the crown molding delimma with a simple trip to the garage to find something to fix the problem. Many of my favorite projects came from “fixing a problem”. Love the vases too.

  17. Sherri says

    melissa, Very nice to meet you. I love you idea and enthusiasm. I will definately try this and check out your other pins. Thank you for sharing! Sherri

  18. says

    Did you spray only the inside of the vases? It almost looks like the glass is still clear on the outside…
    Wonderful idea, I have so many cheesy glass vases that I don’t want anymore but feel guilty to let go.
    You have a lot of great ideas – found you on hometalk. Following you.

  19. Stefanie says

    Love this! I decided to try Krylon Fusion in Satin White and got the look of the ceramic vases that I have also been drooling over. /Users/STEF/Desktop/12925_4763102079932_1820767841_n.jpg

  20. Leslie says

    So funny – this summer I did the exact same thing, because I also had fallen in love with the “white look” that I saw everywhere from Pottery Barn and the like. Had no problem with dripping, but I also used the spray can handle that you can buy separately. I find that it gives me a more even coat. It worked great on everything from vases (like you did) to boxes, lamps, seashells, etc. I arranged them in a dark bookcase, with books that had white covers, so they really popped.

    • Melissa says

      Sounds super pretty Leslie! I have been thinking about getting one of those spray handles, does it make a huge difference for you?

      • Leslie says

        Yes – a HUGE difference! It’s one of those items where you think “I wish I had invented this”. First off – it gives a more even spray than when you are pushing the spray tab yourself. Secondly – there’s no paint dripping on your fingers (that used to happen a lot to me). And third – it’s much easier on your fingers and hands. When you do it yourself without the “handle”, your fingers get tired (at least mine did). With the handle, they don’t, because it’s a trigger and you are giving it a more even pressure. Not sure if all that makes sense, but once you try it, you’ll be hooked. And for only a few dollars – it’s certainly worth it!

  21. Patty says

    Maybe those vases could be made into lamps by drilling a small hole in the bottom and using a simple lamp kit and shade. I just may have to try it! These a beautiful!

  22. Margo says

    Did you have to do any special prep work before spraying these? Also, did you spray the inside of the vases?

    • Melissa says

      No prep work just be sure to use a spray paint with primer and start with clean glass. Also used very light coats. Thanks for stopping by!

  23. says

    I have been meaning to do this for like forever. I try to pick up random vases every time I go to the ReStore. I need to get off my butt and do this. Thanks. These turned out very nice.

  24. says

    You said my favorite words…SPRAY PAINT! I recently did some Sea glass jars and have some left over…maybe they need to be white! Love getting inspired!

  25. says

    Hi ….
    I absolutely love your vases I seen something like this but she poured craft paint inside the vases did you paint the inside just wondering .

    • Melissa Riker says

      Hi Marsheila,

      I did not paint the inside, just the outside. I wanted to be able to use mine as functional vases and was concerned that painting the inside would prevent me from putting water inside.

      Thanks for stopping by! Melissa

  26. says

    Love what you did with this simple vases!!! So clever and beautiful!
    I was thinking of doing somethings similar with white paint but spray paint is definitely better 😉
    Thanks for sharing!

  27. Ray Nelson says

    The starting pieces are low-end, mass-market florist pieces anyway…why not just buy the white ones? Most of them were made in actual milk glass, albeit a lower quality glass.

    • Melissa Riker says

      Hi Ray! I actually received all those cheap vases while my husband was deployed years ago, he was sweet enough to send me flowers monthly so I had a plethora on hand! I didn’t want to throw them away so painting them helped them make them work with my decor without having to spend more money!

  28. Sahira says

    Word to the wise: don’t leave the vases drying in the heat. The glass will expand and then shrink when it cools off, cracking the paint. I learned the hard way!

  29. Carolyn says

    Thanks for your blog (love it!) and this great idea! I just posted on FB and thanked your site. Did four ugly vases and now going to redecorate a bookcase with them and some family photos..haven’t started that part yet. Reworking my Cali LR slowly into white/shabby/rustic with white slipcovers and hw floors and rustic touches. Thanks so much!


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