Tips For Painting Mason Jars

6 Materials
1 Hour

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Do you have a few mason jars sitting around your house? Maybe they are being used as a vase for some flowers right now or possibly drinking glasses (that’s what we do in our house). I am going to show you how to paint mason jars and when we’re done you’ll feel confident on how to transform a plain mason jar into a colorful piece of decor with just some simple craft paint!

Today’s guide on how to paint mason jars is part of a monthly challenge to DIY a craft using just the supplies we already have on hand. I’ve had just a fun time trying to get creative with my supplies and this month was no different.


  • Mason jar
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Foam brush
  • Cotton pad or cotton ball
  • 220 grit sandpaper

Step 1. Clean your mason jar with rubbing alcohol

I just use a cotton pad to spread rubbing alcohol all over the mason jar. You only need to clean the outside of the mason jar with the rubbing alcohol. This will remove any oils or other grim and help the paint to adhere.

Step 2. Paint mason jar

Yep, it’s really that simple. I usually do three coats of acrylic craft paint using a foam brush. You may need more or less paint depending on your paint color and preferences. Be sure to let the paint fully dry in between coats.

I’ve always used acrylic craft paint to paint mason jars. I know others that have used chalk paint too, but craft paint is much more affordable so I’ll stick with it because it works great.

Step 3. Distress mason jar

I use a fine 220 grit sandpaper and focus the raised areas of text and design on the mason jar. I love the look of the distressed painted mason jar!

Step 4. Enjoy! 

You can use the painted mason jars for so many uses around your house!

Suggested materials:

  • Mason jar
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Rubbing alcohol
See all materials

Chelsea @ Making Manzanita
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  14 questions
  • Sharon Sharon on Mar 28, 2017
    If this paint gets wet will it wash off the jar?
  • Carrie lester Carrie lester on Dec 01, 2017
    Can this jar be use for bath salts
  • Wil31531510 Wil31531510 on May 09, 2018

    I let the first coat dry but when I go to put the second coat on it always takes some off the first coat. What do I need to do? I have let it dry over night even

    • Cmu30492839 Cmu30492839 on May 16, 2018

      Clean glass in hot water with Dawn dish soap. After it dries wipe with alcohol swab. Paint immediately after alcohol dries. Do not touch jar with hands . I use a paper towel to handle the jar for the base coat. Hope this helps.

    • Shi33574202 Shi33574202 on Jun 07, 2018

      I had the same issue and I took your advise and it helped amazingly! Thanks so much!

    • Do light coats of paint and don't brush back and forth a lot. Just put the paint on with one stroke. That will help this issue :)

  • Paula Brooks Paula Brooks on May 15, 2018

    Whats the purpose of the alcohol

    • Jean Jean on May 15, 2018

      Read the first step -- it's to clean away any oil and grime from the outside of the jar which will help the paint adhere to the glass.

    • Mattie Martin Mattie Martin on Jun 23, 2018

      To clean the dirt and stuff off. It's in like the first sentence

  • Jackie Begay Jackie Begay on Jun 16, 2018

    does it need to be sealed after? will it hold up to washing? thanks

    • I only use my for seasonal decor that doesn't really get touched, so I didn't see the need to seal it. It doesn't get washed, just dusted off every now and then. If you wanted to wash it, I would recommend sealing it. Probably with a spray acrylic coating.

  • Marilyn Barker Marilyn Barker on Aug 11, 2018

    Do you have to bake them in oven like others

  • Tina Tina on Aug 24, 2018

    Aren't you a raid the paint will chip off or water will wash it off?I

    • I only use these for decor so they aren't handled and never in contact with water. I wouldn't use them for anything food related though :)

    • Tmahers Tmahers on Sep 06, 2018

      You can use a water based spray top coat - I use Minwax Polycrilic about three coats. It renders them water-resistant and I use mine as a vase for fresh flowers and with a dispenser lid for soap. The topcoat works better if you spray your paint on rather than brush it on - no brush strokes.

    • NaniJen NaniJen on Dec 06, 2018

      I am in the process of changing my decor to farmhouse/rustic. I will definitely be doing this!! 💜

  • Anita Ortega Anita Ortega on Sep 01, 2018

    is the jar washable?

  • Ann34193483 Ann34193483 on Oct 08, 2018

    Must I put n sealer on thie jars

  • Ronda Morgan Ronda Morgan on Dec 28, 2018

    Do you need to cure it in the oven?

  • Kma38790520 Kma38790520 on Jan 19, 2019

    I would look like to try this but want to know how to ensure tg ge p as int does not come off and how to wash the painted jar.

    Thank you!

    • Very easy project. Everybody has all of these items laying around the house.

      Nice Job.

      The Hollowtree Wood Craft Company

      Stanley and Gaylynn Silveria

    • Brigitte Beschorner Brigitte Beschorner on Jul 15, 2019

      Unless you plan to use these painted jars to store food or drink from ( Not Recommended!), a simple coat of sealant should allow you to wipe off dust, etc. from the surface.

    • Shirl Shirl on Jan 27, 2020

      Bake them in the oven. Paint won’t come off in dishwasher on top shelve.

    • Katherine Jamieson Adamo Katherine Jamieson Adamo on Nov 05, 2020

      You can buy the FolkArt Enamel paint or any other craft enamel paint. Let it dry 1 hour then place in COLD oven. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 min and let cool in oven. This ensures it will not come off, and is top shelf dishwasher safe.

  • Betty Betty on Jun 25, 2019

    I painted wood with brown acrylic i did 3 coats and then i wanted to use Med crackle paint but i didn't understand how to use it. It said use a base coat first after you painted the wood.

  • Trish Trish on Nov 05, 2019

    I followed the steps and waited several days between coats. When I put on 2nd coat my paint just peeled off from first coat. So I had a peeling mess, ran it under hot water and all the paint came off so I can start over but how do I prevent this from happening again? I want to make soap/lotion dispenser and I don’t want all the paint to come off the first time they get wet. I used acrylic craft paint in matte finish.

    • Katy Katy on Feb 16, 2020

      Same problem as you with Acrylics. I use the Rustoleum Chalked Paints and they work great!!!

    • Kimberly J Stetz Kimberly J Stetz on Mar 03, 2020

      You have to wipe it down with alcohol but the I put a coat of polycrylic or you can use modge pog then paint your 3 coats drying between each coat. Hope this helps.

    • Trish Trish on Mar 03, 2020

      Thank you! I did wipe with alcohol but I’ll definitely try the modge pog or polycrylic!

    • Tamara Tamara on Apr 20, 2020

      u need multi purpose or surface paint (wood, glass, metal) same area in paint But usually top shelf of the unit. Usually cost is $1 more.

    • CATHY CATHY on Dec 21, 2020

      Trish, I appreciate you asking that question all the replies are good ones very informative thank you thanks everyone for sharing.

  • Krysti Krysti on Dec 21, 2020

    Can you distress paint after curing, or will they peel?


Join the conversation

3 of 12 comments
  • LaVerne Denise Joseph LaVerne Denise Joseph on Jan 05, 2020

    Inspired. I'm going to try this for my self. LOVE THIS 💯! Thanks!

  • Brittany Brittany on Jun 08, 2021

    Oh wow, these look amazing! Every time I have tried to paint on glass of any kind it always peels away, had no clue you were supposed to bake the paint on. Thank you for such an informative post (and questions section lol)!!