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Perfect Painted Pumpkins

Have you been eyeing up those fake pumpkins at your local home decor store, like Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods, or your local craft store? Maybe you love the size of those faux pumpkins but can’t stand the color?

Or maybe you’re like me and found a pumpkin you fell in love with and knew you wouldn’t have to do a thing to it so it could match the rest of your fall pumpkin decor but once you looked at the price tag, you almost fell over?! Well, hang on to the shelf friends because you can totally get that cheap-o, good size, ugly pumpkin and learn to paint the faux pumpkin after reading through this DIY tutorial.

Painting faux pumpkins is a fun and creative way to get into the fall spirit without having to worry about painting real pumpkins. Faux pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, making it easy to find one that fits your desired aesthetic even if it’s the wrong color. Plus, you can paint them any color you’d like! Painting faux pumpkins is the perfect project for getting into the spirit of autumn.

Painted Pumpkins Maison Blanche

Previously, I shared a painting technique using Maison Blanche LeDirt.  If you missed it, you can see it HERE.  We are going to use this technique when working with our fake pumpkins in this DIY project.

So grab your cute, cheap, plastic pumpkins from the store, the attic, the Dollar Store, or from a yard sale and feel confident knowing that you can turn them into the beautiful pumpkins of your dreams with just a few coats of paint and some time.  

When you have the right colors to work with, transforming a bright orange plastic pumpkin into a more realistic-looking fairytale pumpkin is easy!   

I liked the shape, but that bright orange color – not so much!  I got the smaller pumpkin, shown on the books in the first photo, at Michaels and it was also bright orange.

Target Orange Pumpkin Painted Pumpkin

Supplies Needed


Clear Antique Wax

White Lime Wax

Paint Brushes

How to Paint Faux Pumpkins

So, here’s what I used on the large orange pumpkin – Maison Blanche La Chaux in Candied Yam!  It’s the perfect shade for a muted Cinderella or Fairytale pumpkin! 

Start by grabbing your paintbrush and pick your paint colors. Cover your pumpkin with a layer of paint. I recommend starting at the bottom of the pumpkin and working your way up, holding the pumpkin by the stem to be able to rotate it around to cover the pumpkin evenly. These fake pumpkin stems are less fragile than real pumpkin stems, so you should be okay. Be careful when setting the pumpkin down so you don’t mess up the bottom. 

My pumpkin only needed one coat of paint (yours may need more) and once it was dry I moved on to the next step. Next, I waxed the entire pumpkin with clear antique wax.  After about 20 minutes, I went back and used white lime wax and dry brushed on some highlights.

For the smaller pumpkin, I used Maison Blanche Vintage Furniture Paint in Miel.  Again, it only took one coat.  Once the paint was dry, I used the La Chaux Candied Yam and dry brushed over the Miel to give the pumpkin color some depth.  When the paint was completely dry, I gave it a coat of clear wax for protection.


Painted Pumpkins Maison Blanche Candied Yam

Can I use acrylic craft paint? 

Yes, you can definitely use acrylic paint to paint fake pumpkins! It works just as well as regular furniture paint, the paint I used, and it’s often a lot easier to find. I’d recommend buying multiple colors so that you can get a nice variety of shades and hues in the pumpkin’s coat.

You can also use a dry brush technique with acrylic craft paint or other type of paint, like I did when painting my own pumpkins. To finish them off, make sure to give the pumpkins a coat of clear wax or clear sealer for extra protection.

And if you like the White Lime Wax like I used, feel free to use that as well once you finish painting, waxing, and drying the pumpkins.

What color should I paint the stems? 

You can paint the stem whatever color you like. White paint, black paint, silver paint, a lighter color, whatever you have or enjoy. Just make sure to use only a little paint so it doesn’t get sloppy and drip off of the pumpkin stem and onto the pumpkin itself. 

Can I spray paint faux pumpkins? 

While you can spray paint faux pumpkins, you won’t be able to use the same technique we used previously with the Maison Blanche LeDirt paint. You could easily change the color of your orange pumpkins this way but you won’t get the same fairytale appearance like you see in my pictures.

But, you can get a few different looks by using a base color and then a metallic paint with it. You may need a few layers of paint. It’s an easy way to transform your fall decor though. 

Can I use milk paint on faux pumpkins? 

Yes, you can use milk paint on fake plastic pumpkins. Milk paint is a type of paint that has been around for centuries and provides a look that is quite different from your typical store-bought paints. Depending on the type of look you are going for, you may need to do multiple coats of the milk paint to get the desired effect. You can also mix in another color of milk paint if you want a two-tone look. Keep in mind it will take some time to dry between coats, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to complete the project.

Can I use a different painting technique? 

Sure, if you don’t want to use the one I used (more info found here), you can use whatever type of painting techniques you prefer to give it a glazed look, or a fairytale look, or whatever kind of look you prefer.​

What kind of pumpkin should I use?

You can use any kind of fake pumpkin. You can try this on a plastic pumpkin, faux heirloom pumpkins, or a few styrofoam pumpkins. You can use larger pumpkins or paint a bunch of mini pumpkins.  I wouldn’t recommend trying this on a real pumpkin though.  

Can I use different colors?

Of course! You can choose any color you want. Pick two coordinating colors to give your pumpkins a contrasting look. Pay attention to the other kind of fall and pumpkin decor you like in stores or from friends and family and now you can recreate those and make your own versions to love and display.


Painting pumpkins is a great way to decorate your front porch for the fall season. So feel free to grab those faux pumpkins you have had lying around and transform them into the cute pumpkins you have been wanting to get but don’t want to pay that much for! 

Painted Pumpkins Maison Blanche Miel

For the smaller pumpkin, I used Maison Blanche Vintage Furniture Paint in Miel.  Again, it only took one coat.  Once the paint was dry, I used the La Chaux Candied Yam and dry brushed over the Miel to give the pumpkin color some depth.  When the paint was completely dry, I gave it a coat of clear wax for protection.

Heirloom Pumpkins Painted Pumpkins

Here are my two inspiration pumpkins from the farmer’s market.

Perfect Painted Pumpkins

And, here are my painted pumpkins!  No, not an exact match, but pretty close!  I  love how they turned out!  Much better than bright orange for sure!!!   And, next fall I won’t need to stress out when I can’t find pumpkins at the market in time for my fall home tour, because I’ll have these faux ones to use!

Perfect Painted Pumpkins

Thanks for stopping by today!  As always, I’m so thankful when you share my posts with your friends on social media!



Sunday 22nd of August 2021

Wow gorgeous! Now if I could only find cheap pumpkins like this. All of them I can find have a handle and open top for trick or treating :( I am going to buy a pumpkin that I like and just paint it. It will cost more but I have never seen plastic pumpkins in Canada that look like this! Fantastic!

Doreen Cagno

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

Thanks so much Kate! Enjoy the process!

DIY Hanging Wheat Bundle - Hymns and Verses

Wednesday 25th of September 2019

[…] Perfect Painted Pumpkins […]


Thursday 13th of October 2016

I want to get your blog in my email and Facebook.


Sunday 9th of October 2016

Hi Doreen! Love how those pumpkins came out, so pretty!

Would you consider sharing at our weekly Dishing It & Digging It Link Party? We are live every Sunday at 4pm.

Sherri S..

Thursday 6th of October 2016

What a change! So much prettier.

Happy Fall... Sherri