How to Paint Mason Jars Easily with Less Mess

 Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

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Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work, but with our great tips you will  learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess! To be fair these start out looking painted but end up being beautifully translucent. You can determine how dark or light a tint you want them by how much food coloring you add.   (P.S. These are for decor purpose, not for drinking.) We’ve got some wonderful crafts you can make with these including our Bohemian Style Jar and Light Decor and our Woodland Mason Jar light. You could also etch the jars before coloring. And you’re in luck because we can show you how to etch glass in 5 minutes!

Supplies

Instructions

Gather the basic items. Grab two plastic cups per jar for easier work.  Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

For a pint jar use about 1/4th cup of Mod Podge, gloss or matte. Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

Drop in food coloring. More for darker less for lighter. It changes color as you can see when baked.Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

Stir well, adding more until it’s as dark as you like. Stir it with a plastic spoon and you can just toss it when it’

Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

If you’ve had the Mod Podge a while it can thicken and you don’t want the mixture extremely thick.  Add a tiny bit of water at a time to thin it out some if needed. It’s now ready to pour.Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

Pour the mixture into the jar. Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

Slowly spin the jar to coat the sides, working your way up evenly to the top. Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

Pour the leftover back into the cup, turning the jar to coat. The thread part of the jar generally does not need to be completely covered as it will have a lid on it. Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

We suggest using a separate cup to put your bottles in for draining. If you do use the same cup with the extra in it, wipe off the edge so that glue does not get on the outside of the bottle. We learned that the hard way. Ü Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

Turn the jar upside down and place it into the clean cup. (Notice the glue on the edge of the cup which we had to scrub off our bottle!)  Let this sit for a couple of hours or even overnight. Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

If you do more than one you can line them all up! The color changes quite a bit after baking. These are actually purple and hot pink! Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

Place any left over glue into small containers for later use! Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

AIR DRY: The time needed to air dry your jars will vary greatly depending on  the temperature. It might take a few days. You can leave them in the cups but I’d suggest poking holes around the upper sides of the cups so air gets into them as they dry.

BAKING: Baking is optional but it’s much faster. Place your well drained jars onto a baking dish or pan covered with foil. Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

Heat the oven to 200 degrees and bake the jar until the color becomes translucent or see through. This will usually take anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes. Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

This jar just came out of the oven.Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

And that’s how to paint mason jars! Painting or tinting jars can be pretty sloppy work. With our great tips you will learn not only how to paint mason jars easily but with very little mess!

84 Comments

    1. Nancy Author

      I’ve never tried Diana but I would think you could. There are many Mod Podge recipes online and they use Elmer’s Glue. One I found (but have not tried) says the following. She claims her recipe is the right type as there are many bad ones out there. Again, I’ve not tried it but here is the basics she gives. Good Luck!

      INSTRUCTIONS: 1 cup of glue and 1/3 cup of water. These proportions are perfect – don’t mess with them. Other internet recipes for homemade Mod Podge abound but they are TOO WEAK. Beware! Shake really well and use as you would Mod Podge. To make it gloss add 2 table spoons of water based varnish or to make the sparkly add super fine glitter.

      Reply
  1. Veronica Deceder

    Got 2 questions…
    Can you remove the tint if you don’t like the shade…or do another coat on it if you want it darker than the outcome you got?
    And can you use any kind of jar. I’m thinking large (1+ gallons) pickle jar. Not planning on the baking method…I’ve got hot Florida sunshine to put to good use. Lol

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Veronica! Any type of jar would work, especially if your not going to bake it. As far as removing the tint… that I’m not sure of. You could always try soaking it in hot water. I would “think” you could do another coat on top but I’ve never tried that myself. This is the tricky part because you can’t get an exact color the first time as there are variables in how it will turn out. Good luck!

      Reply
  2. Sarah

    I was surprised at the amount of food coloring I had to use to get my jar a fairly light blue color. I think I had to use over 30 drops of blue food coloring.

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      That info is in the post. I just copied and pasted it here: “Heat the oven to 200 degrees and bake the jar until the color becomes translucent or see through. This will usually take anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes.” I’d be afraid to bake glitter… though the heat is fairly low. Before I did a final project you might want to test an old jar and keep and eye on it. Ü

      Reply
  3. Bebe Gomez

    I recently did this project ….I let the jars completely drain and then I just set them right side up in the sun……………..really I forgot about them being out there….LOL so then when I went to check on them they were perfect…………….beautiful color and I was truly amazed and extremely happy with the results…kept me from having to bake in the oven…………have so many ideas for Christmas gifts using these mason jars…or any jar for that matter…thanks for the diy…

    Reply
  4. Sally

    Hi -thanks for this beautiful idea and great directions!! Do you by chance have a picture of a tinted jar that has been etched? I am interested in doing it, but wondering how it looks once tinted. Thank you so much!

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Sally! I’m afraid not. I’ve not done one of those. Should work fine though as the tinting is on the inside and the etching on the outside. Ü

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Well….I didn’t even think of that – inside vs outside!!!! Makes sense! Thanks for the reply! I will give it a try and send a pic if I can figure the sending pic thing!
        take care

        Reply
  5. FAYE MASON

    I AM AFRAID OF BAKING A MASON JAR IN THE OVEN. I EMAILED THE COMPANHY WITH THE QUESSTION -ARE THE JARS OKAY IN THE OVEN. tHEY STATED THAT THE GLASS IS NOT TEMPERED GLASS, BUT IT WOULD BE A RISK, BUT THEY KNOW PEOPLE ARE PUTTING THE MASON JARS IN THE OVEN AND THEY COME OUT OKAY.

    iF THE JARS ARE NOT BAKED, IS IT THAT THE JAR WONT MAINTAIN ITS COLOR FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, OR BAKING THE JAR IS JUST TO SHORTEN THE PAINT DRYING TIME.

    I NEED YOUR RESPONSE, I HAVE 22 JARS READY TO BE PAIINTED. THANKS IN ADVANCE

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      So sorry for the delay Faye. I’m unsure of the “lasting” time but the main reason for baking is so you don’t have to wait 24 hours for them to dry. Good luck!

      Reply
  6. Joyce

    In your list of supplies you list food coloring gel, but the pictures show liquid food coloring. Does it matter? Also wondered if this may be what happened to Catherine, where it turned brown

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Joyce! If you click on the links under supplies you’ll see that those small bottles I used are the gel type… as in thicker. It’s not a paste though. You can use the regular type of food coloring but I like the gel. I’m not sure what caused Catherine’s to turn brown. Maybe another brand? I used Wilton.

      Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Donna! It won’t work to bake it for sure. And it won’t give you the translucent color. It would just be like you painted anything. And many people do just paint their jars. Ü

      Reply
  7. Michael N.

    I cannot wait to try this, have been wondering how this was done. I might add that to clean glass or remove stain from botched projects to salvage for re use is to submerge glass in a 5 gal bucket with muriatic acid from a swimming pool supply and this will clean very effectively, use rubber gloves around the muriatic acid used to be around $16 a gallon.

    Reply
  8. Jen

    Hi Nancy – just wanted to clarify whether the quoted oven temps are in Fahrenheit or Celsius? I’d love to try this, but don’t want to ‘cook’ at the wrong temp 🙂 Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Jen… sorry for the delayed answer. I’ve been offline for a few weeks due to health and family issues. yes it is Fahrenheit. Guess I should clarify that!

      Reply
      1. Jen

        Hi Nancy – not a problem with the delay… I hope all is okay with you and your family? Thanks for clarifying the temp format… I’d presumed F, but just wanted to be sure. Will let you know how I go 🙂 Thanks.

        Reply
  9. selina ribron

    I have a question. I did the above jar tint but a few places inside the jar did not take the tint? I used new ball jars. Should I clean the inside of the jars with something? It just was not a very even tint.

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Selina! Mine did that too. It has to do with how even the coating is on the inside I think. So that would be my only suggestion is to make sure to evenly coat the jars before turning them upside down to drip out. Good luck!

      Reply
  10. Hi, I just love the colors of the mason jars, thinking of trying it, I’ve painted on mason jars during the holidays using regular paint from home depot and they’ve come out beautiful. I’ve even paint the jars with modpoge glue, then using Epson on them
    . That wasn’t too bad.

    Reply
  11. Heather

    Hi Nancy,

    How would you recommend getting a nice purple color like in your picture? I have wasted so many packages of food coloring trying to get the right color. I’ve only managed light blue and pink so far.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Heather! All I know is I mixed red and blue gels to get purple. I just used a an extra amount of food coloring… I can’t remember exactly as it’s been so long. I know it’s hard to guesstimate on these because they change color on you when baked. Good luck!

      Reply
  12. Milisa

    I’m thinking of trying this for my daughter’s 1st birthday party in February. I’m doing a vintage/garden tea/valentine’s type party for which I’ve decided mason jars as vases is a must. My question: you used what looked like lavender and light pink paints which came out beautiful but very very very deep and dark jewel tones. Too much for the pastel color palate of the party. The blue looks spot on perfect though!! How do you suggest I choose the paints to maintain a subtler color?

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      That’s a hard one because they change color when baked. I would suggest using minimal food coloring. I put in quite a bit. I’d suggest one or two drops. Good luck! If you have the option it would be nice to test one first. Sounds like a wonderful party you’re planning for your little gal. Ü

      Reply
  13. Pri

    Great idea, thank you for being so detailed. Since I am already a henna artist (side job), I plan on adding another layer by “henna-ing” gold decor on the outside and using them as faux bohemian lantern look 🙂 Great for Art festivals, etc. to decorate my booth too!

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      You know, I’m not sure. I would doubt it or though short times might be fine. It is a glue base so I would think it would soften after so long. But I’ve never tested that Deb.

      Reply
  14. This sounds like a great project. I tried painting jars once before but I was using regular paint straight out of the can. They turned out okay, but very slow to dry and chipped easily. Thank you for sharing this project, I’ll have to give it a try.

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Cindy! To be honest I’ve not had mine in the light. They stay inside and are not in direct sun light and have stayed as colorful as ever. I could how sun could possibly fade them as it fades many things though. Might want to do a small test fun on want if that’s a concern.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Ü

      Reply
  15. Catherine

    I just tried to make a blue jar, it looked magnificent before I put it in the oven, but afterwards it was a disgusting brown and made the whole house smell of burnt glue!! What did I do wrong? I took it out at about 50mins!

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Oh my Catherine. I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ve never had that happen nor had anyone else report it. My only guess would be a too hot oven and left in too long. I’d do one without the oven. You don’t have to bake them it just goes faster. Different ovens are different too but still… that seems excessive for any oven. I’m so sorry you wasted a jar. I hope you can soak it and get it back to clean again. Do try the air dry. I hate for you to have bad thoughts when you think of this project. Only way to prevent that is do it again and have success!!!

      Reply
  16. Thank you so much for the tutorial! I am hoping that I will soon be in charge of throwing a bridal shower (he hasn’t asked yet, but fingers crossed will soon) and I want to do a Kate Spade theme for the bride to be. The hot pink mason jar will make the perfect jar to put mini pedicure supplies in for the “Thank You” gifts for the guests.

    Cheers,
    Lisa at Dreams and Caffeine
    {http://www.dreamsandcaffeine.com}

    Reply
  17. This sounds so easy. I tried doing something like this before and it was a total mess so I gave up. This sounds like it would be a lot better! I’m pinning it for later! Thanks!
    Kate | TheOrganizedDream.com

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      I’m not sure that the mixture would paint on well… though it might. I’d suggest doing a test using, as you mentioned, a baby food jar! You could also use the Mod Podge that’s dishwasher safe though I’ve never used it and am not sure how different it is from regular.

      Reply
        1. Nancy Author

          True Renee, unless you use the Dishwasher Safe Mod Modge. But these are made for decor so you’d probably just be wiping them out with a damp cloth. Ü

          Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Jo! I’d suggest they not be used for eating on since the Mod Podge is on the inside. It might wear off some into whatever is in the container. If it was on the outside that would be different. Ü

      Reply
  18. Lucy Caitlyn ~ England

    Thank you for sharing another lovely idea.
    Would be great with solar powered fairy lights or battery operated candles.
    I’m going to make some small ones and hang them in my garden 🙂
    Will combine with etching for Christmas welcome to my home lights.

    Reply

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