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Milk Paint Pumpkins


I received a lot of wonderful comments about my blue pumpkins and squash, but several people shared that they couldn’t find them in their area.

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Well, that gave me an idea…

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I’ve been itching to play with milk paint since attending the retailer training earlier this week, so why not test some custom mixed colors on a few pumpkins?  I know painting pumpkins isn’t anything new, but I don’t know if I’ve seen milk paint pumpkins out and about.  Given the natural variation in the pigmentation of the paint, I figured it would mimic the variations in the skin of blue pumpkins nicely.

So, I started out with mini white pumpkins…

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…and mixed up six different custom colors.  They’re all variations made with Grain Sack, Boxwood, Shutter Gray, Eulalie’s Sky, Trophy and Kitchen Scale.

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I have found that these little ironstone mugs are my favorite to use for small paint projects.  The paint doesn’t hurt them at all, they have rounded bottoms, so the paint doesn’t stick in the corners and they look pretty in pictures.

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I tried painting a pumpkin without the Bonding Agent and this happened…

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I figured it would, since the skin is so smooth, but I thought I would try it.  So, I added the bonding agent to each mix…

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The bonding agent is added directly to the paint after it is mixed and it helps the paint adhere to smooth surfaces.  It also makes the texture a little creamier.

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I painted the milk paint with the bonding agent added directly onto clean pumpkin skin.

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All of the colors were a little different, but they were alike enough that it looked natural.  I kept some of them opaque and others a bit more translucent with some brush strokes (like the one directly above.)

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As your painting with milk paint, some of the pigments will settle or rise to the top, so just give it a little stir.

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Even though milk paint has a lot of variation in the color, the pumpkins looked a little flat once painted, so I went for the wax.  I tested out Antiquing Wax first to see what that would look like…

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I brushed it all on and then wiped the excess away.

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I didn’t think the Antiquing Wax was the right look, so I tried the White Wax applied the same way…

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That was perfect.  The White Wax toned down the blues, grays and greens, making the finish look more like natural pumpkin skin.

So, there you go!  For those of you who don’t have blue pumpkins…just make them!

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A few days ago, someone asked if I ever have toys on my floor.  Yes.  Often.  I noticed some were left on the half bathroom floor (who knows what the boys were up to in there), so I snapped a picture just for you.

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  1. Brilliant! Those are beautiful colors.
    I think it is so funny that every toy figure is face down with the exception of one!
    Have a lovely fall weekend.

  2. Becky says:

    So very pretty!

  3. I love the texture of the milk paint. However, for some reason I cringe at the thought of painting pumpkins lol. Maybe it’s because they are real…I dont’ know.

  4. Tracey says:

    Hah! I actually love the peeling pumpkin! :)

  5. Love, love, love! They came out so beautifully! I especially love the one you said you made more translucent with brush strokes – it seriously looks like a real life heirloom pumpkin! Thanks for sharing this (and your beautiful, toy-filled floor – marble makes *everything* look that much more elegant!). :)

  6. Deann says:

    uggghhhhh! when am I going to be able to get me some of that trophy?!

  7. Sweet pumpkins! I’m a nut for pumpkins and such pretty colors. I’ve been painting the faux ones so at least they don’t wrinkle up and look so sad in a few weeks. I now have two seasonal autumn tote boxes. I wonder why???!!!! lol

  8. So weird…I did this exact same thing today. They look fab!

  9. LOVE the way they turned out!!

  10. Marian,

    These are some beautiful pictures! I love the finished product, but those milk paint pictures are so pretty. Very soothing colors and the ironstone and the silver spoon all go so perfectly together.


  11. Jeanine C. says:

    LOVE all these painted pumpkins! Each one has its own beauty and quality…even the “chippy” one…love it! I will be painting pumpkins this year for sure :)

    I see you are using your cups too :)

  12. Those are really beautiful! Very real looking, unlike most painted pumpkins I’ve seen. And thanks for the transparency with the toy picture. Almost every room in my house looked that way today. 1 and 4 are beautifully difficult ages in that department! Have a great weekend, Marian!

  13. Love everything but what really makes me cringe is the fact that you are doing all of this painting on a grain sack. Yikes! : )

  14. They look so pretty and natural.

  15. Beautiful….Now I need to find some white pumpkins
    Happy Day

  16. Those are perfect! And your toy collection looks an awful lot like mine. Though, I have a few of the “girlfriend” collection of legos thrown in 😉

  17. So pretty! And, I really like the tile on your bathroom floor. :)

  18. Kathy says:

    I love this! Your pumpkins are beautiful! This looks like such fun.

  19. Dianne says:


  20. Martha Weber says:

    These are gorgeous!

  21. JoAnn Hohl says:

    Wow! Those pumpkins are gorgeous! I subscribe via email and was thrilled this past week I could read your entire post as soon as I opened it without having to go direcly to the website which makes it so easier and faster when you read a lot of posts! Today I had to click over to your website to read it……just wondered what happened?????

    • Yeah, I used to have a full feed, but then Google stopped serving ads on e-mail feeds, which was a large chunk of my blog income. There was also an issue of sites stealing the content of the feeds, so I switched to truncated (preview) feeds. I switched back, but my page views took a big hit. I know it’s inconvenient, but I only earn money if someone visits my blog. Since this is a business, I had to make the decision to truncate the feeds again. Sorry for the long explanation and I hope it’s worth the click! :)

  22. Karen says:


  23. Beautiful colors! And yes, the white wax makes them look much more natural. I will have to put that white wax on my shopping list next time I shop for milk paint.

  24. Gaylin says:

    Love! I am waiting patiently(not!) for my white wax! Answer to so many deliemas with color.
    Great photos!

  25. Nancy Nelson says:

    They look marvelous! I will get to see you in Pike Road, Alabama! Can’t wait!

  26. Carolina says:

    Beautiful mix of colors!
    I loved the idea to use the milk paint on the pumpkins and honestly I like both ways
    with the white wax finish and I did loved the Antiquing wax too…

    Always good Marian :-)


  27. Love the blue pumpkins! All of them. So cute. Can’t wait to try that myself. Have you told the story of that magnificent cow painting? If you have, I have missed it. I l adore it!!! Please tell or direct me to the story.

  28. Harriett says:

    This is fabulous! I am going to try to paint everything. . .nuts, acorns, leaves, gourds, seed pods. . . a virtual cornucopia of milk paint! You are ever so clever!

    Are you going to sell ruffled tree skirts in your store? I covet one of those. I know we’re not supposed to covet but I want one. It will match the sheet music wreaths I have already bought from you at Lucketts :) :) :)

  29. can you share your recipe for that great minty green?

  30. MaryS says:

    painted pumpkins…. ADORABLE !!!!! I love them!!

  31. Ha! That was fun to watch! They did turn out just right… and the photos are amazing. I love your little stoneware bowls too… Thanks for showing “Eulalie” looking so pretty in the background. I saw her on your Facebook post too… so double thanks for highlighting her… you’re such a sweetheart…


  32. Absolutely LOVE the colors! And I think Eulie does too!

  33. Hi Marian,
    I’ve never used milk paint before. I hope this isn’t a silly question, but would this work on regular orange pumpkins?? :)

    • Yes, it certainly would. I think a white wash with the white wax over an orange pumpkin would tone down the orange and give it that “cinderella” look. You could paint them as well.

  34. Monica says:

    Great photo tutorial …i love your blog thank you for sharing this.

  35. These are adorable!! I even love the chipped one! I also adore the cow painting in the background! Beautiful!

  36. love it!!!
    I wonder how it would work on the artificial pumpkins at the craft store? Then you could save them to reuse year after year….your hard work wouldn’t but for only a season.

    Just a thought….. love all you ideas!!

  37. Since I haven´t seen either White or blue pumpkins around here in Provence(and I won´t be able to find in later on, when I return to Sweden, I´m sure of it!) this idéa of painting them is just great…..well, just a Little bit concerned about painting sth “real”, but what do´n´t you do to get the perfect décoration??!!

  38. So insanely cute! You make it look so decadent using your ironstone and silverplate for mixing. I’m a mess of a mixer – plastic spoons and cups or things from the recycle bin for me! :) Your new camera takes beautiful pics. I can see you’re having a lot of fun with it. Hope you’re enjoying the beautiful weather! — Pauline

  39. Such beautiful results, Marian….I will try some MMS paint one of these days!

  40. Simply beautiful!

  41. the cutest!! your milk paint images are honestly just glorious. silver spoons…milk paint. it’s soothing and beautiful!

  42. That milk paint looks so good, I feel like I want to lick it! :)

    I am totally doing this and painting pumpkins.

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