If you have a plain mug that you would like to personalize, perhaps for a gift, note that the mug is most likely glazed. Therefore, a regular permanent marker will not adhere to the mug's surface permanently. You must use a special tool for this task and then dry and bake the mug so the writing is permanent. You can use the same tools and techniques to write on mugs for other ceramics pieces, such as plates and saucers, if desired.
Obtain a marker specially made to write on glazed ceramics at a store that sells craft items. Choose several colors, if desired. You can also write with special paint for glazed ceramics using a soft synthetic-fiber paint brush.
Clean the mug in warm, soapy water, rinse and towel dry. Be sure there is no lint or dirt on the outside where you will be writing.
Write or draw on the outside of the mug with the markers or paint. Do not write on the inside.
Allow the marker or paint to air dry, according to manufacturer directions. It may recommend letting it air dry for 24 hours.
Bake the mug to make the writings permanent. Follow the marker or paint's manufacturer directions for baking. Expect to bake it for about 30 minutes around 300 to 325 degrees F.
Wash the mug in warm soapy water after each use. Use a soft rag or sponge and rinse. Do not use abrasive cleaners or sponges. Do not wash it in the dishwasher unless both the mug and the marker or paint's manufacturer states it is dishwasher safe.
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