Perfect pumpkins…

Little twists on old favourites…

I was recently sent some of this amazing copper paint from Crown Paints. Actually designed for walls, it’s incredibly striking stuff, and with a few leftover pumpkins and squash from Halloween I thought I’d give them a metallic makeover.

The process of painting them is actually incredibly quick and easy, but, be warned – it’s messy and the paint is pretty potent stuff – so prepare properly first.

I laid several layers of old sheets to stop spillage leaking through, and then set out a flat tray to rest the pumpkins on to dry them – drying them takes up to three days so make sure you have somewhere safe and warm to rest them. You’ll also need something to keep the pumpkins suspended in mid-air so they can dry evenly – old glasses or candle holders (or loo rolls!) are the perfect solution. And finally a deep bowl or tub to transfer paint into for dipping….

Pumpkins

If you’re colouring small squash (like the munchkins I did) then you won’t need to transfer the paint to a wider receptacle for dipping.

Hold tightly onto the stalk and slowly immerse the pumpkin into the paint, tipping it one way and then the other to ensure the entire pumpkin is covered. Don’t worry if the paint pools in the top, this will eventually dry out and evaporate.

Pumpkins2

Pull it out of the paint, let the major drips fall back into the paint pot, and then transfer to your glass holder. Repeat as needed with all your pumpkins. The paint will slowly drip down the pumpkin and pool at the bottom leaving them with a perfectly ridged golden sheen.

GoldenPumpkins

When it is dry – this could take a couple of days – you’ll need to turn the pumpkin upside down to dry the bottom. This takes another day. Once you’ve turned it back over you might need to touch up the tops with a small paintbrush, or even the tip of your finger. Do this sparingly. The paint will absorb itself into what’s already there and your touch-ups will hardly be noticeable.

If you can bear to, wait another day till they’re really dry and crisp. And then use them all over the house as part of your autumn, or even Christmas, displays. I love little groups of them on the dining room table.

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(Metallic Copper Paint, £18:42 for 1,25l, Crown Paints)

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