How to Paint Faux Pumpkins

How to paint faux pumpkins

Have you ever wanted to paint faux pumpkins that look realistic? Well today I’m going to show you how in three simple steps!

YouTube video
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Pumpkins are a staple fall decor item. Faux pumpkins are perfect and able to be used year after year, but sometimes aren’t the right color, and sometimes look very fake. In this blog post, I am going to show you how to paint faux pumpkins to look more realistic in 3 simple steps!

In order to do this, you really only need a few basic tools and a handful of paint colors. It’s a lot easier than you might think, and it’s a lot of fun, too!

Pumpkin fall decor in neutral colors

How to Paint Faux Pumpkins – Materials Needed

I like to paint my pumpkins on some newspaper or craft paper using a paint brush that’s roughly an inch wide. It’s nice to have paper towel handy for blotting excess paint or blending. My favorite paint colors for neutral fall decor are green, white, gray, blue, and brown. I love looking at photos of real pumpkins for inspiration. 

How to Paint Faux Pumpkins – Step by Step

Painting pumpkins step by step

1. Paint the crevices a darker shade

DIY Neutral Fall Decorations

Start by painting all of the crevices of your pumpkin a darker shade of whatever color you have chosen to paint the entire thing. This will help to add some dimension and really help with it looking more realistic.

2. Paint the raised areas a shade lighter

Add some white or cream colored paint to the darker shade you were just working with, then use that paint color on all of the raised areas of your pumpkin, blending the colors together. Try your best not to leave brush strokes. 

DIY Autumn Decor Ideas

3. Dry brush your pumpkin with a third shade

For this step I like to use a cream color, a brown, or both! Simply dip your brush in some paint and blot off as much as you can. Then run your brush over random areas of the pumpkin, working the paint in and rotating your bristles. 

how to paint faux pumpkins

That’s it! Sometimes if the stems look too pink or red in color, I’ll paint those, too. Remember to use the same technique. Start with a darker color, then go back over with a lighter shade to highlight some of the texture.

Be sure to watch the YouTube video linked above to watch how I paint each pumpkin!

how to paint faux pumpkins

All of the imperfections on your faux pumpkin will pick up that last layer of paint, giving it an authentic feel. 

how to paint faux pumpkins

Why Paint Faux Pumpkins?

There are a few reasons why I like to paint faux pumpkins. First of all, you can find some amazing faux gourds and pumpkins at thrift stores that are SO cheap, but they aren’t always the right color or sometimes look very fake. 

how to paint faux pumpkins

Instead of passing them up, why not paint them? Acrylic paint is so affordable, it’s worth taking the time to switch up their color!

Another reason I love doing this is because oftentimes you can make them look much more realistic than they do in the store. Adding dimension and highlighting textures with paint gives faux pumpkins a more authentic feel. 

how to paint faux pumpkins

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to paint faux pumpkins. It truly is such a simple process and if you try it I would love to know in the comments below!

Looking for another way to save money on fall decor? Sign up below for my FREE Fall Pumpkin Printable!


How to paint faux pumpkins


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  1. Awesome project! Love the artist’s tips on how to shade and add dimension to these faux pieces. You are wonderful, Andrea! Love your blog, YouTube channel and everything you do. Thanks!!!

  2. Hi I really like your blog I think you have great ideas for designing Thanks for sharing your ideas. my God Bless you .PS Love your show

    1. Hello! I use Apple Barrel Acrylic paints from Walmart! They have several different colors there! I hope this helps you!

  3. I love these. They are beautiful!!!

    I have a faux pumpkin I bought a few years back to paint, but that was in Country Living magazine and they were painting it a blue and white plaid, which was very cute, but I never got around to do it. I think I like the realistic ones better. Maybe there is a reason I never painted it!

  4. Gorgeous! I’ve heard actylic paint doesn’t do well on plastic-type surfaces, but yours look beautiful! I have some faux gourds and pumpkins I’ve been wanting to paint. I’m going to go ahead and use my acrylic paints on them. Thank you for the fabulous tutorial!

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