4 Easy Steps to Painting a Seasonal Gourd!
After seeing so many of these displayed everywhere from porches to kitchens and even offices at work, I’ve grown rather fond of the idea of painting gourds! This process seems to be easy enough, but if you are just starting off there are always a few questions for any new craft that you are learning. So today, we will take a step back from flooring and focus home décor!
Here are the materials that you will need:
- Dried Gourd
- Acrylic or oil based paint
- Different sized brushes for the style of painting you are trying to achieve
- Steel wool or a Copper scrubby ( I prefer the latter over the steel wool because it is less abrasive to you hands!)
- Acrylic quick dry gloss (optional)
- Razor knife or Crafting knife
Just a heads up on the gourds, many of these are available for purchase online, but luckily I had one given to me. The problem with gourds though is that you have to dry them first. While you can buy them dried many people enjoy the craft from start to finish, but I think I will grow some next year and give it a shot.
Steps to Painting a Gourd:
Step 1: Soak and Scrub
If this is your first time, you will soon realize that a gourd is dried naturally without removing any of the insides. Give it a shake and you have your own “from the Earth” morocco to play with. The process of cleaning the gourd can sometimes be a challenge as mold and mildew is a common occurrence when most things are dried over time. No need to worry though the first thing that you will need to do is either fill a bucket with lukewarm water or your sink and allow the gourd to soak for a good 15 minutes.
I like to put a few drops of dish washing liquid in the water just for the mildew issue.
Also if your gourd is floating on the surface of the water and it will be because it is hollow at this point. Soak a dish towel in the water and once it is saturated place it over the gourd. This will help to keep the gourd submerged for the most part, why the wet towel is also dampening the exposed part of the gourd. Halfway through the soak roll the gourd over so that the side that was covered by the towel is completely submerged.
Once the gourd has soaked for a bit you will need to take the steel wool or copper scrubby and begin to remove the outer layer, it is dark due to the mold, mildew and dirt that it has accumulated throughout the process of drying. This could take awhile and remember that this will not be perfect.
Also do not scrub so much that you remove the entire surface of the gourd, this will make it very hard to seal and could cause issues with painting.
Step 2: The Cut!
It is time to make your cut to remove the matter on the inside of the gourd. Be warned and prepared for dust to get everywhere, if the gourd was dried properly you will see a silt-like substance that is a rich tan color as well as many seeds. I you are wanting to make a gourd into say a vase or pot I would suggest you will need to cut on the top, otherwise you will want to make a quarter sized hole on the bottom of the gourd so that is not visible. As you can see I cut off the top of my gourd.
Once you have dumped out all of the dust that you can find, I suggest filling it with water and adding a very small about of bleach and letting it soak on the inside for about five minutes.
This will loosen any remaining debris as well as eliminate any mold or mildew spores that may affect the gourd as time goes by.
After your gourd is clean and many shades lighter simply hang it back up, (preferably outside in a sunny area, so that the remaining liquid may air dry. Gourds are remarkably porous so this may take several hours, so have a glass of Iced tea and read a few chapters of your current book while you wait.
Step 3: Painting
Finally the fun part! Now that you gourd is completely dry, it is time to start with your base color. I find it easiest to paint your gourd one hemisphere at a time so that you do not smudge your paint job while it is drying. Painting is really up to you, it is hard to instruct you how to do so, but I can let you know ahead of time that priming your gourd may not be a bad idea. I did not do this and it resulted in several coats before I achieved the desired color of red.
Once I painted the base of my gourd, I was seeking a bit of a weathered look so I took a little black and made a few hairline strokes that were linear around the gourd. Immediately after, I used more red and stroked the freshly painted in the same direction of the black lines until it blended for an organic look. This took several coats, but the result was quite good.
Step 4: Seal (optional)
I prefer gourds with a glossy finish, not only is this visually appealing to me, but you are also giving the gourd an extra layer of added protection. A little bit of water and you masterpiece can break down. So this step will keep it protected.
I took a cardboard box and broke it down and laid my painted gourd on it. I then took a spray can of Acrylic quick dry gloss, and lightly went over the surface of the gourd. I did not use gloves, but I would recommend gloves and a mask so you do not breathe in the fumes. Once it dries give it some added character whether it be, sprinkling glitter, adding accessories or even dried plants.
And now we have the final product.
And here are some from the Dlugonski family, whom I owe my inspiration to paint my own gourd! Aren’t they Beautiful!
I hope you enjoyed this little adventure into home décor crafts, and I can’t wait to see wait to answer any questions that you may have. Also if you would like to send me a picture of your gourd to be posted on the blog, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will let you know when it goes live!
Until next time, Happy flooring and Creative crafting!