Key Takeaways:

  • Painting your pumpkin is an easy alternative to carving pumpkins
  • If you have mobility issues, try painting your pumpkin instead of carving. It will be easier for young grandchildren as well!
  • Be sure to pick a quality acrylic paint to get the best results

umpkins are a great way to decorate for Halloween, so you may be thinking about carving and gutting one. But what if I told you there was another way? How about painting the pumpkin instead? It's easier than carving and can look just as good if you know what to do!

Here's the easiest way to decorate your pumpkin this Halloween:

How to Pick a Pumpkin to Paint

To create a beautifully painted pumpkin, you first need to consider its shape. "Painting a rounded surface is a little more difficult than a flat surface like canvas," says Becki Thomas, art manager at Painting with a Twist. "Try and choose a pumpkin with the smoothest surface possible, and plan your design, keeping the pumpkin's natural ridges in mind."

Next, clean your pumpkin so that the paint will stick to the surface. "It's a good idea to wash the pumpkin and dry it really well," says Evan. "That way, you're not putting paint on a fine layer of dirt—you're putting paint right on the skin of the pumpkin" (Source: Martha Stewart).

Acrylic paint is your best option to paint pumpkins with!

The Best Paints to Use for Your Pumpkin

For the best results, you should use a good quality acrylic paint that is suitable for pumpkins.

"I love to paint pumpkins with chalky acrylic paint," says Roma Stiff, senior creative project designer for Michaels. "The coverage is good, and the matte finish gives an updated home décor look and feel. The paint comes in a variety of home décor colors and is just enough to do a project!"

Choose Acrylic Over Oil Paint

Thomas agrees and recommends acrylic paint instead of oil-based when painting pumpkins. "It's quick-drying, easy to use, and clean-up is a breeze," she says. "Because acrylic is water-based, if you mess up, you can wipe it off with a rag and start over! Oil-based paint takes a long time to dry and can be fumy. [With oil,] you'll also need paint thinner to clean the paintbrushes."

Work in Layers

Acrylic craft paints are ideal for painting pumpkins because of their fast-drying qualities and affordable price. You can easily apply several layers in order to achieve solid coverage, but be sure to let each coat dry completely before adding the next. Be sure to wear an apron or an old shirt and to protect the table you're painting on!

Painting Your Pumpkin

There are two ways you can paint your pumpkin: using stencils or freehand. Both methods are easy and fun!

Stencils are super-easy and fast. You can find free stencil templates online or buy some at a craft store. The trick is to use a very light hand with the paint (you don't want it to drip all over your pumpkin).

If you're feeling more adventurous and want something more unique than what stencils provide, try freehand painting! This technique is more time-consuming and requires more skill than stenciling does, but the result is totally worth it! The key here is practice: try out different designs on paper first so that when Halloween rolls around and it's time for real pumpkins, you'll know exactly what you're doing.

You can decorate with pumpkins without having to worry about carving and gutting one.

If you're looking for a way to decorate your pumpkin that's simpler than carving and gutting it, painting is the way to go! You can paint them any color you want or any design! You can even use stencils to create unique spooky patterns.

It’s easy to decorate a pumpkin, and you don’t have to spend hours doing it. Just grab one on your way out of the store and start painting! The best part is that you can do whatever you want with them—there are no rules when it comes to decorating pumpkins. So go ahead and make this Halloween extra spooky with some festive decorations made by hand.

Learn more ideas & inspiration to get your craft on this Halloween!

Oct 3, 2022