We’ve been feeling extra crafty in the We Design LA offices lately. So we decided to channel our positive energy into creating ombre distressed mason jars (yay!). Basically it’s our excuse to add some new decor to our space.

The best part about mason jars is their versatility. You can use them for just about anything: to cook in, to drink from, to craft with, and to decorate to name a few. They can be turned into just about anything!

Here’s some simple step-by-step instructions on how to paint and distress mason jars.
Materials for ombre distressed mason jars


1. Clean your jars.

Unless your jars are brand new (ours were fresh out of the case!), then you’ll need to clean them first. Wipe down the jars with rubbing alcohol. Be sure to clean the outside of the jars thoroughly. Wash with hot water and soap, and then allow them to completely dry.

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2. Mix your paint.

For the ombre effect, separate your colored acrylic paint into separate bowls. I recommend having at least 3 different tones of the color so that the gradient is noticeable. Add white acrylic paint to the colored paint until you reach your desired colors. The colors should gradually go from darker to lighter.

Acrylic Paint


3. Paint the jars.

It’s easiest if you start at the top, then flip the jars over and paint the bottom half. Make sure the paint is evenly coated on the outside of the jar. Give it one final brush stroke from top to bottom all the way around.

Once the paint dries, add a second coat.

Painted mason jars


4. Let the paint dry overnight.

Leave your jars out to dry overnight. Be patient. This gives the paint time to completely stick to the jar. And trust me, it makes the next steps much easier.

Ombre distressed mason jars


5. Distress the jars.

Sand around the mouth and base of the mason jars with 120 grit sandpaper. Then, sand the raised areas  with 100 grit sandpaper. For the jar logo (likely you’re using “Ball” or “Kerr” brand mason jars), either use sandpaper or an emery board to carefully remove the paint. Confession: we even resorted to using our fingernails for the more tricky areas.

Yellow distressed mason jars


6. Seal

To ensure that the paint doesn’t ware off, spray the jars with two coats of clear sealer. You can use either Satin or Matte finish depending on your preference. We’re big fans of the Matte finish for a more vintage look.

Ombre distressed mason jars


Now go ahead and use your jars for whatever you need! Ours are going to be vases for beautiful flowers. Preferably white hydrangeas.

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