This page provides tips, tricks and ideas for creating painted pumpkins. Even if you have little to no artistic talent, you should still be able to take some of these pumpkin painting ideas and use them to decorate your home for Halloween this year.
Why start painting pumpkins?
Jack o’ Lanterns only last for a few days. At most a week. So your effort is going to turn into a soggy, molding mess pretty quickly. But an uncarved pumpkin can last up to a few months. And a fake pumpkin can last for a lifetime. So you can enjoy painted pumpkins around your home for most of the Fall.
Besides, have you seen some of the faces painted on pumpkins? They are almost as fun as a carved pumpkin.
Choosing Your Pumpkins for Painting
Real Pumpkin – You may only be able to enjoy them for a few months, but it wouldn’t be Halloween without a few real pumpkins around the house. Pick pumpkins that are smooth (a bumpy pumpkin is harder to paint) with a firm stem and no sign of rot. If you are painting more than one, consider getting a variety of sizes for diversity. Wipe your pumpkins to remove the dirt and allow to dry.
Fake Pumpkins – There’s no shame in decorating with artificial pumpkins. You value your time and want to be able to put your artwork on display again next year. Pick up a few foam or plastic pumpkins, perhaps Funkins, and paint to your hearts content.
Pick Your Base Paint
Varnish – If you are going to keep the pumpkin its natural color, you may want to add a layer of clear varnish to seal the pumpkin, protect it from rot and help the paint stick.
Primer – White primer can be used as a first coat to ensure that the orange pumpkin does not alter the paint color that you have picked. If you want your pumpkin to be dark, there is also black primer available.
Acrylic Paint – I’ve seen numerous people recommend acrylic paint for painting pumpkins. Alisa Burke shows you how to paint with acrylics on her site. I like her pumpkins and can’t wait to see what she does for Halloween 2012.
Spray Paint – You can also spray paint pumpkins. This is probably best used when you are painting the entire pumpkin or using stencils, as it would otherwise be difficult to control where the paint goes on your pumpkin. You can see how it was done at Nice Girl Notes or Tator Tots and Jello.
Blackboard Paint – This paint is washable and erasable, so you can draw your design on it with chalk after the pumpkin has been painted. You can see painted pumpkins using chalkboard paint at Indie Fixx and Thru My Peepers. But you don’t have to stick to black. Martha Stewart offers instructions on how to mix custom colors of chalkboard paint.
Chalk Paint – Designed for painting furniture, Annie Sloan’s chalk paint did well on the pumpkins at the Perfectly Imperfect Blog.
Finish It Off
Now that you have a blank canvas, it is time to finish off your painted pumpkin. There are many techniques and types of paint which you can use in order to decorate it. I would start by looking at the ideas for painting pumpkins at Family Circle and Better Homes & Garden. There are plenty of fun face ideas if you just want to paint a pumpkin face. Make your pumpkin pop with dimensional paint or puff paint. You can use nailheads, stencils or rubber stamps. Play dress up with beads and sequins, silver leaf or glitter also. Get spooky with silhouettes or freaky with a glow in the dark Jack o’ Lantern.
If Things Go Wrong
You can always repaint your pumpkin with primer and start again! If you don’t like the final product, don’t be afraid to start over.
I hope you enjoyed this and our other no carve pumpkin ideas.