How To Hand Paint Antique Silverware

I love having an eclectic kitchen. When I buy plates, bowls, glasses, and silverware, I usually only buy one of each piece (which is easy enough if you’re getting it all from a thrift store!) – I love being able to mix everything up, with no two pieces the same.

A fun way to add some spunk to your antique silverware is to paint it! I was inspired by some DIYs I’ve seen online like these from Sania Pell and Two Delighted to take on the project.

Eclectic Silverware

What you need: silverware, acrylic craft paint, painter’s tape, paintbrushes, and a protective finishing spray. If you plan to eat with your silverware, make sure the paint and protective spray you use are completely non-toxic and food safe!

Painted Silverware Materials

Antique Silverware

If you want to make any ultra-straight lines, tape off your silverware wherever you like. It’s probably best to paint only the handles, and not the parts that will be in contact with food!

Silverware with Painters Tape

Now paint your little heart away!


I found that I liked using painting sponges rather than paintbrushes. They allowed me to get more paint on there, and could be used to create some really cool effects!

Sponge Paint

I used a sponge to paint with two colors at once and I loved the ombre-like effect it made!

Double Colors

Sponge Painted Silverware

What you see above is just one coat of paint. You may need a couple before you reach your desired look – I used three coats. Just make sure to wait for the paint to dry completely before you begin a new coat! It’s also key to wait for one side to dry before flipping over and doing the back. This project ends up taking a few hours because of all the waiting, but it’s worth it. :)

Once the paint is totally dry, take your little creations outside and lay them on a piece of paper.

Painted Silverware

Spray them with your protective finish – I used three coats. You might want to cover the un-painted portion with some tape before spraying.

Shellac Painted Silverware

And you’re all done!

Hand Painted Antique Silverware

I’m not sure how well these will hold up after washing them, but they’d be awesome to use for a huge dinner party with all your friends!

DIY Hand Painted Antique Silverware

Photos by FP Brigette.

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  1. I have some antique silverware ive been wanted to do this with. I am going to paint then frame it as gifts for my mom and sisters (silver wear was my grandmother and great grandmothers) but I’m nervous the silver will tarnish over time. Anyone know if the protective spray will prevent tarnishing??

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