This is my tutorial on DIY heirloom plastic pumpkin painting.
This post should be titled “Why I Love To Paint Plastic Pumpkins 10 Times Over”. Because I don’t! But I did.
It was for research and development to find the perfect paint combination to turn those plastic ugly dollar store pumpkins into those gorgeous sagey-green heirloom pumpkins.
You are welcome!
I’ve never seen so much sage green paint combinations in my life before.
I honestly could work on it for another year and find more combinations but I am done with it. I just have to let it go before I start dreaming green.
Although that’s not a bad thing. It is the color of my new rebranding logo!
Let me share with you my tutorial and also all the color combinations along the way.
Here is a before shot of the dollar store pumpkin. I practiced a lot on these ones that looked more like gourds but stuck with the more round ones for the final product.
I used Fusion Mineral Paint as they have the dreamiest colors for this project. I also had a ton of little sample pots from various conferences I’ve been to so it was the perfect time to try them out.
Here are just some of the color combinations I tried:
Heirloom + Ceramic = pretty but way too blue
Inglenook + Heirloom = too blue
Inglenook + Ceramic = too turquoise
Inglenook + Lilypond + Upper Canada dry brushed over top = too green
Then Inglenook + Heirloom mixed with a dab of Ceramic and dry brushed with Champlain and a bit of Upper Canada on top.
Okay, I’ve tried it all!
I practiced on mini pumpkins before testing them out on the big pumpkins but I still painted the big pumpkins many times over because they would dry so much differently.
- Paint colors (see below for specific recipes)
- Paint brushes or sponge brushes
- Hot glue gun
- Drywall filler
- Polyurethane semi-gloss spray
- Take the tops off the plastic pumpkins with pliers. Using a finger, fill holes with drywall filler before painting (I took the stems off after but I wish I took them off before!).
2. Paint a coat of primer or paint you have lying around for first coat. I used sample pots leftover from my house renovation.
Pumpkin #1 Recipe (Light sage green pumpkin)
Mix equal parts Inglenook + Upper Canada together and paint on pumpkin. May need two coats. Let dry.
Dry brush Upper Canada over the high parts of the pumpkin
Splatter a bit of Bedford on top (see tutorial below)
Pumpkin #2 Recipe (Dark sage green pumpkin)
Mix equal parts Inglenook + Algonquin together and paint 1-2 coats on plastic pumpkin
Paint Algonquin in grooves while paint still wait
Mix Inglenook + Upper Canada together with just a bit of Algonquin and paint over the high parts of the pumpkin while still wet
Many heirloom pumpkins have dots of lighter color on their surface.
To achieve this effect, splatter Bedford over top and with a wet paper towel or wipe, dab the paint spots all over while wet.
3. Once dry, spray entire pumpkin with a semi-gloss varathane.
4. Hot glue real pumpkin stems to plastic pumpkin.
Pumpkin #2 are on top step and on floor and pumpkin #1 are on middle step. There are two real heirloom pumpkins in the mix.
They aren’t perfect but heirloom pumpkins are pricey and can be hard to find.
If you paint a bunch of these pumpkins and add them with a couple of real ones it will extend your decorating budget and won’t lead you on a wild goose chase like I did trying to find heirloom pumpkins in the beginning of September.
I’ll now use them every year with my fall decor.
Adding real stems is the perfect touch to making them look real. I took them off some small white pumpkins I had and they easily snapped off.
Here are just the painted ones together.
My favourite green!
Why not make your own?
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