Window Painting: Pumpkins

As a follow up to my  Faux Cats Tutorial I wanted to share how I like to paint pumpkins.

This is a great project to do with your “Little Helpers”.  Just be sure to dress them in painting clothes and prep the area.

When decorating my windows for fall, I like to go with a general Autumn theme rather then a Halloween specific design.  This way I can leave my designs up longer and enjoy them through Thanksgiving.

Another tactic you can choose, is to do both fall and Halloween images in your design.  For example, a pumpkin patch with a full moon, bats and witch…. then when Halloween comes and goes, you remove the witch and bats, but leave pumpkins and moon to enjoy until Thanksgiving.  You can do similar things for all the seasons/holidays.

So lets get started painting pumpkins on your windows!


Acrylic Paint. It must be acrylic. This is key to the cleanup
Paint Containers. I used old jello cups. In the past I’ve used left over party plates.
Dry Erase Marker
Paint Brushes
If you’re doing a large project like this, I suggest you get extra paint. Particularly if you have ‘helpers’. I really had to STRETCH the orange at the end. My helper wasn’t very efficient with his application.
PREP – Normally I don’t put down plastic for a project like this, but I’ve never painted with a 5 year old before, so I thought it best to be safe.In the end, I’m VERY glad I did. There were some drips and one Oops I dropped the brush.  Yay plastic.

PAINTERS TIP #1: A little trick I learned back in my painting and muraling days.  Paint in your stocking, or bare feet.  That way if you step in paint you’ll know it, and wont end up leaving footprints to the restroom and back.  Not that I know this from personal experience!

SKETCH – Use your dry erase marker to sketch out your design.I work from the bottom pumpkin up.  I draw the center oval first then the arches out  on each side.  There is a lot of drawing and erasing until I get a look I want.

I futz and fiddle, erase and try again… until I reach my final “good enough” stage.

PAINT – Take your black paint and go right over the dry erase marker lines.  The first coat will be streaky and spotty.  That’s okay.Get this first layer up and let it dry completely.

Add a second coat.  This will “grab” onto the first coat & you’ll get much better coverage.

You may want to add a 3rd coat (after the 2nd coat drys) .  It’s up to you, keep in mind you will probably be adding more black in the final touch-ups, so don’t stress too much about it.

OUTLINE – Here is is, your very own window sized coloring book.This is after probably 3 coats.
NOT PERFECT – Here’s a close up.  My lines aren’t perfect.  (Which drives the illustrator inside me NUTS).Do not fret about perfection, when it’s all done and you step back a few feet, it will look GREAT.
HELPERS – This a great time to bring in your little helpers.KC had never done anything like this before.  But he took to it easily and we both had a GREAT time working together.  He worked on the bottom pumpkins and I did the tops.

When I was done with mine I got to be HIS helper.  He would to the painting and I did the “smoothing”.

It’s a good idea to have damp rags handy to wash fingers and elbows that bump into wet paint.  Also, paper plates or old party plates are great places to put bushes when you need to set them down to answer the phone, wash little fingers etc.

1ST COAT – Here’s a look at my first coat.Remember, first coat is always wimpy and streaky.   The following coats will go up much better.
PAINTERS TIP #2 – Another handy Painters tip.  To keep your brushes and paint from drying out between coats… or when you fix lunch or even leave the project overnight… put them in plastic bags.  This saves you time and energy (and water) by not having to wash and clean brushes over and over.This also works for regular painting jobs too (painting the living room etc).  Put your brushes and rollers inside grocery or garbage bags too keep them from drying out when you take a dinner break or decide to pick up again in the morning.

Getting back to the project at hand…

OVER PAINT – Here’s a good look at KC’s work.  Notice the “charm” and “character” of his brush strokes.   If you were to go and view this from the outside you wouldn’t see this ‘over paint’.  This is great as you won’t have any gaps between the colors.As far as the inside goes you have two choices.

1) Keep it as is and admire the handiwork of your precious painting progeny.  Or…
2) Have a visit from the Touch Up Fairy

TOUCH UP:  The Touch Up Fairy visited me on my project.  Fortunately I still had my paints and brushes in bags, so once the house was quiet and there were no more request for glasses of water etc, she did a quick job and was on her way to the next house.Unfortunately for me, she left me to wash the brushes.  Oh well.
Clean up/Removal – When it’s time to take down the paint, you’ll want to use a razor blade. You can find these in the hardware store and many craft stores. Always keep this out of reach of children!Press the blade even with the glass and at something like a 20 degree angle.

Press against the glass and scrape the paint off.

It should come off fairly smoothly, and make colorful confetti and curly bits. If you want, you can put paper or plastic down to catch the bits.

Pickup, sweep or vacuum debris.

Be Very Very Very careful with the blade. This is NOT a job for the kids.

Thanks for visiting my blog and reading this Tutorial.  I hope you found it informative.  If you want to keep up with future posts be sure to follow me via Facebook, Twitter or an RSS feed.

And if you missed it, be sure to check out my Faux Cat Tutorial.

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  1. VERY impressive! The pumpkins have a “stained glass” effect on your windows…LOVE IT! Thanks for the inspiration…I’m now a follower of your blog!

  2. Hi,

    I wanted to thank you for linking up to Trendy Treehouse’s Share Wednesdays. I loved your idea so much I am featuring it tomorrow. I also painted my own pumpkins on my back door. Thanks for the brilliant idea. I noticed the kitty’s after the fact too! Oh my those are cute.

    Come by to pick up your featured button and to see your feature. Thanks again.


  3. I saw a link to your full tutorial from Trendy Treehouse’s blog. I love this idea and your directions with pictures are perfect, including suggestions for working with the little ones. =) I think I’ll try something for Thanksgiving but I know I will be waiting until my hubby’s gone for awhile because he will think I’m crazy for painting on the glass!

  4. Nice work! I think this type of window painting is really fun for the kids. If you wan something that is the opposite of the “stain glass” effect, you can always put a layer of white latex paint down first, then paint over the top. Now it’s on to Thanksgiving and Christmas!

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