Mason jars are so versatile. From canning to drinking cups to storage containers to decorating…the possibilities are plentiful. I recently skimmed tutorials on how to paint them since that’s been on my list for awhile. There’s so many options of finishes from matte to glossy to glittery.
Painted mason jars make great decorations and are a fun way to brighten up a room. They can be used as a vase to hold flowers, as a container to hold art supplies, and so on. They would also be a nice addition to a centerpiece at a bridal shower, baby shower, wedding, or any other special occasion. There are so many possibilities!
I decided to use chalk paint for mine which gives a matte finish and also dries quicker. The only downside to chalk paint is that it’s harder to find and more expensive. I found some little bottles at Hobby Lobby, but the colors were limited. You can also use regular acrylic paint but the dry time is longer between coats.
- Chalk Paint (or acrylic)
- Foam brush or paint brush
- Rubbing alcohol (if using recycled jars)
- A variety of mason jars
- Fine sand paper
- Clear Protective Matte Finish/Sealant (optional but helpful)
Step 1: Prep
The first step is to prep the jars. You don’t need to worry about this step if using brand new jars. Otherwise, clean your jars with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol.
Step 2: Paint
Using either a foam brush or paint brush, paint each jar with two coats of paint, allowing them to dry completely between coats. If using regular acrylic paint, you will need to wait 24 hours between coats. It’s important that they are completely dry between coats, otherwise the paint might peel away.
I waited a little under 2 hours between coats, but next time I’ll wait longer because the paint lifted on two of my jars when applying the second coat.
As far as brushes, I tried both. The foam brush give a thinner coat, but the paintbrush I used (nothing expensive) shed a couple of hairs. If using a paint brush, you might want to use a trustworthy brush that won’t shed its hairs on your beautiful jars. 😉
After the first coat they will probably look streaky, but the second coat will even them out. In picture below, the jar on the left has one coat applied with a paint brush and the jar on the right has one coat applied with a foam brush.
Step 3: Sandpaper/Distress
Once the jars are completely dry, you’re ready to use sandpaper to expose the detail on the jar. Cut your sandpaper into rectangles and fold them in half to make double-sides pieces. I used sandpaper that I had on hand, but next time I’ll use a different grade because I found mine a little difficult to work with. One tutorial I read used 80 grit “no slip grip” sand paper, and that appeared to work well.
I wanted the wording on the front to be exposed so that’s all I did. If you want a more distressed look, you can file more sections of the jar.
Step 4: Clear Protective Coat
This is an optional step that gives the jars a protective finish. I used the Krylon brand (clear matte finish) which I found at Hobby Lobby.
I sprayed my jars outside because the fumes are strong. Then, just let them dry before handling.
Step 5: Have Fun Filling Your Jars
Now you’re ready to have fun filling your jars! You can even tie around some ribbon or twine to make them extra special.
These would be great to fill with fresh flowers for Mother’s Day just around the corner, because what woman doesn’t like to receive flowers as a gift?!
What about you? Have you experimented with painting mason jars or do you have other fun ways you like to use mason jars?
I would love to hear!