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10.15.2020

faux terra cotta pumpkins + tutorial

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the decor is simple on our porch this year...

just a few select elements combine to give our entryway a fall mood.
(no, that's not a photo of our porch! i'll probably share that on Insta) 
however, real pumpkins are not an option when it's still over 100 degrees.

my solution to that dilemma was to gather up the pumpkins we have on hand
(plus the new-to-me 'Funkin' faux pumpkin that i found at a thrift store
and used in my recent fall harvest scarecrow project)
and give them a cohesive look... 

and i did that with paint, of course!
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continue reading for my easy 'faux terra cotta' paint' tutorial...
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Faux Terra Cotta Paint Tutorial

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this 'before' and 'after' shot shows how you can transform pumpkins you already have -
plastic, foam, resin, cement, or ceramic! -
 into terra cotta (clay) classics with this easy paint tutorial
(it's very similar to my popular faux concrete pumpkins paint tutorial)
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Supplies:
pumpkins made from plastic, cement, resin, styrofoam, even glass
(the small styrofoam pumpkin used in these photos is from Dollar Tree Stores,
the larger one is a foam 'Funkin' from a thrift shop)

acrylic / craft paint in white, brown, and orange - matte finish
cup of water
palette (I use a plastic plate)
paint brushes - flat/wide for base coat, pointed/thin for details
a thin soft cotton rag or towel

Instructions:
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Step 1:

mix the orange, white, and brown paint to create a 'terra cotta' hue -
use a plant pot or other real terra cotta piece as reference.
(the pumpkin seen in the top left photo here is a real terra cotta pumpkin)

then basecoat the entire pumpkin with this color. 
TIP: styrofoam pumpkins tend to need two coats.
they work best if you apply the paint in two opposite directions - brush coat 1 from the top, coat 2 from the bottom.

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Step 2:
mix some white paint into the terra cotta color paint on the palette,
then add a bit of water to make the paint a runny 'wash' consistency.
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use a large flat brush lightly loaded with the paint wash.
with a light touch, apply it to the raised areas on each pumpkin ridge.

apply the paint to one ridge at a time - then quickly use the soft cotton rag to lightly rub the paint,
smoothing it along the ridge to
 soften the edges of the paint so they fade out.

(I left the stems unpainted until the end so I could use them as 'handles' while painting)

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Step 3:
 mix more white paint into the 'wash' on the palette. 

using a smaller detail brush, paint the grooves of the pumpkin with the wash,
just as you did with the raised ridges in the last step.
paint one or two grooves at a time - then quickly use the soft cotton rag to lightly rub the paint,
smoothing it along the groove to
 soften the edges of the paint so they fade out.

TIP: i paint from the bottom up to the middle, rubbing each one with the cloth,
then i paint from the stem down to the middle.


if you plan to use your painted pumpkins outdoors,
i recommend spraying them with matte clear sealer.

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your pumpkins will look like they are made of terra cotta clay - 
but they will weigh almost nothing!

not counting the white pumpkins, 
two of the pumpkins in the photo above are real terra cotta clay. 
three pumpkins are faux painted styrofoam and ceramic.
can you tell the difference?!

links to previous posts mentioned above:

faux concrete paint tutorial

fall harvest scarecrow - on a tomato cage 

shared online:

funky junk interiors / diy salvaged junk projects #549

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4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. thank you so much, Michele! paint is my favorite decorating tool - it can change anything SO easily!!!

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  2. Very nice! They look like the real deal. I never would have guessed they were "faux terra cotta." :)

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