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How to Chalk Paint Pumpkins to Fit Your Fall Decor

Fall decor is everywhere. Just check out your local craft stores or interior design shops or the blog world. Fall home decor tours, like the one I participated in last week, are providing a wealth of ideas and inspiration.  If you’re like me and your decor accessories are a combination of store bought and DIY, it’s nice to know how to take a simple thing like a pumpkin and make it fit your personal design plan. So I thought you would like to know how to chalk paint pumpkins to fit your fall decor.

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Last week I showed you how to paint pumpkins using spray paint. Sometimes spray painting isn’t feasible ~ you don’t have the proper area, such as a one with plenty of ventilation ~ or you don’t have the right equipment to prevent overspray, such as a HomeRight Spray Shelter. Or you can’t find the right color in the spray paint aisle. Or it’s too hot of too cold. Or, like me, you have some extra chalk paint, in the right color.

As much as I love fall and decorating and turkeys and scarecrows and pumpkins, orange is not my favorite color.  Not even close.

How to Chalk Paint Pumpkins to Fit Your Fall Decor

I made this arrangement a few years ago, but after using it for a few fall seasons, I just couldn’t handle more orange. And they looked sooo plastic, or whatever they were made of.

How to chalk paint pumpkins

After finding these beautiful blue-green pumpkins at Roundtop a couple of weeks before fall decorating time (You can read about that trip here.), I decided that I had just had to do something with all those orange pumpkins. They definitely did not match my fall decor vision.

How to chalk paint pumpkins


I found a few more of the same wonderful soft color at Lowe’s last week. I had to dig around in a big box, but it was worth it.

How to chalk paint pumpkins

I decided to add a little bling to the them by rubbing on a little Gold Gilding Wax. I love this product, which I’ve also used in silver. (I shared how to use gilding wax a couple of years ago.)

How to chalk paint pumpkins

So, what to do with them my orange plastic pumpkins ?I thought, why not just paint those ugly, plastic orange pumpkins? Since I had plenty of olds and ends of chalk paint on hand that I wanted to use up, I had to figure a way how to chalk paint pumpkins to fit my fall decor.

Here’s how I painted my plastic pumpkins using chalk paint to match my fall decor ~ a more soft neutral one.

Paint Supplies

I gathered my supplies:

  • drop cloth
  • apron (I’ve learned the hard way to cover up.)
  • brush
  • paper towels
  • Frog tape
  • stir stick
  • gloves (the same ones I buy at the restaurant supply store) ~ just to make clean-up easier)
  • paint ~ I had some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.  I know that you could use any brand of chalk paint, but we use what we already have, right?

I laid out my drop cloth and I took apart the centerpiece and laid out all my supplies.

How to chalk paint pumpkins

The Process

First I wrapped the stems with the Frog tape.

How to chalk paint pumpkins

I decided to use this Annie Sloan brush to dapple the paint on.  This technique would give a softer, not slick look, to the pumpkins.

How to chalk paint pumpkins

I painted the tops first, turned the pumpkins over and put them stem~side down in plastic jars and painted the bottoms. Don’t let the splotchy appearance scare you. It’s the second coat that gives it the right finish.

How to chalk paint pumpkins

Once the first coat was dry (about 30 minutes), I painted a 2nd coat. And that was that.  I didn’t know well how the paint would adhere to the original plastic, but I shouldn’t have worried; after all chalk paint will stick to anything.

How to chalk paint pumpkins

After the chalk paint was dry, I painted the stems with gold craft paint. They still looked great in this year’s fall decor.

How to chalk paint pumpkins

I only painted 3 pumpkins last year. This year I painted a few more to complete my fall decor. The white chalk painted pumpkins worked well with the new ones that I recently painted with Amy Howard Furniture Lacquer in White Perfection and the other plastic and styrofoam pumpkins that I painted in gold, brass and copper.

How to chalk paint pumpkins

How to chalk paint pumpkins

All the pumpkins are getting along just fine.

They did kick the orange pumpkins off the playground.







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  1. I’d love to try this, there are so many inexpensive pumpkins out there but who has a home that can accommodate bright orange?! I’m not seeing a final picture…just the one where the pumpkins are drying in the cups. Did I miss something?


  2. Carol, another way to “age” pumpkins after painting them chalk white or buying white ones that don’t have enough character is to use Briwax on them. I bought some white pumpkins of varying sizes at Target and they were too “perfect” looking. So, I used some walnut Briwax on them to give them a “tea-stained”, aged look but still white. Then I used some white Liming Briwax (one of my favorite items) to whiten some darker colored ones I already had. Both Briwax colors will take away the new, shiny look to almost anything… so fun!! Yours look amazing!

  3. Love chalk paint. I used the Krylon Chalk spray paint on some and it worked great! I just pulled the stem off, and sprayed them separately, then reattached. I then aged them with a bit of stain.