Learn the best way to paint your mason jars and save yourself some unnecessary headaches trying to figure out which paint, how well will it stick, how well will it hold up?
Do you want to have some pretty mason jars for something special, like vases for a centerpiece, holders for toiletries, or soap and lotion dispensers (I know that’s very popular now!)
Learn to paint these amazing jars effectively and the sky will be the limit to what you can create.
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Before You Begin Painting
I always like to begin with a coat of primer. At the very least, I’m putting on a coat of white paint so I will have a good foundation to work with. One time I even made my own batch of primer to use in a pinch! Priming your jars with a white base coat will make the eventual color look its best and eliminate show-through.
I’ve found that paint doesn’t discriminate when it comes to glass. It will stick – but you have to help it along, too :). Spray paint and more conventional acrylic paints all have their place and you should experiment with them as much as possible.
As far as special tools, you’ll also want to get ahold of:
Some newspaper, aluminum foil, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls,and masking / painters tape will be helpful.
This may be messy, so before you get started, spread some newspaper out, and don’t forget to line it with a sheet of aluminum foil or wax paper for extra protection (spray paint sticks to paper, too)
Get some cotton balls and moisten them with some rubbing alcohol, and dab it all around the jar perimeter – this will help it to stick better. It will also remove unsightly smudges or fingerprints which can mar your eventual paint job.
Now rinse it off and let it dry before getting started applying your primer as you would a base coat and then let it dry before moving on to the “fun” part.
OK, guys…in my firm opinion…the best way to paint mason jars is to start with the right kind of paint first, and spray paint is one of those. It is excellent because it doesn’t leave unsightly streaks or brush bristle marks.
If you’re like me and you love gold, silver, rose gold, etc., this one’s for you. I’m going to demo a paint job for you now 🙂 Yes, on a chilly day, in the upper 40s, since spray paint is always an outside job. Ain’t I nice?
Turn the jar upside down and start with a quick circular motion for the bottom. I did sweeping strokes all around it until I got to the neck.
If you miss a spot do a quick little burst in that area. be careful not to go back over areas repeatedly because that can lead to drips and runs (which are hard to eliminate once they show up.)
Let dry (Since it’s outside, you should bring it back in before nightfall) but let is spend a god 20 minutes at least, in place.
Ta-da, a basic mason jar with one coat of spray paint in pretty metallic. I like it so far, but I want to jazz it up a little with some of my Americana Metallics. If I’d had another can of paint in something like gold, I would’ve used that.
Consider Embellishing Your Jar After Painting!
I used some gold paint and glittered it up a little at the neck of the jar to make it look more interesting. This wasn’t the best paint to do this with, tbh….I added a little water to both to make it thin enough to run down the sides, but I think doing this vertically was kind of, well, tough. Hey Sputnik! (That’s my cat)
Spray paint is highly versatile when it comes to art, so feel free to experiment with your jars and see what you can come up with. Some suggestions for great effects include:
- Ombre effects (let two similar colors bleed into each other)
- Add stripes to the jar (you can use painters tape for this so it doesn’t stick or pull off your first coat)
- Stencil a design on one side- that would look really cute!
Can You Paint a Mason Jar From the Inside?
Are you looking to achieve a solid, all-over color without brush marks? The best way to do that is to paint the jar from the inside. This works great for items like luminaries, vases, or lamps – especially if you (unlike yours truly!) don’t have serial objects to display, you just want a nice even color .
You can use my favorite all-purpose craft paint in the color of your choosing, Squirt a generous amount into a clean empty jar and swirl it around from side to side.
Image credit: MRHoffman
You may need to add a little water to get it to distribute evenly. The approach here is basically the same as the tinting method – you’re just going to have an opaque color instead.
Keep swirling the paint around until coverage is even. Turn the jar upside down on a sheet of wax paper and let the excess paint run out (which may take awhile) Then turn it right side up again and let it dry fully before using.
Chalk Painting Mason Jars
Using chalk paint is highly popular these days with mason jars as it’s ideal to get a real vintage look. You can get chalk paint from most craft venues and use a brush or sponge (which I think works better to minimize bristle marks) to apply it to the outside.
Image credit: Tammykva
As an example of what you can do with this approach, I love what this gal did to add appeal before painting it – she used a hot glue gun to “write” on the side before painting so the message would show after the paint application.
Painting and Distressing Jars
This is one of the most popular methods for painting mason jars and it get s a lot of attention as far as decorating goes. The premise is you use a gritty object like sandpaper to rub over the raised detail of the jar after the paint has dried to get this look;
I tried it out myself, and I have to say…it really does look vintage-y!
Now some people claim you need to use chalk paint to get the effect, but I didn’t need to – I just chose a matte finish color and used multiple coats. Worked out great!
Now that you are well acquainted with the best way to paint mason jars and take it to a whole new level – which of these techniques will YOU try out?