Your Guide to Painting Gourds
Gourds are versatile vegetables that resemble squashes and pumpkins. They come in varying forms, shapes and colours which make them perfect decorative additions to your home. Decorative gourds are visually appealing and are lovely on a shelf or as a table center piece. In addition, gourds are functional as bowls, drums, stringed musical instruments and other items.
No two gourds are the same which is why I thoroughly enjoy recreating them into unique, beautiful and decorative items. Gourds are commonly used as Fall decorations for table settings and other but their dynamic versatility means they options are endless.
First of all, you will need to know the basics of gourd painting. It isn’t complicated but it is fun. Here is my guide to the basics of painting and transferring pattern designs onto gourds.
Preparing Your Gourds
What I love most about gourds is that each one has its own unique characteristics. Furthermore, there are no limitations to what you can paint on them.
Firstly, you will need to pick your gourds. I like to use a variety that are not too big yet have the most expansive surfaces. Fill a bucket with warm water and soak the gourds, wrapped in a dishtowel to stay submerged, for approximately four hours.
Once the skin is soft, rub it off gently rub it off with steel wool and rinse the gourds thoroughly. The clean gourds should then dry overnight or longer if need be.
There are alternative procedures to preparing or drying your gourds but effectively preparing them is important.
Painting Your Gourds
I prefer to paint my gourds with acrylic paint but oil paint and spray paint works too. Before you begin painting, the gourds must have a base coat. If your gourds are to be placed outdoors, use a water seal first.
Once you have painted the base coat and it has dried you can paint anything you desire free hand or after drawing a picture or design. Apply the paint with light strokes using sponges, paint brushes or a spray technique. Be sure to spray from a distance to prevent the paint from dripping. Allow the gourds to dry completely after any layer of paint or once completed.
The final step is seal the finished gourd with a clear paint or a quick drying acrylic paint sealer.
Transferring a Pattern onto Your Gourd
Another part of (gourd painting) that creates beautifully decorative items is transferring pattern designs onto the surface. Here are two procedures to transferring a pattern that I find work best for me.
The first procedure is to trace your desired pattern onto fine plastic food wrap. You can use a thin permanent marker. Wrap the plastic around the gourd with graphite paper underneath. Trace the pattern design again lightly using a pencil. Finer details can be drawn directly onto the gourd if any are missing from the overall pattern.
The second procedure is to use poster board. The first step is to trace the pattern design onto the poster board and cut it out to create stencils or templates. Secondly, place the stencil or template onto the desired area of the gourd and lightly outline the pattern. Again, any fine details missing from the pattern can be filled in with free hand.