Mastering the art of learning to paint mason jars in the rustic, “shabby chic” style can be fun and rewarding! It’s a very hot trend right now, and even though my own home decor isn’t geared towards that style, I really want to try it!
So I’ve got a larger sized jar that I am going to use….it’s 64 oz just like the one I used for my lamp I made way way back. It’s got a flaw on it – a cracked area; not very noticeable since it’s near the bottom. I am sure the paint job will conceal it; since I’m going to be using opaque colors which are the backbone of the “rustic” look. If that appeals to you, welcome aboard!
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The jars, obviously – Since I only have one jar, I want to make it count. If you want to make a series of these in different colors, I highly recommend getting a set of them in the pint size, like these.
A sponge applicator (this will minimize brush bristle marks)
Some white acrylic primer, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, and medium grit sandpaper or a piece of steel wool
Now for the paint – I’ve heard people say you need chalk paint to produce the antiqued, “shabby chic” look…which honestly, I thought that too, but to be honest, you don’t. You can use these craft paints by DecoArt here which is what I am using. As long as you choose some in a matte finish, you will be able to get the vintage rustic look to it when it dries.
What Paint Colors Are Rustic Looking?
I have been trying to decide on a color for awhile. Think for this, it’s going to be Yellow Ochre, Peach or Sage green. I love this Mango color, too!
It’s going in my master bathroom which has sage green, chrome yellow and dark orange accents and accessories. So I have gone through all my paints and culled out some particular colors and now hoping to narrow it down to just one.
Wash out your jar, first things first, after your jar is clean and dry, dab a little rubbing alcohol over the outside area. It’l remove any lingering stuff like fingerprints, dust, etc., and make the surface much better to retain paint.
Apply a coat of white primer all of your jar. True story – I was out of primer, but I found a homemade approach that worked very well 😊 . If that should happen to you, give it a try! This base coat is going to help the process along.
Some people will say you don’t need to prime your jar first and some people say do. I think it works better to do so. The top coats of paint will look better and have a good, flawless coverage. Now to let it dry…
I have finally settled on Yellow Ochre. Unlike this approach, we’re going to paint our jar(s) in a more conventional manner. Dispense as much as you need into a paper bowl or something, and using your sponge applicator brush start to apply your first coat of paint.
Just dab it on with quick even strokes, I’ve learned that you don’t want to get “touchy-feely” here, when you go over spots more than once you could accidentally leave marks where you don’t want them – that’s par for the course with acrylics. Here is my first coat:
After that coat has dried (I’d give it about 30 minutes or so) repeat with a second coat of paint and let that one dry now.
I have heard that you need to do three coats. Because, eventually, we’re going to be “distressing” it, there needs to be multiple layers of paint to get the right effect. Here’s my jar with the final coat. Now is going to come the hardest part – leaving it alone.
In order to create that sought-after rustic effect it needs to dry overnight, so no touchies until the next day, ok? Hehe, I know you understand😁.
OK..here it comes, the fun part, the really fun part! Distressing your jar – which is essential to paint mason jars rustic looking. You’ll need a piece of steel wool or 220 (medium grit) sandpaper to create this look, so grab that now.
Rub it over the raised part of the jar (where you see the “Ball” or whatever insignia is on it) until you see a darkened appearance to it.
If you have ever distressed furniture before, you probably are familiar with the process? Make sure to blow off all the remaining dust.
To set and protect your finished jar’s appearance, use a coat of spray sealant, also in the matte finish to preserve the look.
I used satin, which will produce a little more of a sheen than matte – you can use that kind too if you prefer. Now to add some nice farmhouse-style finishing touches – get some raffia ties or jute cord and wrap around the neck of the jar.
If you have the lid – this part is strictly optional, but you may consider adding an antique finish to the lid so it really looks vintage.
You’re all set now! Use your newly fashioned jar as a centerpiece for an event or just a decorative home accessory such as a vase or holder for kitchen utensils, whatever you’re dreaming of that needs that special farmhouse touch.
Here she is! As I said earlier, I have turned mine into a decorative vase.
You now know all about how to paint mason jars in the rustic style, wasn’t that fun, see how many colors you can come up with? Or uses? Happy painting!