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Walking through the aisles of a craft store, especially in the fall, you’re guaranteed to see beautiful pine cones for sale. But if you’re like me and live in a place where pine trees are common, we don’t have to go to the craft store to find pine cones. We can walk out our front door into the yard and pick pine cones up off the ground.
Once they’re cleaned with vinegar and water, and baked in the oven to kill any bugs, they’re ready to be used in crafts and decor, or they’re ready for paint!
There are several methods for how to paint pine cones for crafts. The two most common options are dipping them into a bucket of paint, or spray painting them.
My preference is spray paint; it’s the easiest and least messy in my opinion.
All it takes is a little bit of time, some clean, dry pine cones, and your favorite color of spray paint to create stunning pine cones that are ready for display, or to be made into an awesome craft project!
Here’s how to easily and quickly paint pine cones.
How to Paint Pine Cones for Crafts and Decorations
Step 1: Gather Supplies
- Clean, dry pine cones
- Spray paint (my favorites are gold, silver, and copper Rustoleum)
- Clear Acrylic Sealer (optional)
Step 2. Prepare your painting surface.
Amazon prime boxes to the rescue! Prep your work surface and get ready to paint.
Step 3. Spray paint pine cones with first coat.
Following the directions on the spray paint can, spray the pine cones with the first coat.
You will NOT completely coat the pine cone in this first step; you will be painting multiple coats so don’t stress or spray it on too thick.
(It never fails, I always spray too heavy because I’m antsy and impatient when I spray paint. Learn from me; spray lightly and it’ll dry faster!)
Let the first coat dry per the can’s instructions.
PRO TIP: Through lots of trial and error, I have discovered that the easiest spray paint method includes spray painting the bottom of an item first. Give the bottom of the pine cone a coat first, let it dry, flip it over, and then continue on. This way, the underside is painted, and you don’t have to risk smudging your top or sides to paint the bottom later. So, start with spraying the bottom first, let it dry, and then flip it and continue.
Step 4. Rotate pine cones to expose other side.
Once the pine cones are dry enough to handle, turn them over to expose the other side and spray another coat.
As you spray, go lightly, and try to hit all angles of the pine cone – spray from the top, sides, and underneath. You want paint to go into all the nooks and crannies of the pine cone.
Step 5. Turn pine cone and spray again.
Once dry to the touch, turn the pine cone so you can spray it from another angle.
Continue to spray and get paint into all of the inner sections of the pine cone.
Step 6. Repeat until fully covered.
Repeat the painting/let dry steps until the pine cones are fully coated from all angles.
Depending on the type and color of paint, and how heavy you spray, it will take at least several quick coats.
Once the pine cones are fully coated, let dry completely.
Step 7. Coat with Clear Acrylic Sealer (optional)
If you want to give your painted pine cones an added layer of protection, you can spray them with a coat of clear acrylic sealer once they are fully dry.
The spray paint can will specify how long it takes for the paint to fully cure; usually it’s several days.
Once the paint has cured and the painted pine cones are completely dry, spray them with a coat of clear acrylic sealer to further protect and preserve them.
(Clear acrylic sealer is used to protect plain pine cones as well as painted pine cones.)
Step 8. Make crafts and use in home decor!
Once everything is completely dry, the pine cones are ready to be used!
Painted pine cones are a great addition to home decor. Put them in jars, vases, baskets, or just set out on their own on a shelf or mantel. They would look great in a Thanksgiving tablescape too!
Or you can use them in pine cone crafts, like Christmas ornaments or a pine cone wreath.
The sky is the limit!
Once you learn how to paint pine cones for crafts, you’ll be hooked. They’re so beautiful and easy to do; several coats of spray paint and they’re completely covered!
Collect pine cones from the ground, clean and dry them, and take them up a notch with simple cans of spray paint!
Save the idea for later by pinning the photo below to Pinterest!