Halloween DIY: Pumpkin Painting

Painted Pumpkins

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen one of my pumpkins pleading with me to be decorated (don’t believe me? See the image below!). Nothing is sadder than a pleading pumpkin, so I had to oblige. As promised, my pumpkins are making their way onto the blog. And guess what? They’re all decked out for the occasion.

Pleading Pumpkin

While I’ve seen a lot of great pumpkin decorating tutorials, from decoupaging (I want to try that next year) to copper pumpkins, I took a lax approach with mine. I started out with two large pumpkins, of the traditional orange kind, and four small white pumpkins from Trader Joe’s.

In the interest of full disclosure, Martha Stewart I am not, and my success rate with DIY’s may be at a dismal 10%. There was that issue with carving a pumpkin one year…and trying to make a monogrammed mouse pad another. But you don’t know until you try, right? Now that I’ve disclosed my shortcomings, let’s talk about the pumpkins.

I was actually pleased with how they turned out…despite buying the wrong acrylic colors and having to substitute ceiling paint from Behr at the last minute (thank goodness the ceiling in my home office happens to be white!).

Painted Pumpkins

Painted Pumpkins

In honor of my grandmother, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to make a pumpkin for her. So I took one of the smaller pumpkins (which was already white, but ironically needed a coat of white paint), and painted little pink ribbons around it.

Painted Pumpkins

Of course, for my own pumpkin, I painted it pink and drew skulls on it with black magic marker for an edgy finish.

Painted Pumpkins

The two larger pumpkins are both wearing the Behr paint that’s not-for-pumpkins, and I added an acrylic crystal gloss to one and a gold sparkle gloss to the other. I decided to add a monogram to the plain white pumpkin and drew a free-hand “V” with the black magic marker (that calligraphy class I took came in handy).

Painted Pumpkins

If you are planning to paint your pumpkins this year, I have some good news…you can’t mess up. I tried a few different designs, and what I didn’t like I just painted over. The paint, on the other hand, should be looked at carefully before purchasing to make sure that the bottle says “white” and not “crystal.” But fear not, even if you make a rookie mistake like I did, it seems like any kind of paint will work. And thanks to Behr for being a great color in my home office — and base coat on my pumpkins!

Will you be decorating pumpkins this year?



    1. Have fun with them, Sahra! There are so many great tutorials around the web. I like the color-blocking trend, polka dots, and making the little ones look like donuts by painting just the top of the pumpkin. I’m glad you enjoyed this post!

  1. These turned out fabulous! I painted pumpkins a few years back but went the more traditional route with Halloween themes, spiders, etc. I love this idea of fancy-ing them up a bit so they’re not strictly for Halloween! We’ll see if I can find the time this year to do some of my own (I’m quickly running out!)

    Gold Lion Style

    1. Thanks, Tristan! That would have been cute to paint spiders or ghosts on them. There are so many decorating tutorials out there that I wanted to try, but I would need a lot of pumpkins. Hope you find some time to do some decorating!

  2. I love how your pumpkins turned out. I think they look like they were done by a professional. I can’t believe you are a rookie. It sounds like it was a lot of fun to paint them. I might have to try this one year. For right now my kids like to carve them so we can get the seeds out and cook them. We will probably do this next week. Thanks for sharing your story and your useful tips with us. Have a great weekend!


    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Kathy! This was my first attempt at painting pumpkins. I’m very pleased with how they turned out — but using ceiling paint as a base coat was definitely a rookie move. Carving pumpkins sounds like a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see how yours turn out. Hope you had a great weekend!

    1. Thanks, Heidi! Isn’t it a lot of fun? This is the first year I’ve tried painting pumpkins. I’m looking forward to getting even more creative with them next year. Hope you had a great weekend

    1. Thanks so much, Danielle! I was pleased (and pleasantly surprised) with how they all turned out — despite having to use ceiling paint on some as the base coat. It was definitely a fun fall activity! Hope you find some time to decorate at least one before Halloween. Have a great week!

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