Sunday, July 08, 2012

Painted Bottle Update

Let's not pretend I'm a fast finisher. 

No, the painted bottles aren't done yet.

 The original three

Here, I was at 5 painted. This is one I was trying to work the paint around in order to finish covering the inside. It took a lot of coercion, but I finally managed.

I have painted 8 bottles now, but I still have a few more to do, along with their finishing touches. That means sanding lids and bottlecaps and winding and affixing the twine to the tops. I'm getting there. I may be slow, but I ain't old... actually, that's debatable.

In my defense regarding the unfinished bottle project... I did go to between 8 and 10 garage sales yesterday (scored some new great goods that I'll post as soon as I get shots of them all), went to Goodwill, twice to Lowes, and then to the consignment store about those dishes that went with the cups I got at last week's warehouse sale. Hmmm...wonder how that will turn out. I honestly don't know. That's a part of the unfinished story.

Oh yeah, then I came home and spent 4 hours planting mandevilla vines along my neighbor's fence. 

Okay, this picture is misleading! From the looks of this, you'd think I had enough plants to cover the entire length of the fence with massive foliage and flowers. Not so. There are only 4 plants and about 25 feet of fence. More on the result of my gardening later.

Anywho, what I wanted to tell you was that I have some lessons learned from my recent bottle painting endeavors to pass along. If you are going to do it, please...

...Don't be too cheap! 

A little cheap is okay, but "over the top cheap" doesn't pay off. As with most things, too much of a good thing turns bad. For this project, I'm suggesting you use at least a mid-priced acrylic paint. I, while wearing the badge of cheapskate pride, purchased numerous bottles of Jo-ann Fabric's brand of acrylic paint (Essentials) because, well, it was only 59 cents a bottle! That's less than half the price of the Americana brand. Yes, I know that the Americana brand is after all only about $1.39 each, but that's more than double the Jo-ann price. Cheap is cheap, and I was thinking merely in terms of price and color when choosing my paints because I was buying quite a few to be sure I got the right ones. And trust me, the color decision was difficult enough because I was also wearing my indecisive badge. "Cheap" and "indecisive" both standing on the ledges of their respective obsessions is nerve-wracking. I can't be expected to choose colors wisely while trying to battle personal challenges.

"Frugality" and "uncertainty" took their toll on me as I hovered between them trying to make sure neither one went over the edge. I still had 6 of the tall skinny glass bottles left at home and three cool curvy glass bottles. I wanted to get all the versions of blue and green paint that would make my living room sing, so I grasped at "cheap".

Here are the colors I am choosing between for this project.

After returning from the craft store, I began pouring paint into bottles and working it around. I was moving right along and getting it done. [So proud of myself!]

I had also bought some pink-toned paints as well as green, aqua, white and a buttery yellow. Thought I might need some pizazz in the color mix. Painting the bottles can actually go really fast, and I also tried using the blow dryer to speed up drying time. All seemed well. However, I noticed the next day that some bottles dried with a sort of mottled look when the light shines past them from the other side. 

Then after doing the pink and the purple-pink bottles, I noticed the purple-pink one had that mottled look as well.

In real life it has a bit more of a purple tinge to it.

Turns out the ones that come out with this veiny look were done with the Jo-ann brand paints. No offense Jo-ann, but this paint is no good for painting glass. I'm sure it's fine to stick with it for paper or whatever, but I suggest you use the Americana brand or one that is even higher quality for this project. You could always use the cheaper paint and then recoat, I guess, but that's tricky too, doesn't necessarily come out any better, and then you're doubling the amount of paint you use anyway (kaching, kaching! if you're counting the cost, as I am) and worse, you're doubling the time you spend. Tsk, tsk...we don't need that, now do we?

Ugh, unh. We are not about that. So do yourself a favor and make this colorful little project. The color and shine adds a huge burst of energy to the room. I also suggest you do yourself a favor and use decent paint. Makes all the difference. Makes a project person smile big smiles of delight rather than scrunch their nose up and hold the bottle to the light and ask themselves, should I bother to recoat it, or can I let it slide? There is no need to wear the badge of indecisiveness on this one. There's enough of that to go around. Personally, I won't be recoating. If they don't have backlight behind them, it's not noticeable, and for some uses, you may not care about perfection. Mostly I don't notice the bad ones, except when this happens. 

What's wierd is that it didn't have this crackly streaking before I went to touch it up. The next day though, after adding a little more paint to darken the neck where the paint had thinned and looked really light, it ended up like this. Huh? I don't get it. What happened?

I'm chalking it up to cheap Joann paint. Then again, it may have just been old. I was originally working from a stash I've had a long time.

I say, do it right the first time. Then you will be able to finish in record time and smile that happy completed project smile. After that, if you want to put on your cheapskate badge on, do so, and get out there and put your garage sale haggling skills to use. After all, you get at least two glass bottles like this painted for each little bottle of paint, maybe three. That makes the cost per glass bottle of this size about $0.46 to $0.65 if you already have them leftover from something else or get them for free. That should leave you plenty of quarters to score some sweet finds at yard sales. 

My bottle project isn't quite done (I have about 5 more of them to paint), but I'm going "overkill" on this project and doing about 13 of them. Plus I'm a project hopper. I just do a little here and there. Soon they'll be done and I'll make sure you get to see the finished project.

Same Tip Applies

Oh, and as for spray paint...same tip applies. Sometimes buying cheap will bite you in the rear. I bought some Lowes $1 white to spray paint an accessory to the bottles, and no white would come out.  I shook that can, and shook that can and sprayed, and sprayed and sprayed, and only the slightest creamy sort of see-through glaze ever came out. So frustrating. I could, however, use the cheap Joann's acrylic paint I bought that I no longer want to use on the bottles and try brushing it on the accessory. Since the accessory is paper, the JoAnn paint should be fine. But I'll be sure to let you know if not. Bummer though about the spray paint. I was all hyped to finally be among those who spray paint and get it done quickly. So much for that. (And I wasted $1! Grrr!) Now painting my accessories will take some time. 

I have another project with spray paint I'll be attempting today on one of my garage sale scores. For that one I bought better paint. I hope. Stay tuned.

If you stick with me I'll show you the final bottles later this week. Until then, enjoy your weekend and whatever vistas are on your horizon, quirky or otherwise.

Update #1: You can read another bottle painting tip below in the comments from Claire @ A Little Something in the Meantime
Thanks, Claire!

Update #2: This tip comes from Donna Wilkes at Distressed Donna Down Home. See what she says below about why the paint streaked.
Thanks, Donna!

Any other tips out there? Please let me know in the comments. 

Then stop by and visit these sites for some inspiration:

Sizzle Into Summer @ DIY by Design
Made By You Monday @ Skip to my Lou
Show Me what You Got @ Our Delightful Home
Cure for the Common Monday @ Lines Across

Metamorphosis Monday @ BNOTP
Manic Monday @ Serendipity & Spice
Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life

Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy
Sunday Show Off @ Twigg Studios
Get Schooled Saturday @ Too Much Time
Fabulous Friday @ Doodles & Stitches
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Creek Cottage
Time Travel Thursday @ The Brambleberry Cottage
Share It @ The Winthrop Chronicles
Knick of Time Tuesday @ Knick of Time
Tips & Tricks @ Stringtown Home
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm


  1. HI LIZ!!!!!!
    KISSES MY SWEET FRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I have lots of old jars and bottle...may give this a try! Thanks for the idea.

  3. I painted some bottles the same way over the winter and have another tip to add - keep the lids! It's much easier to get into all the little crevices of the bottle when you can shake it with total abandon :) It also helps with the frustration you encounter when the paint just.won'

    I found a streaky bottle after the fact but the way it looks it seems like it was intentional. I will definitely remember your don't cheap out tip!

    Good luck with finishing up your project :)

    1. Good idea! I came this close ][ to getting paint all over me while trying to fling it around in the bottle. I did manage to splatter it all over the kitchen twice, but at least I missed my shirt. I'm saving all my caps and lids for the finished project, but I don't guess it'll matter if the inside of them get paint on them. Thanks for the tip! I still have quite a few to do (as soon as I get some more good quality paint!)

  4. This post had me cracking up, we are cut from the same cloth, trips to Lowe's, Goodwill and Consignment, then throw in cheap and indecisive, you've described me!!

  5. This looks too advanced for me!! You are a trooper though, and the bottles look great.

  6. I love the colors you chose! Thanks for the info on paints, should I decide to try this myself, I'll remember that frugality and cheap are slightly different things :)

  7. Love these even if a few are a little messy. I love your color choices. This looks like a fun project!

  8. Thx for visiting my blog!! Following you back!

  9. The bottles look lovely to me. I actually like the little streaks and drips as they give the old bottles such character

  10. I like your painted bottles....leaning bottles and all.

  11. Great colours......thanks for the tips...after all it isn't as easy as it looks in the first place.

  12. Oh what lovely colours you've used. And thank you for sharing some great tips! I'm hopping over from Knick of Time's blog hop and your newest follower! Be sure and follow back :-)


  13. Such a fun project and something I've never tried. I really appreciate your paint quality tips, so true. I've purchased cheapo spray paint before and never was able to finish my project because of the can clogging or the paint running. Good tip about the brand name acrylic get what you pay for. Love the colors you chose.

  14. Liz, thank you for joining me! And since then you have two more! You go girl. So happy to meet you. Mary

  15. Cute, cute, cute! I've got a ton of wine bottles around (my husband makes wine), and they are JUST IN THE WAY! I'm going to paint them... Thanks for the inspiration, and for linking up! Cute, cute!

    Have a great week!
    Stringtown Home

  16. I have done something similar with latex still looks good after 2 months...hoping for the best :)

  17. Oh I love those bottles! They would go so great in my new ideas of incorporating colors into my home. I've been living on a neutral style basis for much too long. Hi, I just joined you, and I'm Mary's sister, that joined you yesterday. She invited me to your very informative, and darling blog. Thanks. Now zip on by me and see if you like it? I hope so!!!

  18. Love those painted bottles! Looks like you made some good color choices! I tend to decide too quickly and then wish I had painted something a different color!

  19. Liz
    OK you have me painting bottles, but I did it quite differently. You can check out my jugs (my wine jugs) on today's post. I had a major mistake in that I did not know when to stop. I can tell you why the bottle streaked after you added new paint over dry. Craft paint are water-based and adding wet over dry reconstitutes the paint and it will run. I am totally jealous of your shopping trip! CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU DO NEXT!

    Distressed Donna Down Home

  20. Fabulous ideas!! Love love love how they look even the unfinished ones. What a great centerpiece idea! Come link up to Centerpiece Wednesday and share all your tips about making these with us.


  21. Those bottles look beautiful :)

    New follower from the Blog Hop
    My Wonderfully Dysfunctional Blog

  22. Your bottles are super cute and now when my hubby asks why not just buy the cheaper stuff I can show him why ;)

  23. Really REALLY love this!! Will have to start saving up my bottles... Found you on the Inspire Me Monday hop... Great stuff, will follow!

  24. I have seen quite a few pictures of painted bottles on Pinterest and they all make it look so easy! Thanks for sharing these pictures and all the information. I now know what to keep in mind. Thanks!!


  25. I'm dying to do this. What a cool project. Thanks for linking up at Doodles & Stitches!

  26. You're being featured tomorrow at Doodles & Stitches! Thanks again for linking up!


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