Life on the creative side

Painted Christmas Ornaments

Painted Christmas Ornaments
During the rush of the Christmas season a reader contacted me concerning a recent post about my hand painted Christmas ornaments. As it so happened she had been trying to paint an ornament of her own but with frustrating results. Each time she attempted to paint the image the paint would slide and streak over the glass; she wondered if I could make any helpful suggestions. Later It occurred to me that perhaps other readers could garner some helpful insight from the correspondence that followed between Amber and myself – I’m certain all will find inspiration from the beautiful results of her creative efforts. Thanks Amber for sharing
K

Hi Mrs. Lundberg, Wow!! Those are amazing! You are so talented! It’s funny that you posted these ornaments because I sat down last night with the intent of painting on plastic ball ornaments, like these (although I do not know if your ornaments are glass or plastic…that might make a difference). I had such a difficult time – and truly with awful results! If you would offer your expert advice, what paint do you use and do you have to prime the surface at all? I found that the Martha Stewart acrylic paint (one pearl finish and the other course glitter) rather smeared than held a tight, clean line. It also took me about 3 coats to make it opaque. I plan to paint my home (our 2012 new home) onto a ball and this is how I was thinking of approaching it. Since the paint doesn’t seem to adhere well to the plastic, I painted a white/pearl circle on the ball to act as my base coat/canvas. And then I’ll continue painting from there. I don’t plan to go into as much beautiful detail as you do by adding dimension with shading…but I’d just like to have a straight, clean line if at all possible! Any suggestions are warmly welcomed and anticipated ;)
A

Awe thanks Amber, Here is my brief tutorial on painting an ornament. I use acrylic craft paint on glass or plastic bulbs. I don’t prime the bulb but I do use a square soft brush, 1/2 inch or so wide, to carefully apply the base coat of paint (it may streak a bit but the image I apply next camouflages this); if you want it more opaque apply more layers, letting paint dry between layers. After the base coat has completely dried I use detail brushes to paint on the scene (take care not to overwork the surface, as it may cause the base coat to lift). Finally, once I am satisfied with the image, I dip the entire bulb into a water /based sealer. Also I have used white or silver bulbs to begin with, such as the ornament featured in my post (the one with the image of the Christmas tree hunt) because it was a snowy scene. Happy painting Amber, and feel free to contact me if you need any help.
K

I finally got to painting (I painted my church’s future building instead of my home, like I planned) and I am so happy with the results! Painting the base coat like you suggested really helped. My only step left is to coat it with sealer. I bought Mod Podge (satin or semi-gloss) but I am too frightened to go through with it. Do you have any suggestions on how to proceed? Will the ornament not last if it isn’t sealed?

Thanks so much for your help earlier,
Amber

hand painted christmas ornament

 

hand painted christmas ornament

Amber that looks beautiful. You did a great job! I would suggest that you seal it with a water based Polyurethane. I like to dip the entire ornament into the polyurethane then hang it to dry. A satin finish creates a soft coating and a gloss finish creates a glass like top coat.
K

Do you mean you use regular water-based polyurethane from a can, like what you’d buy at a paint store? I was thinking it was a special product found at craft stores…wow. I believe I have some and I’ll give it a try tomorrow.
A

Yes it comes in a can and u can find it at a paint store or home improvement store. Let me knw how it goes.
K

I dipped it about 30 minutes ago and it’s in the garage drying. I was little apprehensive to make the initial plunge, but I’m so glad I did! It was very simple and easy and it gave the ornament a gorgeous glossy shine. But more than that, I have the peace of mind that the ornament is protected for years. I intend this ornament to be a gift to my pastor and his wife. If I have enough courage left, I’ll get to painting my home for my husband and self.
A

hand painted christmas ornament

3 Responses

  1. Amber, these are gorgeous! Great job!

    January 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    • Amber

      Thank you! Let’s just say that your family is very inspiring =)

      January 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm

  2. Amber

    I can’t believe you dedicated an entire post to these ornaments! I’m so honored! Thank you, again, for all your help! I don’t know if I would have had the courage to continue with this task if you hadn’t been so kindly willing to be my mentor. =)

    January 7, 2013 at 9:03 pm

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