Papier-mâché Pumpkins and How To Paint

Papier-mâché Pumpkins and How To Paint

Part 3 – Papier-mâché Pumpkins  and How To Paint

It took longer than I thought to get to the actual point of painting these pumpkins.  That could be because this is my first experience with this process.   Since the papier-mâché kept shrinking when it dried, I kept feeling like more was needed to actually see the features.  The beauty of this medium is that wet clay can be applied right on top of the dry clay.  You can see how I continued to build up the details in the picture below.

Papier-mâché Pumpkins and How To Paint on


The first thing you need to do is paint the entire pumpkin, inside and out, with a flat black outdoor paint.  You can see I bought a can of Valspar Black 60074 – Flat paint.  Use a can of paint and a paintbrush for this, not a spray can.  The latex paint cleans up easily with soap and water and it also dries quickly.  This will help seal the paper base and create a nice background for the color washes.  

Papier-mâché Pumpkins and How To Paint on

Although, there is a plastic bin full of acrylic paint, there was no orange.  I had to buy two bottles of orange paint.   One is a pumpkin orange and the other is a darker orange.  Another bottle of yellow paint was used to lighten the pumpkin color a bit.  Varying shades of green, tan, and burnt umber were used on the stem.

The Painting Process


Papier-mâché Pumpkins and How To Paint on

Scott and Jay each had different techniques for painting their pumpkins.  My technique is a combination of these two.  I like the black showing through the oranges of the pumpkin like Scott does and I like the layering of the color washes that Jay used on his.  The dark recedes and the light comes forward.  Use this to call attention to and highlight certain features.


Papier-mâché Pumpkins and How To Paint on



Next, white latex primer was lightly dry brushed over the black painted surface.  This accents some of the texture and the raised areas.Papier-mâché Pumpkins and How To Paint on



Then, layers of washes of orange paint were applied.  Everyone has their own technique, I guess.  After messing around with it for a while, I tried applying the darker orange wash onto the pumpkin ridges.  Then, with a 2″ dry brush, I feathered that out and down into the valleys.

That was allowed to dry and a coat of the dark orange paint mixed with a little bit of the lighter orange paint was applied in the same way.  The lighter coat  was applied leaving an edge of the darker coat beneath it to show.  Then, the 2″ dry brush was again used to soften and feather out the paint.

Again, the paint wash was allowed to dry.  More of the lighter paint was added to the darker paint and another wash was painted on using the same process.  This was repeated again, and ultimately, the lighter paint was painted on in a wash the same way.

Yellow paint was then added to the light orange in a progression of washes, just like before.


Papier-mâché Pumpkins and How To Paint on

Personally, I like some of the black showing through.   the texture of the papier-mâché is interesting.   The little fella seems a lot more ominous with all that black.

My intention was to paint the inside a yellow-orange and use a battery-powered candle inside but I like the black showing!   As I looked at him across the room, he looked so perfectly creepy just like that.  His eyes, nose, and mouth are very distinct, and yet, the details of his face are very apparent.


Orange paint continued to be layered on top of layers of orange paint, from dark to light.   Then, it dawned on me that if I planned to leave the inside black,  the black would really make ‘a lighter orange color around the facial features’ pop against the darkness.  At that point, more paint was layered around the eyes, the nose, and especially, the mouth.   This area was painted with more pigment and less water.  You can see the difference in the picture above and the picture below.

Papier-mâché Pumpkins and How To Paint on

The stem was painted a light tan color, brown, and black in striations along the ridges that were made with the clay.  Then, 3 shades of green and some black were mixed and added.   A few  thin strokes of orange were added along the ridges and then feathered out with the 2″ dry brush, leaving just a hint of the orange color.


Papier-mâché Pumpkins

In case you missed it, directions for making the Papier-mâché

 pumpkin ◄ can be found here.  Click here ► for  Part 2 .

The question of whether to paint the inside lighter or leave the black was posed to ‘MyHumbleHomeandGarden’s Facebook page’ followers◄ You can weigh in with your opinion, too,  leave a comment below, or just see what everyone said!

These are whimsical, and maybe a little creepy, so there is no right or wrong way to do these!  Let yourself go and enjoy the process!  I love the end result and there are more of these crazy pumpkins in my future.  (I also have some ideas of how to use this clay for Christmas ideas!)

 Has this inspired you to create your own Papier-mâché Pumpkins?


Papier-mâché Pumpkins and How To Paint on


Papier-mâché Pumpkins - how to paint on

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Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated

  Cheap plastic pots elevated?  Yes, by adding some paint, these cheap plastic pots look pretty good, don’t they?  By placing them on top of the soil in larger pots, they are actually elevated, too.

   The two large pots on the front porch looked like they needed some height. The spike plant, or Dracaena, have been used in the past to create height.  This year though, I decided to take smaller versions of the cheap plastic pots straight from the nursery, paint them to coordinate with the large pots and stack them for added height, ‘elevating’ them. 

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated on

   The first thing I did was wash and dry the cheap plastic pots.  Since the pots in the front were a light color, I chose a Plaster color of Waverly chalk paint.  You will notice I taped off about 1-inch at the bottom of the pot.  Whether it makes any sense or not, I knew the pot was going to be sitting in soil and thought it wouldn’t show after the flowers grew and the painted part wouldn’t be sitting in the soil.  It might not affect the paint since three coats of outdoor varnish were going to be applied but why take a chance?

   Two coats of the chalk paint were applied to the clean plastic pots.  Remember the cheap plastic pots I painted a couple of years ago?   Well, believe it or not, last fall I was watching grandkids a lot.  Our house is not set up to allow a toddler free range.  Memphis’ feet hit the ground running with reckless abandon.  Needless to say, some of my gardening chores did not get done.

   One of those chores was emptying and storing pots.  Those poor cheap plastic pots stayed outside all winter in the elements.  You would think that the paint would be peeling and they would not look too hot.  Nope, they really still look good!  Hopefully, this fall affords me a little more time for fall chores.

   Anyway, after two coats of the plaster colored paint had dried, I stenciled a design on the outside of the pot with chalk paint in a ‘Truffle’ color of Waverly paint.  That pot looked pretty bright and clean, unlike the pots in the front.  

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated on

   To age it slightly, I used a wash of small amounts of the Truffle colored paint and water.  Paint was allowed to puddle slightly along the edge where there is a little indentation, as you can see.   The picture of the pot below looks a little lime green around the curved edge of the top rim.  We bought two lime green umbrellas for the deck and patio.  When the sun is shining, things on the table have that green cast.


Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated on

   The paint wash was allowed to dry.  That happened quickly in the sun on this beautiful day.  Then, the painter’s tape was removed from the bottom of the pot.  

   Three coats of Delta satin exterior/interior varnish were applied, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.  (We are an affiliate of Amazon.  If you purchase from this link, we will receive a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you.  Thanks for supporting this site.)

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated on

   That little strip of terra cotta color at the bottom looks pretty good, doesn’t it?  I kind of like it, even though it won’t really show as the Wave petunias fill in around them.  Each of the pots was filled with a layer of rock, potting soil, and a ‘Morning Star Calibrachoa’ placed in the center of each one of the large pots. 

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated on   

   Some rooting medium mixed with water was sprinkled on the soil around the newly potted plants for an extra boost for growth.  While the painted pot doesn’t match exactly, it blends in pretty well.  Soon, flowers will fill the pots and it should look great.  Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated, who knew?

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated on

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Do You Have A Paint Color Mistake? How To Fix It!

Do You Have A Paint Color Mistake? How To Fix It!

April 6, 2017

  Do You Have A Paint Color Mistake?  Have you ever taken someone else’s advice, knowing full well that it wasn’t right, yet you went right on and did it anyway?   In your gut you knew it and as you beat yourself up, you ask, “I knew better.  Why did I do that?”


  Well, I did not follow my own advice when I painted our master bedroom en suite several years ago!  A well-known person with her own signature paints offered chips with coordinating colors on them.  I brought one of them home and decided to paint my ceiling a bold gold color and the walls a green from her color suggestions on that chip.  Even though I had reservations, she was way more famous than I and all of her experts knew better than I, right?

    Don’t get me wrong.  They are both beautiful colors, but the saturation of color in the paint on the ceiling is more than the paint on the walls.   It has always felt a little wrong.  For an earlier post click here► For a foolproof way to choose your Paint colors.  Or click here for another post you might like ►No Fear Paint Selection.

     Seriously, the rest of my home is painted with beautiful colors following this method.  I would not change one of them!  If I have to paint again, I would probably choose the same colors.   Do you love your color choices that much?   If you choose your colors from something you love, how can you go wrong?

     I have loved the way the afternoon sun poured in the half round window at the peak of the vaulted ceiling on the west wall and illuminated the golden color.   I loved the green on the walls more.  It’s kind of like being enveloped in a meadow.

   The two colors ‘together’ have bothered me for a long time!   You could see the ceiling had a lot more saturation of color and at certain times of the day, it was unsettling.  It’s amazing how different the colors on the walls and ceiling look at different times of the day.

      The photo above is a relatively good representation of the gold color.  (It’s hard to get a perfect match with a camera and the computer.)  It is a little garish next to the softer green and the paler color, isn’t it?

   Don’t you love vaulted ceilings?   Physically painting vaulted ceilings is not something I particularly love.   So I lived with it for awhile.

   When we were working on the bathroom/dressing area, I finally decided to fix the problem.  The paint color we chose for the bathroom, Autumn Blond from Sherwin Williams, is the new color for the ceiling in the bedroom and the dressing area, but in a flat finish.  

    You may be thinking that the Autumn Blond color is just a neutral.  It is, but I could have chosen any color on the fan with that same depth of color and it would have looked better than that stark gold.  You can see that the green and the wheat have white added.  They have a softness about them.  Clearly, the gold doesn’t.

 Paint Color Cross-Pollination

    Remember in an earlier post how we cross-pollinate adjoining rooms by painting the wall color on the ceiling of the adjoining room and vice versa?  Please don’t tell me you still have all white ceilings!  If you have color on the wall, you will love the color on the ceilings!  You can paint it the same color as the wall and it will look a shade lighter.

   If you want the ceiling to look even lighter, you can skip up or down one, (depending on your fan), on the same card to a lighter tint of the wall color.


   If you want it to look darker, you will have to skip up or down, (depending on your fan), on the color fan and choose a step darker paint.  If you have tall ceilings and want them to look a little lower, you can visually bring them down with paint.  It will seem a little cozier, especially, if your ceilings are stark white!

    In the picture below, from an earlier post, you can see that the ceiling is the original green color and the walls are the Autumn Blond, which is a color pulled from the new ceramic tile on the bathroom floor.

  Yep, I love the new color!  The garish gold is gone.  I no longer look at the bedroom ceiling and wish I had painted it another color!  The whole house is in color harmony.

    This is an easy way to choose a perfect color for your next paint job.  Would you like more posts on paint and color?  Do you have a paint color mistake?



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Painting An Apartment? 10 Things You Need To know first!

Painting An Apartment?  10 Things You Need To know first!

Painting An Apartment?  10 Things You Need To know first!

January 3, 2017

   Are you thinking of Painting An Apartment?  10 Things You Need To know first!


   This past weekend, I ended up finishing a paint job my daughter had begun in her rental apartment.   She was moving forty-five minutes away, working, packing, and there is never enough time, is there?

   Her dad, her boyfriend, and I helped her pack and put the remaining furniture on a U-Haul and cart it to her new home.

   One of the last chores the next day was painting over the brown paint she had chosen to use to cover a wall in her bedroom.  I admit the dark wall did look nice with her off-white tufted headboard and bedding.

 There are 10 things you should know

before painting a wall in your apartment!

#1  Don’t paint a wall or room in a rented apartment, especially a dark color!  Apartments are temporary!  You will move and one of the last things you want to be doing is painting over that wall or room in order to save your security deposit at the same time you are trying to move into another place!


#2  A better option is to use fabric!  Fabric saturated in liquid fabric softener will adhere to the wall nicely.  (Check out this post from April where I used this technique to cover insets in the dining room.)  This technique can be used for the entire wall.

   Ready to pack up and leave?  Just catch a corner and pull.  It easily peels off the wall!  


#3  If you didn’t pay attention to #1 and you have to repaint the wall to the original color, especially if that wall is a dark color, use a paint that has a built-in primer.  It still took 3 coats of the paint she bought and because of her technique, some places took 4 coats, like the dark areas you can see in the picture below!


 #4  Technique. Knowing that some painters now roll the entire wall and then cut in the edges around the trim, ceiling, and walls, I just can’t bring myself to do that.  Call me ‘old school’.  I don’t care.  If you cut in with an angled paintbrush as you go, (unlike the picture above,) and roll into that strip along the edge before it dries, you will have a nice edge and won’t get the ‘ribboning effect’ around the edges either. 


#5  Paintbrush.  Use an angled paintbrush for cutting in the edges!  Buy a good quality paintbrush, too.   It does make a huge difference in the paint application!  No one wants to struggle pulling bristles out of an entire paint job and the paint goes on better, too.  (Keep the paint on the lower half of the bristles not all the way to the ferrule, or the metal part of the brush.)


#6  Paint Roller.  To paint a wall, don’t buy a 6″ foam roller!  It looks so cute and how about that little tray?  That tool has other good uses, but not for a whole wall!  Buy a regular 9″ Roller Cover made for Walls and Ceilings!   Aside from being larger, more paint is held on the roller with the 3/8″ nap, thereby, covering more space more quickly.
   Don’t buy a cheap one of these either!  The cheap rollers will begin to break down and leave pieces in the paint you just applied!  Yuk!

#7  Remove the faceplates!  Yes, there is one or sometimes two screws holding those to the wall!  Take a screwdriver and remove them!  Paint around the opening, allow the paint to dry and put them back.
   Even though my father died when I was thirteen, I can still hear my father saying, “Any job worth doing is worth doing right the first time!”

    Yes, this is actually what I found and yes, I did remove it and painted around it correctly.  As I was shaking my head and doing this, I turned around and noticed this faceplate on the opposite wall.  Clearly, someone else needs to read this post.


#8  Not so confident cutting in with a paintbrush?  Use blue painter’s tape around any trim to make it faster and easier to paint a sharp line or edge.  Rub the tape firmly to adhere to the surface and cut down on any bleeding under the tape. Remove the tape before the paint is completely dry to keep it from peeling.

#9  Rolling Technique.  Don’t paint up and down in a straight line all the way across the wall.  This causes striping and when you are covering a dark paint, like say this brown for instance, some areas left dark will require extra coats!
   The better way to paint is with a ‘V or W’ motion, overlapping what you have just painted.  The coverage is better and there is no striping!  Another thing people do is ‘OVER ROLL’ causing the paint applied to result in a thinner coat.  This, in turn, requires more coats of paint.


#10  Start at the top of the wall!  In my daughter’s defense, she didn’t have a ladder.  (We are height impaired.)  However, she could have gotten one before starting this!  Preparation is key.  When you start at the top of the wall and dribble paint, you can see it more easily and roll over it.  (If you start at the bottom, you have to roll back into areas that you have already painted.)

  The whole process flows better from top to bottom.  Work in about three-foot square sections as you paint, top to bottom, left to right, or right to left.


   Using the tools, which she had left for me the next day and four hours later, while my daughter was working, I finished the wall, my phone died, and I didn’t get a picture of the finished project.  However, she sent me a text after she made it back to the apartment, “Thanks, Mom, that really helped.”

    My daughter apparently never watched me paint in all the years she lived with us.  Hopefully, these tips help you.  Are you Painting An Apartment?  Here are 10 Things You Need To know first!



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DIY Painted Terracotta Pots

DIY Painted Terracotta Pots

May 2, 2016   

 DIY Painted Terracotta Pots on


   There were pots painted in several different ways and styles, but I liked the idea of adding a decal of an image to the pots.  Several years ago, I made some styrofoam ornaments by making decals with Mod Podge and covering the ball with melted wax, encasing the decal. They turned out really neat.


   Wanting to use the same technique with Mod Podge and create vintage images to adhere to the pots, I started looking for images.  


   The idea was to try this technique on a small pot first to iron out any wrinkles before starting on the big pots.   If you know me, you know the understated is what I what I chose.   I may be boring, but I didn’t want the pots to compete with the flowers.   My thought was to use off-white paint and black line drawings. Not wanting them to look polished and brand new, I plan to brush on a hint of brown paint, too.  


   Many years ago, I made copies of these vintage drawings from the library at the University of Cincinnati.  The old copies will work with the Mod Podge.  Laserjet copies will work, (Staples can print these for you.) but inkjet, unfortunately, will not.

 Diy Painted Pots

    You will need a clean pot.  This little pot was pretty dirty, so I washed and scrubbed it.  The dirt was not coming off very well, but one of those Magic Erasers worked like magic!


   Choose your image and apply at least three coats of Mod Podge to the front of the image, allowing to dry between coats.   Then, pour warm water onto a plate. Cut out the image.  (At this point, I cut a rectangle around the image.)  Place the image in the warm water and allow to soak for a few minutes.



    Turn the image over, back side facing up, and in a circular motion, gently rub the paper off with your fingertip.

    Place the decal on a paper towel and allow to dry.  Cut around the edge of the decal closer to the image.  Don’t worry if it tears a little, you will be gluing it to the surface of the pot with Mod Podge.  


   One coat of Waverly Chalk Paint in the ‘Plaster’ color was applied to the pot.  My plan was to give it two coats, but I liked the ‘not so perfect’ look of one coat.


     Next, the decal was glued to the pot.  Using a brush, I  dipped the brush slightly into the paint and very sparingly brushed just a hint of ‘Truffle’ colored paint around the pot.  If too much was applied, I used a damp paper towel to remove a little.   Isn’t it cute?


   Three coats of Delta Ceramcoat Satin Exterior Varnish were applied with a paint brush, covering the decal and the pot.  I think I might buy some matte varnish for the larger pots.


   This little project turned out so nicely, there is a whole row of larger pots just waiting to be transformed into Painted Terracotta Pots!

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