Is underglaze shiny?

Underglaze is a type of decorative material used in ceramics to add color and design to clay surfaces. Whether underglaze appears shiny or not depends on various factors, including the type of underglaze, firing temperature, and the final finish of the ceramic piece.

Matte and Glossy Underglazes

Underglazes come in both matte and glossy finishes:

  • Matte Underglaze: Matte underglazes dry to a non-reflective, matte finish, similar to the appearance of unglazed clay.
  • Glossy Underglaze: Glossy underglazes, on the other hand, have a shiny and reflective finish, resembling the surface of a glazed piece.

Firing and Appearance

The appearance of underglaze after firing depends on the firing temperature and the type of clay used. Underglazes may retain their matte or glossy appearance, or they may change during firing.

Clear Glaze Over Underglaze

Applying a clear glaze over underglaze can further affect the final appearance. A clear glaze can enhance the shine of glossy underglazes, while it may also transform matte underglazes into a more satin or glossy finish.


Whether underglaze appears shiny or not is influenced by the type of underglaze, firing temperature, and the application of other materials like clear glaze. Experimentation and testing with different combinations can help ceramic artists achieve the desired surface finish for their creations.

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