Guest Project — Make DIY Painted Mason Jars!!

16 Mar
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Hey there!  I’m Celeste: wife, mother of three {a 7 year old son and 3 year old identical twin daughters} and
a DIY addict. 

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I am so thrilled to be posting on Tatertots and Jello today! I just love Jen’s blog {it’s one of the first blogs I ever read} and all her fantastic ideas. She’s such an inspiration! After getting addicted to reading blogs, I decided to start my own blog to chronicle our adventures in updating our 1950’s ranch home we bought 2 years ago. We’ve redone the master bathroom, the kitchen {and built an island}, wood floors, board & batten, painted every room {some twice three times}, painted numerous pieces of furniture and tons of smaller projects. It’s all over on my ‘lil blog
My Greenbrae Cottage. 

As much as I love the big projects, today I’m going to share an easy project with you…
painting mason jars!  
 {both with glass paint and chalkboard paint}
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I love all the mason jars I’m seeing everywhere in catalogs and blogland.  I especially adore the old vintage blue jars I’ve seen used for candles or flowers or anything for that matter.  Instead of searching thrift stores {not my children’s favorite pastime……..yet} I decided to make my own.  And it turned out to be super easy!

First I did a Freecycle post looking for free mason jars {do you freecycle? it’s like craigslist but all items are free}  I ended up with several dozen! Most of them are just spaghetti sauce jars, but when spruced up, they can fool you into thinking they are from an old vintage kitchen.
I picked up this glass paint from Michael’s….Vitrea 160, in turquoise.  I also grabbed some thinner from the Vitrea 160 collection.  IMG_2905
I gathered my materials: clean mason jars, paint brush {which I decided later was not the best way to apply the paint}, bowls to mix paint.IMG_2902

First I thought I’d try diluting the paint with regular ‘ol paint thinner. Made sense to me at first…
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but you’ll see on the right {above} the turquoise just beaded up when mixed with regular paint thinner.  So then I mixed it with the Vitrea thinner and it worked much better {tray on the left}.  I started with about a 50/50 solution of paint to thinner and later realized that I only need a TINY amount of the turquoise to achieve the faint blue color I was hoping for.

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I started off by brushing the paint on.  I used a large brush, hoping to have as few brush strokes as possible.
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Both of the jars above were done with a paint brush. The first was a 50/50 ratio or paint to thinner.  The second was about 30/70 paint to thinner.  {Noticed I used the least attractive of my jars: labeled pumpkin soup, for my guinea pigs!}
Then I switched to a rag for the paint application:

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I liked the rag MUCH better.  I got a smoother finish and less of that brush stroke look. Also I thinned the paint much more by this point.  I was using probably 20% paint and 80% thinner.

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Above are the next two jars that were done with the rag instead of a brush and with a ratio of around 20/80 paint to thinner.

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Here’s all 4 jars lined up for you to compare.  The far left is 50/50 paint to thinner and brushed on.  Next is 30/70 paint to thinner and also brushed on.  The last two on the right are both 20/80 paint to thinner and applied with a rag.

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You’ll notice you can still kinda see some strokes of paint {even with the rag} and also places where the paint is thicker than other places…but when you bake the color on and fill them with water and flowers, that all fades.
Once I had my technique mastered, I did a few more.

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Ok, so next step is to bake the jars in the oven. This step locks the color in, makes them dishwasher safe and gets rid of that tacky/sticky feeling they have.  First let them dry for 24 hours. Then bake the jars in a 325o oven for 40 minutes.

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And then I thought I’d accessorize them just a tad by adding some wire around the neck and as a handle.  I bought this steel wire from Home Depot. It bends pretty easily, but the next thinner gauge would have worked well too.
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I just wrapped it around the jar and cut. I crimped down the ends with my wire cutters.
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Then I eye-balled how long I wanted the handle, added a bit more for twisting it on and cut.

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And there you go! “Vintage” blue mason jars! IMG_4071
I just love how the color came out. So faint and refreshing……just beach-y!              
I want to share one other way I’ve painted mason jars and that’s with chalkboard paint.  I just love chalkboard paint and am so excited when I discover another way to use it.  I wanted to create a place to write my kids’ names on these jars. So I taped off an area with blue painter’s tape.  I just eye-balled it.
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Then I painted the small area with chalkboard paint.
IMG_4016 I love this chalkboard paint from Rust-oleum!  Did you know it comes in a rainbow of colors?  But the scariest most exciting thing is that it also comes in a tint-able white!  Oh, help me!  I’d be at the paint counter for days trying to get just the right color.  So for now I’m sticking with black!

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One coat                                                Two coats
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Three coats                                                  Four coats
After 5 coats I peeled back the tape and Viola!  A cute spot to label your jars. IMG_4067
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I use mine for our family’s positive discipline incentive program.  We fill them with wooden balls to be redeemed for a special treat. 
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You can read all about our ball jars here!
Also, I think they’re cute in the bathroom…
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I’m sure you can think of dozens of ways to use them!
Well, folks, that’s all for now! Thanks SO much for stopping by to learn a little about me
and what I love to do. 
And thanks a million to Jen for featuring me on her amazing blog today!
 Thanks Celeste!! 
What a fabulous project. I love those mason jars. 

I have had my eye on My Greenbrae Cottage for awhile. Some of my favorite projects have been: 
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You will love following along with Celeste at
xoxo

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