How to Paint REAL Pumpkins!

This post all started because I got a great deal on some little white pumpkins and bought 20 of them! I wanted something to put in my booth that said fall without too much color. I already made some pumpkin blocks to put in there and that really is enough orange and black. Although I love orange and black and everything Halloween!


So this is what I started with.  20 white pumpkins that didn’t look quite as white as I wanted them to be. So I set out on a quest to find an online site that could help me paint these so that the paint wouldn’t flake off too much. You can’t sand pumpkins to help the paint adhere. There isn’t much out there, but I did manage to piece together a good solution.

First I washed and completely dried them. Just used your standard dish soap and water. No scrubbing! It will ruin your pumpkin skin. I used a rag I had around that was a little rough, not the expensive soft ones, I think I got it at the dollar store. Love that place!  After they were all dry, I sprayed them with some matte paint sealer. Just one full coat, top, bottom and sides. Let it dry for two hours. They recommend one hour, but I wanted to be safe because they will be in the booth being handled.

Once that was dry, I used my Behr paint mixed with Poppies Paint Powder to create a good solid chalk type paint. I painted them all, but four of them with white.  Then I added my Poppies to some acrylic craft paint in gold and painted those.  I did two coats on each pumpkin and that gave me the color I wanted.  I let these dry overnight.  Left one is unpainted and right has two coats on.

Next morning I started painting the designs.  I love polka dots and that was the easiest by far to do.  I used one of those cheap yellow foam daubers and just started pouncing.  The ones that spell out BOO, I  used my paint markers, but you could use any marker or even just paint the letters on.  I also used my paint markers to make the spider, swirls and the HAPPY FALL.

TIP:  If you want a more light shiny gold, paint your pumpkin with white first, then put only one coat of gold on.  paintedpumpkins5The white will show through slightly giving your pumpkin a lighter glow.

For the striped one, I used a paint marker to make the gold lines, then I used the acrylic paint to fill them in.  Easy!

TIP: Don’t try and follow the natural pumpkin lines, make your own.  You won’t be able to hardly tell where the natural lines are.

I allowed all of them to dry another couple hours and sprayed them again with the matte sealer.  I only did one coat of sealer, but if you were going to keep these outside, I would suggest an outdoor sealer that will hold up through the weather.  I say this because in the last three days, it has rained more than not.


Let’s do a quick recap.  Wash, dry, spray with a paint sealer, dry, paint, dry and then spray with a sealer again.  Not too many steps to cuteness, huh?


I really like how they turned out and I cannot wait to try these with another color next year.  I might even do a harlequin (diamond) pattern with purple and lime green.  So fun!

Have you painted real pumpkins before?  If so, what method did you use and post pictures so I can see!!


This entry was posted in cleaning, DIY, fall, halloween, Hand Painted, Handwritten, Home Decor, pumpkins, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How to Paint REAL Pumpkins!

  1. Briar-Rose says:

    They turned out so cute!


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