Painted Jars

These jars are not waterproof!!!

See that sentence above there? That sentence is important for three reasons. The first is that it shows that I am a hands-on D.I.Y. craft blogger. No aspirational re-blogs and Pinterest compilations for me. If it’s on my blog, I actually made it (or failed to make it!).

The second reason that sentence is important is because unlike some bloggers, who feel the need to present everything as though it is perfect, I am real with you, my lovely readers. I have too much respect for you to lie or photoshop the crap out of my failed projects! We, who spend our lives and our free time on the endless quest to make things, we know what it is to fail. And we are not ashamed. No. We are proud.

And the third reason. The third reason that sentence up there is important is because these jars are not waterproof. So don’t use them as vases for your wedding, baby-shower or (and I’m just spitballing here) your engagement party. Haha.


To go back in time a little bit, let me tell you the story of these jars. They come from humble un-painted beginnings: pasta sauce, olives, goat’s cheese. In their un-painted state they have graced two very special occasions: my sister’s 21st birthday and a very good friend’s wedding. They are special jars.


Entirely predictably, a few days before our engagement party I decided that they needed to be a little bit more special, and that I would paint them. I DID do some research into the water-proofity of different paints, and indeed which paints would work well on glass. Then I decided to ignore it, and went with acrylic water-based paint of the type you use to paint walls.

Why did I do this? Well, the answer is simple. Acrylic paint is cheap, easy to clean up, and it doesn’t smell. I figured I could live with the results if it ended up not being waterproof (and, I was right, because here I am, happily still alive).

Other, more waterproof options include oil based paint (hard to clean up), epoxy (also hard to clean up, and expensive) and glass paints that you can bake on (very expensive, and I couldn’t even be bothered looking for some to be honest). Or, as I saw suggested on one blog, you can always just use non-waterproof paint and put a plastic cup inside your jar to hold the water. Good thinking, I don’t know why I didn’t do that (hint: it’s because I’m lazy).


Anyway, these issues aside, this was an easy project. All you need to do is wash and dry your jars thoroughly, then pour a small amount of paint inside and swirl to coat it. I didn’t have any lids, which made it a little harder. Make sure to hang on to your lids.

Drain the excess paint, then sit it upside down to dry on something that you don’t mind getting all paint-y. I was amazed at how much paint drained out when I checked on my jars the next morning. They took about 24 hours to dry completely.

I had a lot of fun with the colours – out of the three sample pots that I purchased ($8 each from Bunnings), I made a bunch of pretty different shades.


As you can see, even though the paint separated from the glass a little when I put the water in, they really don’t look too bad at all. People actually thought the crinkled effect was on purpose! One of my friends came up to me afterwards and said she had the same thing happen at her wedding. The only real issue is that they can’t really be re-used, which is a pity after all the time and paint that I spent on them. Nevermind though – it’s all a learning experience!


PS – Check out my last jar project here: Chalkboard Candle Jars


4 thoughts on “Painted Jars

  1. Jacinta says:

    I like that you admit your mistakes so we can also learn from them. I did notice these jars around the house for your party and I agree, i thought the crinkles were on purpose and they looked great! How great that your had beautiful one off vases for the day and learned a little about paint in the process :)

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