Get the Look: DIY Painted Mason Jars

At Weddingstar, we’ve been loving the look of rustic weddings with DIY projects all around – and our favorite project of all has been the array of painted mason jars we’ve been seeing! In today’s blog I am super excited to show you guys how to create 3 different looks for your wedding using three separate painting techniques. With easy to follow tutorial steps and all the tips we learned along the way, find out how to create the perfect painted mason jars for your wedding (or home!).

The first technique we tried out was spray painting the jars. With all our research, we saw that you could do a lot of really unique projects with the spray paint technique, and we wanted to try them out for ourselves! To make your own spray paint mason jars you need:

1.   Mason Jars: Buy them at a craft store for fancier ones or save money and find them at stores that sell canning supplies or cheapest of all, at the thrift store!
2.   Spray Paint: Any color you desire works just fine for this project. However, we did find that the more expensive spray paint (Liquitex) worked much better. We found that spray painting on the inside of the jar was very time consuming and not recommended. Therefore, we spray painted our jars on the outside. The Liquitex held tight and didn’t scratch off in our scratch test, neither did matte paints. Glossy paints however will chip if rubbed up against an abrasive surface. This can add to their rustic look, but if you want a firm covering that lasts, buy the heavy duty spray paint or ones with matte finishes!
3.   Tape: This is only if you want to do a design or tape off the neck of the jar to be free of paint. Green painters tape works great and you can make amazing patterns on your jar with it!
4.   Bags / Cardboard: You’ll want to make sure that in whatever well ventilated area you’re spray painting in that you have your work surface covered by cardboard and bags. Spray painting requires a sweeping motion, and that means your paint can travel! We found that cardboard is the best to place the jars on as it is sturdy and flat, but we then covered the area around our cardboard workspace with bags. This way we made sure that our spray paint wasn’t going to be on the floors of Weddingstar HQ :) Also make sure there isn’t a breeze through where you’re spraying – if there is, your paint will get everywhere!!

You can also experiment with spraying over lace to get a neat effect. We found the lace usually needs a spray adhesive to stay on the jar nicely while you spray paint. Also, the more intricate the pattern of the lace, the less likely it is transfer to the jar perfectly so depending on how you want your jars to turn out, you may want to consider a simpler lace design.

Also remember to start your spray away from your jar – that’s why your cardboard is so important! You’ll want to start your sweeping motion on the cardboard, travel over the jar and repeat from the other side! Also remember to let your jar dry completely between coats, otherwise the paint won’t harden completely and it will just come off!

{ Featuring: Mini Suitcase Wishing Well, Striped Cotton Bakers Twine & Merchandise Tag }

And voila! Finished jars! You can see the red jar is a matte finish, with the paint all the way around it! As none of these jars are food safe, we found it was O.K. to spray the entire jar without taping off the neck (but you certainly can if you want to!). Also, because these are all sprayed on the outside, it is safe to put place candles inside of them – although to err on the side of caution, battery powered tea lights look amazing and don’t run the risk of catching your wedding (or drapes!) on fire!

If spray painting seems a little too messy for you, or you want your paint on the inside of your jar, then this painted jar look is for you! We achieved this look with simple paint and the swirl method. This technique does take more time than spray painting, most of which is the 48 hour drying time these jars require! To make your own painted jars you will need:

1.   Mason Jars: Once again you can choose to buy them from where ever your heart desires! The fancier patterned one featured above was purchased at Michaels!
2.   Paint: This time you need Americana Gloss Enamels Paint (shown below!). Make sure that you purchase the paint that simply says “Gloss Enamels” and is safe for glass – it will say so on the front of the label. Don’t buy the one that says “Transparent” on it, the last technique shows you how to use this Americana paint, but for a painted look, you want the regular Gloss Enamels Paint! (And yes, we did make that mistake….)
3.   Glazing Medium: Also made by Americana (and shown below). It’s just good old glazing medium to mix with the paint!
4.   Paintbrush: We found the “swirl” method worked a lot better. It was hard to get the paint to go on evenly with the paintbrush and takes much longer than swirling the paint around inside the jar!
5.   Plastic Cup or other mixing jar: You’ll want somewhere to mix the paint and medium together. We used the ratio of 1:1, pouring in about 1/2 the tube of paint with 1/2 the tube of glazing medium. A plastic cup and a stir stick work great for mixing the two together before you pour it into the jar!
6.   Cardboard: Once you swirl the paint around, you tip the jar over for 1 hour to let the excess paint drip out onto a disposable surface (unless it’s an excessive amount, then we suggest pouring the paint into the next jar you want to swirl before tipping it over). We found cardboard worked the best because it’s sturdy, flat and easy to access!

Technique:

1.   Mix the paint and glazing medium in your plastic cup. Feel free to experiment with ratio. More glazing medium means a lighter color, while more paint means a darker one.
2.   Make sure your mason jar is clean and dry, then tip your paint inside. We found that adding a ton of paint was a pain to let drip out, just as too little paint made it hard to get the whole inside coated evenly. So try out a few different amounts of paint to see what the best is. And always remember, it takes a long time to dry so for your first few jars, you can always add a little more to coat the inside or dump excess into another jar to paint if you added too much or too little!
3.   Now use a swirling gesture to move the paint around inside! To get to the very top, you will need to tip the jar upside down to get the paint to slide (in the first picture of this set you can see one of our designers doing just that!). If you have  a lot of paint to drip out, turn the jar upside down over another, or if there is just a little extra, tip it upside down over your cardboard.
4.   Let your jar sit upside down on the cardboard for 1 hour to drip out all the excess paint.
5.   Now turn it right side up and let it dry for 48 hours – these instructions are on your paint to follow too!
6.   Now it’s time to bake these little guys! Follow the instructions on your bottle as follows: Place mason jars in a cold oven. Set the temperature for 325 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and crack the door. Let jars cool down completely before removing! Seriously, you don’t want to take super hot glass out of the oven, so leave em in there to cool :)
7.   Now they’re cured, so fill them with water to hold flowers or put an LED candle inside. REMEMBER: These are painted on the inside so they’re not food or flame safe!

When finished, these jars have a fantastic shiny look from the outside and are matte on the inside. Embellish them with things like striped cotton bakers twine, wire garland or a custom cling for an added pop!

The final technique in our tutorial is a stained glass effect. It works almost exactly the same way as the painted tutorial above but simply uses transparent paint to give a great stained glass look! What you will need to make your own stained glass mason jars is:

1.   Once again you’ll need your Mason Jars from the craft store, the hardware store or the thrift store!
2.   Paint: This time you need the Americana Crystal Gloss Enamels Transparent Gloss Paint – make sure it says “Transparent” on the label. We followed instructions we found else where that left this little bit of information out…. and we were left wondering why our jars colors weren’t turning transparent after the 48 hour mark like they said!
3.   Glazing Medium: Same as in the previous tutorial!
4.   Paintbrush: We found the “swirl” method worked a lot better. It was hard to get the paint to go on evenly with the paintbrush and takes much longer than swirling the paint around inside the jar!
5.   Plastic Cup or other mixing jar: You’ll want somewhere to mix the paint and medium together. We used the ratio of 1:2, pouring in about 1/4 the tube of paint with 1/2 the tube of glazing medium for a lighter color. A plastic cup and a stir stick work great for mixing the two together before you pour it into the jar!
6.   Cardboard: Once you swirl the paint around, you tip the jar over for 1 hour to let the excess paint drip out onto a disposable surface (unless it’s an excessive amount, then we suggest pouring the paint into the next jar you want to swirl before tipping it over). We found cardboard worked the best because it’s sturdy, flat and easy to access!

Technique:

1.   Mix the paint and glazing medium in your plastic cup. Feel free to experiment with ratio. More glazing medium means a lighter color, while more paint means a darker one.
2.   Make sure your mason jar is clean and dry, then tip your paint inside. We found that adding a ton of paint was a pain to let drip out, just as too little paint made it hard to get the whole inside coated evenly. So try out a few different amounts of paint to see what the best is. And always remember, it takes a long time to dry so for your first few jars, you can always add a little more to coat the inside or dump excess into another jar to paint if you added too much or too little!
3.   Now use a swirling gesture to move the paint around inside! To get to the very top, you will need to tip the jar upside down to get the paint to slide. If you have  a lot of paint to drip out, turn the jar upside down over another, or if there is just a little extra, tip it upside down over your cardboard.
4.   Let your jar sit upside down on the cardboard for 1 hour to drip out all the excess paint.
5.   Now turn it right side up and let it dry for 48 hours – these instructions are on your paint to follow too!
6.   Now it’s time to bake these little guys! Follow the instructions on your bottle as follows: Place mason jars in a cold oven. Set the temperature for 275 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and crack the door. Let jars cool down completely before removing! Seriously, you don’t want to take super hot glass out of the oven, so leave em in there to cool :)
7.   Now they’re cured, so fill them with water to hold flowers or put an LED candle inside. REMEMBER: These are painted on the inside so they’re not food or flame safe!

And that’s all of them! I hope you guys have fun with these DIY projects. They really do turn out beautifully and they’re very inexpensive, especially if you thrift your mason jars. Just remember to follow all the instructions on your paint and read the labels carefully :) Happy crafting and happy weddings everyone!

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