the almost unpaintable pumpkins.

it's finally october, and that means it's time to pull out all the pumpkin decor! here's my pumpkin project for this year:

dollar tree pumpkins before:
and after!
do you totally love the feeling of tackling a project you've had bookmarked/pinned since forEVER ago? i really, really do. in fact, i had this idea bookmarked back before there was a pinterest. [at least before i stumbled upon it.] the shanty 2 chic blog was where i first discovered the illustrious combo of heirloom white spray paint + ralph lauren smoke glaze... or as they put it, 'shanty-ing' something up.

so, i had added their 'shantied' pumpkins to my to-make list about 100.5 years ago, calling them 'white twine pumpkins.' and today, i finally made them!

first, i found these little beauties at the dollar tree. carvable, sure, but apparently the dollar tree should market whatever material these pumpkins are made of to nasa or something as they are almost completly impervious to paint. [don't know why nasa would need anything nearly completely un-paintable, but you know what i mean.]
i'll explain:
first i painted them with gesso, an art canvas primer that i really like any time i'm not sure a surface will accept paint [ie: if i think it will either slide right off or soak right up to where it takes a million coats to cover it.] well, it was a new brand of gesso i'd never used before, and i wasn't impressed. it was basically no different than plain old white paint.

so i went for spray paint, but the nozzle on my heirloom white clogged up or something, as my brand-new can suddenly refused to spray. at all. no matter what i did. grrr.

so i went for just plain cheap white spray paint. and after spraying continuously for about 10 minutes with nearly no color change i stopped and busted out the big guns... kilz. brushed on. primer of all primers. and unbelievably, even that barely provided much coverage.

[i decided to spare you the photos of all these frustrating in-progress painting attempts. i'll just leave it to the before and after as though it was the sweet & simple little project it was supposed to be!]

but i still didn't want them shiny-white, so i pulled out some off-white craft paint & glopped it on nice & thick with a sponge brush. success! there was still the tiniest whisper of that bright orange showing through, but i didn't worry since i knew the glaze would darken it up quite a bit.

so i brushed on & wiped off the glaze & was finally feeling hopeful that they might actually look like i wanted them to when all was said and done! but i did coat them with several very generous hits of clear-coat sealing spray. i did not want all that paint flaking off to that oh-so-lovely fake orange. then it was just a matter of glue gun gluing a little twine on them! & finally, they looked how i wanted them too!
& here's the detail of how i wrapped the stem, although the sun setting makes the pumpkins look a little bluish.
so... $2 dollar tree pumpkins & $534 in paint [not really, just felt like it] & a little twine later... cute mantle place pumpkins that look really cute with my grapevine pumpkins from target a few years ago. and they've found a happy home on my newly thrifted & spray painted candlesticks.
yay! bring on the cardigans and lattes, i'm ready for fall!

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