Decorating & Design

March 21, 2011

DIY Dish Display

Kick off your spring decorating by dressing up a blank wall with painted plates. This weekend project is a great way to inject bursts of colour into a room without breaking the bank. By using plain white porcelain dishes that you paint yourself, you can choose any palette you like — and you don’t need to be a professional artist to make it look great!

Plus, watch Sarah Hartill demonstrate this project on Online TV!

Materials and Tools

  • Porcelain paint
  • White plates (approx. 15)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Dish-mounting brackets

Step 1: Collect white dishes

Gather as many white plates as you think fit the scale of your wall. Sourcing them in pairs will help ensure some visual symmetry, but be creative with the size and style of dishes you choose: mix dessert and dinner plates, rippled and straight edges, oval and round. To keep the cost low, look for deals at big-box stores, thrift shops and even your own cupboard for inexpensive dishes both old and new.

Step 2: Paint and bake

I chose a fresh palette of blues with bold hits of pink. Abstract stripes, florals and paint splotches are easy patterns with maximum visual impact. Once painted, let plates dry for 24 hours before baking them in the oven. Then, follow the instructions included with your paint.

Step 3: Arrange and hang

When the plates are ready, lay them on the ground and experiment with different arrangements. Symmetrical formations, such as a diamond or square, tend to have a more traditional look, while an abstract display like mine looks more contemporary. The centre of the arrangement should be at eye level, while the lowest plate should be at least 10″ above any furniture. Hang plates using metal dish-mounting brackets in a gold finish, starting from the middle and working out. Then, step back and enjoy your masterpiece!

Author: Sarah Hartill

Kim Jeffery


Plates, vintage; small pillow, Hollace Cluny; settee, rug, Elte; coffee table, West Elm; table lamp, bowl (on side table), twine, Angus & Company; side table, wood tray, wood cup, candlesticks, Mjölk; pink pillow, black and white pillow, Y&Co; urn, Kumari's; wall colour, Cornforth White (228), Farrow & Ball; flooring, The Home Depot.


House & Home April 2011 issue