Paint the Town

I’m sure most of you have gone to the ceramic painting studio, Paint the Town for a birthday party sometime during your elementary and middle school years. They specialize in parties and host a lot of younger kids.

Despite the abundance of tiny children, Paint the Town is still the most exciting way to spend a Saturday afternoon as a high school student as well.

Paint the Town is one of the most underrated things to do in Seattle. How many other places can you comfortably spend the majority of the day in and come home with a handful of personalized dishes?

Senior Annie Cohen and I decided to revisit and prove that Paint the Town is just as fun, (if not more), than what we remember from our childhoods.  

We arrived at the U Village Paint the Town at around 11:45 a.m. and spent the first 15 minutes trying to figure out which piece we wanted to paint. The walls were lined with shelves covered in different pre-made ceramic pieces. The store claims to have over 250 pieces ranging from plates and mugs to salt-and-pepper shakers, teapots and figurines.

The prices were listed next to the item. Besides the price of the piece itself there are no additional costs. I decided on a medium-sized bowl, which costed $20.

The majority of the customers were groups of children painting mermaids and animals in mismatched colors. I was expecting the kids to be loud, but to my surprise they were very calm and immersed in their work.

Thankfully Annie and I came at a time when the store wasn’t busy, and we were able to find the perfect table nestled in the corner by a huge window. We could watch people stroll by as we worked.

Every single person came and left as Annie and I remained focused and hard at work.

I used the tiniest brushes they had to paint a bunch of fruit in pinks and greens around the edges of my bowl.

After three hours had passed and everyone around us had filtered through, Annie and I began to realize that we would eventually have to cut ourselves off.

After adding a third coat to the outlines of my strawberries and limes, I finally decided to clean my brushes and call it good.

I couldn’t stop my heart from racing as I carried my bowl to the front counter, knowing an entire day of hard work could shatter from one wrong step.

The guy who rang us up informed us that they glaze and fire the pieces for free and that they would both be done in one week. Although it was hard to let go of my piece, I was super eager to pick it up and see how it turned out.

Paint the Town was every bit as engaging and meditative as I’d expected. In fact, it’s better when you’re older because you get more out of it.

Instead of whipping something out in 20 minutes, you can put effort into it and value the process, along with having a better finished product you’ll actually keep and use.

By Leah Bell