I have been working on furniture like crazy but really enjoy 'the little things' and wanted to take a break and work on something fun and seasonal. Last fall I found a bunch of vintage mason jars at the Goodwill store and they have been waiting patiently in my garage for a chance to come out and play so I looked up 'mason jar crafts' on Pinterest for inspiration. As usual, Pinterest did not disappoint.
I decided for Valentine's Day I wanted to keep it fairly simple because I envision these full of flowers or greenery or pinwheels or giant pixie sticks so I went with the basic Valentine's Day Colors and tried a little striping action on a couple. Only one of them really turned out decent...the others ended up solid as I wasn't at all happy with their stripes.
I made sure the jars were 'clean'. I didn't run them through the dishwasher like I would have had I planned to use them for food use, but I did clean them off with a lysol wipe and let them dry completely. While they were drying I gathered my materials.
I, of course, used CeCe Caldwell's Chalk + Clay Paints in Vintage White (my absolute favorite color for painting anything), Minnesota Pink Lady Slipper and Jersey Tomato. I also grabbed some painter's tape, a bit of sandpaper (220 and 400 grit), a couple of brushes and I used Rustoleum Glossy Clear spray to seal them.
- I began by taping off stripes on a few of the jars. My experience with the painter's tape and these jars with this paint is that after painting over the edge it started to lift from the glass then it bled...bad...so maybe it was because I didn't let the tape 'warm up' in the house long enough after being in the garage in the winter...maybe the tape was a 'cheap roll' I got at the ReStor and not the 'good stuff' from the hardware store...or maybe I (or my assistant) didn't really make sure the edges were especially stuck to the glass... It doesn't matter. One of them really worked and the stripes are cute. The others I just painted over solid with the second coat. If you paint them solid colors it will be much faster (no taping) and much simpler (no taping) and the impact is still wonderful. (sidenote: I have done more elaborate 'patriotic' jars with stars and stripes using painters tape in the past with no problems so I am pretty sure this was the effects of the weather/quality of tape/user error and not a flaw in the process)
- I painted them. Keep in mind I used a chalk + clay based paint so I didn't pay any attention to brush lines. I slapped that paint on there. I want them to look worn and vintage and I like the character the sanded brush lines lend to the look. I allowed the paint to dry (it dries faster where it is warmer...near a heating vent or a fireplace...and since it is 100% natural and has NO VOCs you can do it anywhere. I would be more careful on carpeting but it will wipe off of most surfaces with water).
- I applied another coat of paint, let it dry and then touched up some places that seemed a little thin still. Be aware that you are applying paint to a surface which is not the most ideal for 'holding' the paint so if you bump the jars against anything or bang your paintbrush handle against the paint it WILL chip off. If there are just a few of these here and there I leave them because I want a worn vintage look. If this is something you want a perfect finish on with no chips or distressing I recommend using the method where you put some paint inside and roll it around...
- The next step is the sand. I use 220 and 400 grit sandpaper. You could also use kraft paper or cut up paper grocery bags. This will even out your brush marks and distress around the raised letters and any of those bumps where the paint came off will become more 'natural' and 'worn' rather than 'chipped' looking. You can always repaint anywhere you feel needs more work.
- When I had the look I wanted I took them outside to the garage and sprayed them with 2 light coats of Rustoleum to seal and finish them. You can use a paint on finish but I find that on these small projects with lots of curves and/or corners it is much faster and easier to achieve a 'professional' finish with spray. Once the finish is dry they are much more durable and can hold up to general use. I wouldn't stick them in the dishwasher but the paint isn't going to chip off unless you get through that finish first!
Enjoy some Valentine's Day Fun! If you need paint for this project be sure and hit my store and order some now. The sample sizes would be more than enough to do a bunch of these jars for yourself and your favorite people!