How To Paint With Chalk Paint On Pumpkins

5 Materials
2 Hours

Welcome to Cloches & Lavender where I share crafts, DIY's and home decorating ideas.

Now is the time to start thinking about fall crafts. So today I’m sharing how to paint with chalk paint on pumpkins and add real stems.

Every year I save the real stems from my pumpkins. Between the chalk paint and the real stems these pumpkins look real.

As a rule, I use chalk paint for painting most projects.

Chalking paint works well for pumpkins. I especially enjoy painting pumpkins for cost reasons. Because gourds/pumpkins can be quite pricey. I buy them for outside decorating. But for inside it gets expensive so adding chalk paint and real stems adds a realistic look.

The Best Time To Purchase Fake Pumpkins

For example, I find the best time to purchase fake pumpkins is summer when the shelves are getting stocked. Or, towards the end of the fall season. Because prices for fake pumpkins can be very inexpensive especially the larger size pumpkins.

Let's begin shall we?

Items Needed

Fake pumpkins size of your choice

White, mint green and orange paint or any chalk paint of your choice

Chip Brush

White wax

Dark Brown wax

Paper plate

Paint stick for mixing

stencil brush and wax brush

Begin With Orange Paint

Project 1

Here is a pumpkin I purchased during the summer for $3 at Michael's craft store. The shelves must have been recently stocked.

Step 1

For my first step, I paint my pumpkin using orange chalk paint I stumbled upon while at Michael's Craft store. Remember, I am going for those faded orange gourds/pumpkins.

Next, I added a bit of raw umber pure pigment craft paint and mixed the colors together. This gives me a deeper orange color to begin how to paint with chalk paint on my pumpkins. Painting a half at a time and drying in between is best. This gives me my base color.

Mixing White With The Orange Paint

Step 2

For the next step, using the same orange paint mix in white craft paint. Add this mixture over the deep orange. This will add another layer to give your chalk painted pumpkin a more realistic look. After half the pumpkin is painted use a chip brush and stipple or pounce lightly. Doing this gives the chalk painted pumpkin adds a realistic look.

By the way, this is why I suggest chip brushes. For this craft, it's best to use these brushes because they are .89 and will take a bit of abuse. Let your pumpkin dry and do the same to the other half.

When stippling, if the darker orange is visible, don't worry. This is what adds to the the pumpkin having a real look.

Adding White Wax

Step 3

Here, using white wax and wax brush add the wax to the pumpkin. Add the white wax a bit at a time and work it into the paint well with your brush. After applying wax in sections very lightly wipe with a lint free rag. I say lightly because you want the white wax to stay adding to the real pumpkin look.

Adding A Real Stem To The Chalk Painted Pumpkin

Step 4

By the way, here's my collection of stems. It's well established as you can see and I add to it every year. Incidentally, these don't have to be used just to make pumpkins look real.

As a rule, I store my real pumpkin stems in a brown bag in my basement because it's cool and dark. I have saved many like this and it works well.

These also make a nice addition to a dish on a table.

Heat Your Glue Gun To Add Stems to The Chalk Painted Pumpkins

Step 5

Meanwhile, heat your glue gun on the low setting. This is namely important, because these pumpkins are usually Styrofoam. In a word, high heat glue will make the pumpkin break down.

Lastly, glue your stem on top of your pumpkin. Because these are waxed I won't use these outside. However, if you spray them with several coats of matte polyurethane they will work there as well.

How To Dry Brush Chalk Paint to Make Pumpkins Look Real

Step 6

Later I had bought this green pumpkin at Jo Ann for a great price. For the most part, shopping early or at the end of the season is best.

Next, using a paper plate, paper towel or a rag, dab the excess paint off. Here, you want your brush fairly dry. This is important when dry brushing.

Dry brushing paint to make pumpkins look real is hard on brushes so again use chip brushes.

So next, begin to apply chalk paint to the pumpkin. Dry brushing with paint will give this green pumpkin the real look of an Heirloom green gourd. This is a fast process. Again, add another real stem.

Painting Small Fake White Pumpkins

Lastly, I'm sharing how to paint with chalk paint on these small white pumpkins I bought. For these chalk painted pumpkins I dry brushed them with ASCP Old White chalk paint. White craft will also work for these.  

Adding a bit of dark wax randomly makes them look real. I also added real stems to these chalk painted pumpkins.

Decorating The Table

Meanwhile, adding these to our dining room table with an assortment of walnuts, pinecones, tea lights in bark candleholders looks pretty.

I hope you enjoyed learning how to paint with chalk paint on pumpkins. I'd love to read if you have ever painted pumpkins.

Remember to sign up to follow Cloches & Lavender so you never miss a project or ideas!

Resources for this project:

See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info

Cindy Cloches and Lavender
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Cindy Griswold Cindy Griswold on Sep 16, 2021

    Hi, I loved your tutorial! Thank you! I recently purchased some real pumpkin stems from Etsy. I had no idea there was even a market for pumpkin stems! I wondered if you would share your process for saving the stems if there is a process. Below is my felt pumpkin with a dried or preserved pumpkin stem.

  • Connie Connie on Oct 05, 2021

    Wonderful job! If you are using them outside, sprayed with polyurethane, have you weighted them down so how to withstand wind?

  • Elaine Clark Elaine Clark on Oct 11, 2021

    Nice but does chalk paint come in smaller can?


Join the conversation

4 of 5 comments
  • Liz L. Liz L. on Sep 17, 2021

    Gorgeous!! I’m definitely going to cut & keep pumpkin stems going forward!! Beautiful!! Love how you used the mixed nuts in your arrangement…awesome job!!

  • Judy Judy on Sep 17, 2021

    I must be slow to because I felt the same as Lori S. did!! Your pumpkins look beautiful! So realistic, if I saw them in your house I would assume they were the real thing. Well Done !!