DIY Chalk Painted Jars

Easy Chalk Painted Jars and Bottles

Upcycle & refresh your old glass jars and bottle for budget-friendly indoor decorating!

Chalk paint appears to be the IT thing right now in DIY. Just about every form of social media has vendors boasting of their beautiful chalk painted furniture. Personally, I love the look of an old piece of furniture after it’s been chalk painted and distressed. However, I am not ready to invest that much time, money and energy into something without trying it out first!  That’s why I first tried my homemade chalk paint on up-cycled tins in this post.

Old tin cans, beverage bottles and jars, are all wonderful opportunities to make an up-cycled gift or decor item. Especially when you add some special touches. If you have been dying to give chalk paint a try then join me for these DIY chalk painted jars and bottles!



First, you must clean up the container by getting rid of all tags, labels and residue. When beginning with a freshly emptied jar of pickles or jam, the following is my method for cleaning and prepping to up-cycle: 

Put the jars (usually I save up several and do them all at once) in a bath of very hot water. This usually loosens the labels. After the jars have soaked for about 5 minutes, peel off the labels that have come loose. Rinse the jars and let them dry. Now, for the sticky residue that some of the labels leave behind, you can either go to the store and grab some Goo Gone or mix up the formula below and smear onto the sticky areas. I prefer this mixture because there is no offensive odor and I actually believe that it works better! I use a baster, old paint brush or sometimes even my fingers to apply this mixture to the jars.


Residue Remover Recipe:

mix 1 part olive oil to 1 part baking soda

I have tried this with cooking oil and was not impressed; I feel like it worked better when I used olive oil, but I say use what you have. After applying it to the sticky areas allow to sit for at least 5 minutes (I tend let them sit overnight and come back to them the next day). Now, wash the jars with hot soapy water and a scrubber. This recipe has worked well for me for even the toughest sticky residue, it also works wonders on those sticky price tags some stores use. Once the residue is completely gone, rinse and dry the jars.


jars cleaned of all residue

chalk paint (premixed)


fine grit sandpapers

dry cloth

vintage label or image

decoupage glue

OPTIONAL: E6000 glue and drawer knob



Think about the look you want before you start painting. Do you want a solid color? A Distressed look? Or maybe two-tone? If you are uncertain, experiment! This should be fun! Personally I love the color combination of red and aqua. It has a retro vibe that I love.


Frugal but Fabulous DIY Chalk Paint Recipe


Now, get out the chalk paint you made with the recipe we provided and paint on your first coat. Once the first coat dries, add a second. Depending on how thick your coats are, you may even need a third coat. On some of my jars I painted a thick base coat of red or aqua and then painted two coats of the alternating color over it. On others I just needed two coats of one basic color. It’s all about experimentation!

Once the paint dries lightly sand with a fine grit paper or sand block until your jar is smooth. If you are going for a distressed look or want your first color to show through, you may have to sand a little more.


Once you have achieved the look you desire with paint and sanding it is time to finish the jar. There are many options, I love to use the vintage labels and images from Graphics Fairy. Use a paint brush to apply decoupage glue and adhere the label.  You could also use store bought decals, paint or stamps.(The ampersand in the collage was a stamp that I applied paint to and used on the jar.) Once the label has dried paint over the top of it and the entire jar surface with decoupage glue to seal your work. In place of labels you could also hot glue on some ribbon, burlap, buttons or flowers.

Paint the lid with a couple coats of chalk paint as well. For variety, add a knob to the lid using E6000 glue and allow to dry for 24 hours. Voila! Instant decor.

Note: Do not immerse in water. To clean, wipe with a damp cloth.



Well, what do you think? Are you ready to paint some furniture? I think I am going to stick to the small stuff for now. But, I really do enjoy working with homemade chalk paint! If you like this craft please be sure to stop back by Indoor Outdoor Space for many more up-cycled decorations to whip up yourself on a shoe-string budget. You might also like to try using our DIY chalk paint on old metal tins to create vintage inspired indoor decorations. Check out my Upcycled Metal Tins craft tutorial for the full details on how plus painting tips!


Upcycled metal tins using DIY chalk paint tutorial


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Until our next craft adventure,


DIY & Crafts Author at Indoor Outdoor Space

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