How To Paint Pumpkins And Turn Them Into Lovely Fall Decorations

It’s pumpkin season and that means we get to have fun decorating our homes with this fruit, not just on Halloween but also throughout the season. Pumpkin carving can sure be fun but if you don’t want to deal with all that mess or you want to avoid using sharp utensils, there’s a great alternative to that: pumpkin painting.

Pumpkin Painting

Check out the projects below on how to paint pumpkins and see for yourself all of the cool and creative ways in which you can approach the challenge. If you think you are ready to conquer the world of pumpkin painting, you can follow the step-by-step tutorial to get started.

How to Paint a Pumpkin

How to Paint a PumpkinView in gallery

Before you jump into painting your pumpkin, you will want to have an idea of what you want the finished project to look like. This is because your final desired look will dictate the colors and type of paint you will want to use. Have an idea of what color and design you want your pumpkin to have? Great, keep reading to start painting your pumpkins.

Materials Needed:

  • Pumpkins (can be large for hand painting, or small if you want to dip them)
  • Paint of your choosing
  • Wax Paper
  • Newspaper or drop cloth
  • Paintbrushes
  • Small Bowls (for dipped pumpkins)
  • Drying Rack

Set-Up

Now that you’ve gathered all of the above materials, you are probably eager to get started on painting your pumpkins. But before you go paint crazy, you’ll want to prepare the surface where you will plan to work. Cover it with newspapers or a drop cloth, especially if it is a table or other piece of furniture.

You will also want to have a separate drying area for the pumpkins once they are painted. You can make this by putting wax paper over a drying rack.

Next, you will want to acquire your pumpkins. Remember large pumpkins are for brush painting and smaller ones for dipping. Wipe all of your pumpkins down with a damp paper towel to make sure they are clear of dirt or debris and are ready to be painted!

Steps For Painting a Pumpkin

1. Create a Base Layer

Use a large brush to create a base layer over your entire pumpkin. You won’t want to leave any orange showing, unless it is part of your pattern. Let this dry, and see how it turns out. If it is too light, or spots are still showing through, then you will want to paint a second layer in the same color.

2. Paint On Your Second Color

After the base coat is completely dry, you will now be able to paint your second color on top of the first. You can get creative and draw designs, a face, or even a pattern. You can also add additional colors at the time.

3. Allow Your Pumpkin Plenty of Time to Dry

As eager as you are to set out your new decoration, be sure your pumpkin dries completely before you move it. Otherwise, you will find paint spots on your porch or your table.

Steps For Dipping a Pumpkin

Dipping a pumpkin is slightly different than painting one, but when you are looking for a quick and easy way to decorate small pumpkins, then dipping them is the way to go!

1. Make Your Paints

When dipping pumpkins, you will want to prepare any colors of paint you plan to use in advance. This includes mixing any colors together that you may need to. Each color needs to have its own bowl, large enough for your small pumpkins to fit into.

2. Dip the Pumpkins

Hold the pumpkins by the stem and dip them as deep as you desire into the paint. For a unique look, you can dip a pumpkin more than once, just let it dry completely between the two dipping sessions.

3. Allow Your Pumpkins to Dry

Just like regular pumpkin painting, be sure your pumpkins dry completely before you place them out as décor. This is especially important with dipped pumpkins, as there can sometimes be excess paint that isn’t there when a brush painting technique is used.

Feeling pretty confident about your pumpkin dipping and painting abilities but can’t think of the pattern you want to create? Scroll down to see some awesome examples of pumpkin painting to get you started!

Best Pumpkin Painting Ideas for the Fall Season

1. Geometric Pumpkin Painting Designs

Geometric Pumpkin Painting DesignsView in gallery

Geometric designs are super easy to pull off and that also works when painting pumpkins. If you want to get clean lines you can use painter’s tape. Play around with different patterns and sketch something on paper first to get an idea of how it might look like. Check out akailochiclife for more details.

2. Terrazzo Pumpkin Painting Effect

Terrazzo Pumpkin Painting EffectView in gallery

You can also try carving the pumpkin to give it that glowing effect that’s not necessarily a must. It can still look great with paint on it, but you only give it that terrazzo effect by painting small geometric shapes in random spots and using different colors for the design.

For added charm, you can even paint the stem. Find out more from jojotastic.

3. Paint Plaid Pumpkins

Paint Plaid PumpkinsView in gallery

This buffalo plaid pumpkin featured on theredpaintedcottage looks really nice and is also pretty easy to do as well. You start by painting the stripes and then you fill in the gaps to get that checkered pattern. Use your favorite colors or stick with black and white for a classic and timeless look.

4. Paint Black Pumpkins with Colorful Designs

Paint Black Pumpkins with Colorful DesignsView in gallery

Use acrylic paints to get rich and vibrant colors on your pumpkins. To get even stronger contrasts, you can first apply a coat of black spray paint on the pumpkins.

A matte finish would suit this project best. The floral pattern featured on doodlecraftblog is a cool example of how you can approach the rest of this project.

5. Abstract Melting Pumpkin Painting Effect

Abstract Melting Pumpkin Painting EffectView in gallery

There are several ways in which you can decorate your pumpkins without actually carving them. You can use decorative tape, push pins, and of course, paint to make them look pretty and stand out.

If you choose to paint, a cool option can be to create this abstract melting effect by pouring the paint on the pumpkin and letting the colors blend together. You can find more details on hillcitybride.

6. Watercolor Pumpkin Painting

Watercolor Pumpkin PaintingView in gallery

Watercolors can give you that soft and whimsical look that you want, as opposed to acrylic which is best if you are wanting deep and rich colors. To make the watercolors more visible, you should first paint the pumpkin white so you have a clean base to start from. The floral design featured on smilingcolors seems like a nice choice in this case.

7. Painting Cupcake Pumpkins

Painting Cupcake PumpkinsView in gallery

Want a design that’s easy to pull off and that also looks adorable? How about these cute cupcake pumpkins from clubcrafted?

All you need for this project is some white pumpkins, cream colored paint, additional paint in several bright colors, and paint brushes. Don’t forget the sprinkles. We suggest using acrylic paints.

8. Simple Single-Color Painted Pumpkins

Simple Single-Color Painted PumpkinsView in gallery

You can also just simply paint pumpkins in a single color. No pattern or crazy design is needed.

The idea is to have several pumpkins painted using different colors or different shades of the same color and then to display them together in a box, basket, or just casually on the mantel or the floor. This is an idea that comes from momadvice.

9. Painting Marble Pumpkin

Painting Marble PumpkinView in gallery

Can you believe you can get this crazy pattern on a pumpkin without making a mess in the process? The secret is to use a container big enough for the pumpkin to freely move around inside.

Simply pour some paint into the container; two or three colors should do, and then place the pumpkin inside, close and lid, and shake it up. The kids will love this project. Check out sunnydayfamily for more details.

10. Wax Drawing Pumpkin Painting Designs

Wax Drawing Pumpkin Painting DesignsView in gallery

Another cool trick is to use a candle to paint or draw onto the surface of a pumpkin and then to paint it. The paint won’t stick to the drawing because of the wax, revealing the design that you created.

You can make some pretty unique decorations using this technique. Check out kidscraftroom to find out more about the project.

11. Word Pumpkin Painting

Word Pumpkin PaintingView in gallery

Minimalism can also be a strategy. A lovely example in this sense comes from thesweetestdigs. To get painted pumpkins as sweet and beautiful as these ones you’re going to need plenty of white paint (cream would look nice too), pastel paints for the stems, and a black sharpie marker (optional).

12. Gold-Dipped Painted Pumpkins

Gold-Dipped Painted PumpkinsView in gallery

Want to give your pumpkins a glamorous touch? You can use gold leaf. If you’re using white pumpkins or the faux kind, you don’t even have to paint them first because they’ll already have a clean and uniform surface.

So you can just go ahead and apply the gold leaf to their bottom sections using a special adhesive. For details, check out lovelyindeed.

13. Painting Gingham Pumpkins

Painting Gingham PumpkinsView in gallery

On kellyinthecity you can find out all the details and instructions you need in order to create gingham pumpkins. Believe it or not, it’s actually very easy.

Start with a white pumpkin (you may need white paint for this) and then paint vertical stripes of a different color following the natural lines of the pumpkin. Paint horizontal stripes by filling in the gaps, and at the end, use darker paint on the areas where the vertical and horizontal lines intersect.

14. Copper Tape or Paint Pumpkin

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Technically there’s no paint involved in this project from homeyohmy but you could use metallic paint instead of copper tape if you wanted to plus you could also paint the pumpkins in case they’re not already white. Either way, this looks very modern and stylish.

15. Paint Drip Pumpkins

Paint Drip PumpkinsView in gallery

To get cool-looking pumpkins like these ones, all you have to do is pour some paint on them and let the paint drip down the sides and dry. You might need to paint the whole pumpkin first in case you want to change its base color. You can find the details on tarynwhiteaker.

16. Ceramic Painted Pumpkins

Ceramic Painted PumpkinsView in gallery

These painted pumpkins sure look unusual. First of all, they’re ceramic pumpkins which partially explains their appearance, but there’s also that odd pattern on them.

You can create something similar using water, vinegar, glass spray paint, a spray bottle, and a paper towel. All the details can be found on theinspiredhive.

17. Halloween Themed Pumpkin Painting

17. Halloween Themed Pumpkin PaintingView in gallery

So the main reason you are probably painting a pumpkin in the first place is for Halloween! But painting a face isn’t very conducive to most décor styles so consider using black and white paint to make a refined design like these pumpkins featured on Birshykat. Besides looking adorable, these pumpkins also don’t require a base coat which will save you time as well!

18. Dot Pattern Painted Pumpkins

Dot Pattern Painted PumpkinsView in gallery

This next pumpkin painting idea is another one that doesn’t necessarily need a bottom coat(but you can still do one if you want to!) Instead of using a paint brush to place paint, use an eyedropper to easily make a dotted design pattern on the pumpkin’s surface.

You can find this idea in Many Makings, and it is absolutely adorable! Just be careful not to make your paint spots too big otherwise they might run into the others and ruin your design.

19. Character Painted Pumpkins

Character Painted PumpkinsView in gallery

The coolest thing about painting a pumpkin is that you can make yours any design that you choose! Just take a look at this minion pumpkin by Craftberry Bush that can brighten up any porch or fall centerpiece.

You’ll need to do a yellow basecoat, then go back over with blue and black paints to complete the look. This example uses jar lids to make the eye, but you can always skip this step and paint the eye on instead.

20. Stencil On Pumpkin Painting Designs

Stencil On Pumpkin Painting DesignsView in gallery

When painting your pumpkin, you don’t have to be restricted to just the designs you are able to draw. You can also use stencils to create a beautiful design. But don’t feel restricted to regular stencils either, and feel free to use things you find around the house to add design to your pumpkins.

Not sure where to start? Check out this pumpkin on HobbyLesson where the artist used a doily to stencil a unique design onto the pumpkin.

21. Neon Dipped Painted Pumpkins

Neon Dipped Painted PumpkinsView in gallery

Dipping pumpkins may not seem very creative, but you haven’t seen these fun neon dipped pumpkins from A Night Owl Blog yet! They are dipped in such a way that it looks as if the paint is running upwards instead of down.

You can make these yourself by dipping a pumpkin, then flipping it upside down and letting the paint run—but not too much otherwise you will end up with a solid-colored pumpkin!

22. Galaxy Painted Pumpkin

Galaxy Painted PumpkinView in gallery

There is nothing more whimsical than stars in the night sky. And thanks to pumpkin painting, you can bring the magic of the galaxy right to your front porch! You can find this idea on Dream a Little Bigger, but you will basically need to paint a pumpkin all black, then use various shades of white, blue, and purple to create the night sky on your gourd.

23. Pumpkin Painting for Kids

Pumpkin Painting for KidsView in gallery

Kids love to help with projects, namely those that are as messy as pumpkin painting! If you have a little one that desperately wants to help out, try this suggestion from Projects With Kids, and allow them to paint a pumpkin of their own using Q-tips.

You’ll have to do a base coat for them of course, but otherwise, this is a great way to give them some autonomy without creating a huge mess! And don’t worry, because adults can use this method to paint pumpkins too!

24. Glitter Drip Pumpkin Painting

Glitter Drip Pumpkin PaintingView in gallery

By now you’re probably a pumpkin painting and dipping pro! That’s when you know it’s time to pull out this next idea, pumpkin drip painting.

The idea comes from Crafts by Amanda, and you’ll be starting out by putting a black base coat on your pumpkin. After that is dry, you will squeeze a small number of different colors of glitter paint on the top of the pumpkin and let them run down the side—it’s that easy!

25. Candy Corn Painted Pumpkins

Candy Corn Painted PumpkinsView in gallery

Remember earlier when you were looking at the pumpkin dipping steps? Well, you can use these to make this adorable candy corn pumpkin as featured on HobbyLesson. Start by dipping the entire pumpkin in white paint and letting it dry. Then do it two-thirds in orange paint, and then let it dry. And for the last step, dip in one third of the pumpkin in yellow paint and then let it sit to dry.

Overall, whether you decide to go with a spotted or a galaxy pumpkin this holiday season, you will be so glad you decided to skip the mess of pumpkin carving. Not only will you still have a great decoration for your porch, but you can also create projects beautiful enough for the inside of your house too without having to worry about the pumpkin smell. And don’t be afraid to get creative with your pumpkin painting, because even if you don’t use the ideas in this article, you can definitely come up with an amazing painted pumpkin design for your home.