DIY Painted Bottles

Want an excuse to save a pretty bottle? Start stock piling your favorites!

Recently I've seen a lot of talk of painting recycled bottles on Pinterest and my circuit of lifestyle blogs. The only problem is, most of them seem to recommend spray painting the exterior of bottles. That didn't seem like the look I wanted. It seemed like it would look like... bottles that have been spray painted.

The trick to painting from the inside is finding the right paint that is waterproof and will coat the glass evenly.

Luckily I found this post on The Apple Crate blog (another blog named after produce - I approve), which pointed me in exactly the right direction. She specifies that you need enamel paint, and even more helpful, that "1 Shot Lettering Enamel" is the way to go. I found this (in a bazillion colors) at a Blick Art Supply store, and I'm guessing it's fairly readily available at similar art shops.

(And yes, I bought the same color as The Apple Crate girl did. It matches all my stuff!)

So first, collect some bottles. I'd recommend in varying widths and heights, but that's your call. Wash them out and let them dry. Completely.

Find some lettering enamel (it's made for sign painters) and enamel paint thinner. I almost ignored this step. I thought, ohhh I'll just be careful. I don't need paint thinner. You know what that's called? Hubris. You will smudge paint on the bottles and you will need paint thinner.

Pour a couple tablespoons of paint into each bottle and swirl it around, slowly, so it coats the entire interior. Drain what you can back into the can and then let them sit to dry. I did two coats on each, waiting approximately 10 minutes between coats. (The tutorial I read said to use a plastic spoon to get paint into the jars. Obviously, I had plastic forks and knives. No spoons. In a scramble, I used a plastic lid from a hairspray bottle, and it worked great!)

I used roughly 1.5 - 2 oz of enamel paint to coat these three (tequila, whiskey, and wine) bottles. So even with a small can, you could create a lot of decor here.

Somehow, two of my bottles coated perfectly. Perfectly. And the third bottle developed tiny air bubbles as the coats dried. Over and over as I kept re-swirling. As it's not the paint or the technique, I blame the shape of the bottle (affecting evaporation?); it may have had some residual moisture from rinsing.

{You definitely want to make sure your bottles don't have oil in them. This wasn't a problem here as they all contained alcohol, but if your'e using mason jars or something else that stored food, make sure to wash them really well, and perhaps give them a rinse with rubbing alcohol.}

Anyway, I'm learning to live with the air bubbles. If you squint you can pretend they're all perfect.


  1. Who is that handsome devil in the background?

    ... oh, it's Uncle Ralph.


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