Painting Wooden Flowers: How-To and Tips

We’ve had horrible weather the past week here in Quebec, Canada. Last Monday was a beautifully hot day (28C/84F) but Tuesday’s high was Monday’s low… Wednesday was absolutely frigid (11C/52F; my ears were frozen and I wish I had a tuque coming in to school!), while Thursday was a very pleasant day (21C/70F), and back down we went on Friday and the rest of the weekend (6C/43F). To top it off, we’ve had rain all weekend, and we didn't really leave our little nest (aka apartment).

All that to say that sometimes it seems like spring isn’t quite here yet. So I’m REALLY glad that I have my bright and cheerful Spring Mantle.

Though the flowers are taking their sweet time to bloom outside (I saw some daffodils on the way home from school on Friday, yay!), inside I get to enjoy my lovely wooden flowers which I painted myself!

You saw them last week when I posted about my Spring Mantle, and I’m sorry this post was not up last week, BUT in return you get 2 posts this week! (Not kidding, the other one is already written up and scheduled!)

I started with 3 wooden flowers I got at Michaels. They were 3.50$ each but they had a 30% off Simply Wooden Surfaces, so they came at 2.45$ instead. Still a little pricier than I normally pay for any individual item (wished I had gone the day before with the 25% off everything coupon), but I really liked them and wanted some spring d├ęcor. Kinda wish I had gotten more now.

What I love about this collection from Michaels is that YOU get to pick the colors you want! So I got out my paints and started painting: the stems and leaves green (duh), the tulips pink and lavendar, and the flower blue. I gave them 2 coats. It dries quickly enough that I could do that in one sitting.

Tip: it’s best if you sand the wood pieces before you paint as it will give a nicer looking, smoother finish. I realized that after my first flower was dry and rough looking and rectified for the other ones.

I found the blue to be too dark after I applied the first coat, so I mixed some white into a small aliquot of the Tropical Blue that I put in these little containers. I think they are meant for beads, but they are great for when you mix a small amount of paint to make a new color but don’t want to throw it out after.

Kinda hard to photograph wet paint, but the blue dries darker, too.

I also sanded the pieces after painting, when the paint was dry. It made it even smoother, and also made a nicer finish, especially for the green.

This is before sanding over the painted leaves:

And this is after:

See the difference? There’s a side by side for you! It subdued the green and also made the grain of the wood pop more.

You might also notice from that pictures that I sanded the edges as well. The only sandpaper I have is 150 grit, which is medium coarse I would say (can range from 12 grit (extremely really coarse) to 2500 (really fine) if I remember correctly from when I worked for my dad who sells this stuff). I think it worked well for this. Wiki's got a great resume of what grit you should use for what kind of project here.

Sanding is really simple. I wasn’t sure how forgiving it would be since I’ve never distressed, but you really need to sand a lot. The picture below I sanded a bit.

And then wasn’t satisfied and sanded some more. Just press along the edge and move back and forth. If you press more towards the face of the leaf, then you sand wider, if that makes sense.

I really like how defined it looks once sanded down.

For the flower part, you can really see how smoother it is after sanding (left below)in the pink tulip. The edges don’t pop quite as much though because it’s a light color and the wood is also light.

The purple flower defines the edges more.

The blue flower was a particular case because I had first painted the darker tropical blue, and then the second coat was a more diluted version. Before sanding, it looked like this:

And after sanding:

I LOVE the effect it did! You see the darker blue peeking through, keeping in line with the grain of the wood. I really wish I would’ve painted the other flowers with a darker shade then a lighter shade. I was so pleasantly surprised when it did that!

This was my first project with wooden surfaces, and I felt right at home! I love working with wood! One day, I will have my own jigsaw and I will be able to cut out the shapes I want. Oh the fun I will have!!!!

Do you like the effect the sanding gave? Have you ever used this technique on wood before? If not, are you tempted to try now with my instructions and insights? You should, it's super easy and fun!!

Check out my Facebook page for Sneak Peak Weekends with Color Me Domestic!! (Or click here for this past weekend; you don’t need a Facebook account to view, either!)

I party at these parties. If you would like to invite me to your linky party, please do so on my linkies page, thank you!


  1. Cute! I like to decorate my foyer for every season. Right no it is flowery and patriotic. :-)

  2. Gen!!! I love the flowers!! Ummm.. Michael's in Ottawa must be?! hehe :)

    Thanks for sharing at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  3. Those are super cute! I am definitely inspired by this! Sounds like a very fun and fairly easy project.

  4. I love these! They turned out soooo cute and springy! Would love for you to link up to the Pomp Party!!

    Jill @ Create.Craft.Love.

  5. These are so cute and so perfect for the Spring time! I love it!

    Thanks so much for linking up to our Naturally-Nifty Party! This week's party is up! We would love for you to stop by and link up!

  6. Love how these turned out! Thanks for sharing at Dwell on Joy!!!


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