Guest Project — Make DIY Painted Mason Jars!!

16 Mar
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. 


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}
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…

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.

I started off by brushing the paint on.  I used a large brush, hoping to have as few brush strokes as possible.

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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.
I just wrapped it around the jar and cut. I crimped down the ends with my wire cutters.
Then I eye-balled how long I wanted the handle, added a bit more for twisting it on and cut.


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.

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!

IMG_4019 IMG_4023
One coat                                                Two coats
IMG_4029 IMG_4032
Three coats                                                  Four coats
After 5 coats I peeled back the tape and Viola!  A cute spot to label your jars. IMG_4067
I use mine for our family’s positive discipline incentive program.  We fill them with wooden balls to be redeemed for a special treat. 
You can read all about our ball jars here!
Also, I think they’re cute in the bathroom…
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: 
You will love following along with Celeste at

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