With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to do a simple painting project and add some of these softer shades of autumn to plain white vases for a pretty pastel table or mantle display. Add some lovely green or white pumpkins, a little linen or burlap maybe, and you’ll have a stunning shabby chic tablescape for your Thanksgiving feast.
The skill level for this project is easy. I’m talking let-the-kids-help-out easy. You’ll need some plain white or clear glass vases (the more texture and nooks and crannies on these, the better!), acrylic paint in a few desired shades (a satin or eggshell sheen will work best), foam brushes and a little sandpaper.
Protect your work surface with some paper towels or newspaper before you begin. Prepare your vases by making sure they are clean and dry. You may want to wipe them down with rubbing alcohol to make sure they are free from any oils or stickiness. I picked my vases up for $0.50 to $1.00 each at a couple of local thrift stores. I ran them through my dishwasher and that took care of getting them good and clean.
Once your vases are cleaned up, go to town with the painting. Just squeeze some onto a paper plate and mix or leave as is. I used several different brands of paint to get the hues I wanted. You can layer darker and lighter shades of the same color on a vase, or just stick one color. I ended up adding white paint to a couple of the original colors I chose to achieve the pastel tones I was going for.
Allow your paint to dry completely in between coats or else you will end up pulling the tacky paint off the vase when adding your second coat because of the slickness of the glass.
I gave each vase at least two coats of paint. A couple of vases looked as if they needed a third coat so I acquiesced.
When the paint is dry, use your sand paper to distress it a little and bring out the texture on the vases. Sand a little or a lot–it just depends on the look you are going for.
When the vases look how you’d like them to, you can apply a clear coat to kind of seal the paint, if you’d like. I didn’t bother. Don’t wash the vases because even with the clear coat the paint will come off really easily. You can put cut flowers in the vases if you’d like, but just rinse them out afterwards rather than washing them or running them through the dishwasher.
If you get tired of your colors or decide you want a set of red and green vases for Christmas, the paint easily washes off and you can start the fun process all over again!
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