April 24, 2012

Is This The "Perfect Mason" Jar Paint Technique?

After trying to paint some jars to look like vintage mason jars
in the blog post Making Jars Look Vintage, (in which the jars
are painted on the outside surface), I decided to try again
 with another technique by My Design Folder 

Instead of painting on the outside of the jar, the Design Folder
folks swirl the paint on the inside of the jar (or bottles too).

I stopped by the thrift store during some "half-off" hours to
find some more jars and bottles to experiment with.

The grand total for these jars (tax included)...$1.51.

I had glass paints left over from the last experiment.
I did try the small glass paints "Perm Enamel" again with this technique but they 
did not give the desired effect this time either.  I would recommend getting a glass
 paint marked "Transparent"like the taller containers are. These all came from  JoAnn's. 

 I got the Pebeo Porcelaine 150 paint in Turquoise
 at Michael's for about $4.  It looks like something they stock regularly.

With this paint technique, you mix your paint color with
enough acetone (fingernail polish remover) to make it thin
enough to swirl around in the jar.  That's the tricky part...
how much is enough and how much is too much? 

I would say that I poured about a tablespoon of paint on
the plastic plate and then poured about a teaspoon
of polish remover on top of that and mixed them together
before putting the mixture in the jar.

Once you put the mixture in the jar and start swirling it 
slowly inside the jar, you will be able to tell if it is thin
 enough and if you have enough paint to coat the inside.

 If I didn't think I had enough paint, I would add some
 more polish remover and mix the paint again in the
 bottom of the jar with a long bamboo skewer. 
 This might not be ideal because I sometimes made 
bubbles and bubbles in the jar are not your friend.
Do not put the paint mixture in the jar and shake it...you will have lots of bubbles.

I only mixed up enough paint and acetone for one jar at a
time because the paint starts drying pretty quickly.  I found it
better to turn the jar on its side and rotate it to coat the sides.

When you have paint mixture on the sides, it is time to tilt the
jar enough to get the paint on the inside "shoulders" of the jar
without all of the paint coming out of the jar.  Keep a little pool
of paint in the jar on the shoulders and rotate it while tilted.

After getting the paint mixture on all the inside surfaces of
the jar, I would just dump the excess paint back onto the plate.

Then I let the jar stay upside down on the newspaper to let
more excess paint drain back out.  To try to avoid a build up
of paint on the mouth of the jar, I moved it around frequently.

To get a more blue color on some of the jars, I mixed the
transparent blue, green and white glass paints with acetone.
Here are some of the jars draining with the color of paint
that was used on them to give you an idea of what a
certain color looks like after it is on/in the jar.

This jar and the one above were just the straight turquoise
 paint with some acetone.

The original blog post from My Design Folder said that if
you let these dry for two days, the paint would be permanent.
A commenter suggested that the only way to make them
permanent was to bake them. 

 I had had good results with baking the other "batch" 
so I did these also for 35 minutes at 300 degrees 
on a foil lined cookie sheet after they were dry.
(You should let the jars dry for at least 24 hours before baking)

Sadly, Mr. Miniature Bottle fell off of the cookie sheet.

 With most of my projects, I have high expectations when
starting but then have to adjust when things don't always
turn out as planned.  The jars came out with "some issues".
I'm not blaming the instructions...the issues are "user error".

A couple came out with blotchy areas...

This may have happened if those areas got more acetone than paint in the mixture while swirling.

...or few drips...

... too much or too little paint at the mouth of the jar...
If I tried to wipe off the paint when it collected on the mouth while draining,
too much of the paint came off usually.

...or paint collecting in the bottom of the jar...
I thought this large jar had drained all it was going to so I baked it
right side up and some paint slid down into the bottom of the jar.

even though you might have some imperfections on your
painted jars using this "inside job" as noted above or
 streaks using the "paint on the outside of the jar" method...
(These jars were done by painting on the outside of the jar then baking)

...when you get water and flowers in the jars those
boo-boos are hardly noticeable!

So is this the "perfect mason" jar paint technique?
Well, not when I do it but I will say that it IS
"perfectly fine".  YOU might come out with "perfect" results
(and even if you don't, you will probably be the only one to see the imperfections).

If you would like to see even more jars with flowers on
my kitchen table, click over to Spring Flowers in Blue Jars.


  1. So pretty and close enough to perfect for me. 8-)

  2. Well, even though they may not be "perfect" they look perfectly fine to me. I love them and think you did a great job! xo Diana

  3. I love this description of your process and totally agree, once the flowers are in you cannot even see the streaks!!!

  4. This is so great with you noting the glitches. It's nice to have someone lead the way and share the trials and triumphs. Boy, with the flowers in them, you'd never know they weren't perfect. So eye-catching!

  5. I love these! You have inspired me! Thanks for sharing.

  6. What a great way to transform a thrift store or recycled item into something that can be useful for decorating.

  7. Super duper THRIFTY idea...they look wonderful with the flowers:)


  8. I featured your pretty jars today at Mod Mix Monday!


  9. Perfection is overrated and I like that these jars have a vintage feel. So pretty! Thanks for sharing at this week's BFF Open House.


Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to comment on my blog!

© Miss Kopy Kat. Design by FCD.