Hello, Little Wooden Penguins!
I am going to teach you how to create distressed mason jars using chalk paint! This is a super fun project will make a fantastic centerpiece for your rustic, farmhouse or cottage chic home or highlight a special event or rustic wedding! They are also so easy to customize!
Step 1: Buy or find your mason jars
I actually went to the grocery store and found these in the canning department. They are just basic quart size, Ball Mason Jars (You can use any size) I personally like Ball because it has measuring markers on the sides and a fruit design on the back that give you extra characters to distress, but you can use any jar you like for this!
TIP: I do not recommend buying your jars at a craft store. The quart size jars there are about $1 a piece, you can get these jars for cheaper at most grocery stores.
Step 2: Prep your jars
If you are pulling your jars right out of the package, just move on! If you're using recycled Mason jars, just take some rubbing alcohol to the exterior of your jar and get the gunk off of them.
Step 3: Pick your chalk paint
I'll admit it, I did break the cardinal crafters rule and actually purchased my chalk paint at a craft store...I know, I know! I happened to be there for another project, so I probably overspent - but I will admit the paint worked great for this project!
TIP: If you are looking for cheaper bulk options, try Rust-Oleum at Home Depot or Valspar at Lowes. You can also make your own chalk paint, I haven't tried it yet but here is a blog that can help you with that if you choose!
Step 4: Start Painting
For this demonstration, I chose a nice, creamy, white color. The cream looks really cottage chic alone, and makes any other color you choose pop, especially for vintage farmhouse wedding decor! I also really like using the craftsmart brushes from Michaels for this project. They are thin and very soft, so you aren't wasting paint and they don't easily clump. They are also not very expensive.
So let's get started! Take the lids off your jar and begin painting. I prefer to start from the bottom up using horizontal strokes. Be sure to cover the entire jar.
TIP: Try not to clump or let the paint drip - but if you do, don't stress it - you are going to distress it later, remember?
Step 5: LET IT DRY!
I learned this step the hard way! I tend to be a little impatient and on my first try and only waited an hour before I went on to paint the second coat. Well, guess what, I paid for in the finishing, see how chippy my distressing was? EEEK!
So give it at least two hours between coats! You will certainly get a better outcome!
Step 6: Paint a second coat!
Just go back over it exactly like you did the last time, but this time, I don't re-paint the bottom and set the jar down right-side-up.
Step 7: Distress
Take either a piece of 60 or 80 grit sandpaper cut or fold it up into an easy to hold 1"x1" piece. Now go to town! Start at the top of the jar and shabby around the edges. The move to all of the embossed parts of the jar. Go to town on the fruit on the back to distress it as much as possible, but take care when you get to the "Ball" in the front. That is going to be your focal point, so you don't want to over-distress that spot.
I also like to do a nice accent in one top corner and the bottom corners to give it a little more character. If you notice clumpy paint or paint drips, just sand them off and make those your accent spots!
TIP: Don't worry if you're sandpaper is making light scuffs, you can wipe your jar off with a paper towel when you are done and they will go away.
Step 8: Spray with a clear matte finish spray
Pick three different colors that all compliment each other to fill out your rustic wood centerpiece boxes and you are done!
These mason jars make great weddings centerpieces, plasticware holders for parties or beautiful vases. The best part is that the more distressed they get over time, the more character you are giving them!
And if this all seems like too much work for you - check out our shop, we will gladly customize colors and sizes that are perfect for you!
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