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Upcycling for Good

Paint preserving jars

Paint and distress some old preserving jars, for decorative use in your home.

Resene upcycling for good with Sarah Herring - Project 08

Paint a jar
Finished project

You will need: Fine sandpaper Painter’s tape for masking, Resene testpots in: Resene Melodic, Resene Half Moonbeam and Resene Sea Nymph, Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer, Small sharp blade, like a segment from a craft knife, Testpot brush

Paint a jar
Finished project
Old jars for recycling
Step 1
Step one
Old preserving jars can often have bits of sticky labels or dust on them which will prevent paint from sticking well. Wash your glass jars thoroughly in soapy water and leave them to dry.
Step 2
Step two
Once dry, mask off the segments you wish to paint. Sarah has painted one whole jar, and masked off the other two so you can still see some glass. This is especially effective if you plan to use candles inside the jars.
Step 3
Step three
Apply one coat of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer to the areas you plan to paint to help the topcoat paint stick to the glass. Leave the sealer to dry as per the instructions on the tin.
Step 4
Step four
Paint your first coat of each colour onto your glass jars, on top of the now-dried sealer. Leave the paint to dry overnight. It may seem like a long time but when you are painting a smooth surface like glass you need to let each coat dry thoroughly to get a great end result with no peeling.
Step 5
Step five
Paint your second coat of colour onto your jars. Leave to dry overnight again if you can.
Step 6
Step six
Remove the masking tape very carefully! In Sarah’s project the sealer had run slightly outside the masking line. Use a small sharp blade to gently scrape it off.
Step 7
Step seven
Now to distress the jars to give them a vintage feel. If your jars have logos, use your sharp blade to carefully etch off the paint to expose the letters. Finally, to rough up the paint and intentionally expose some glass, use your sandpaper to distress certain areas. Try to focus on places where the jars would typically be worn, like the thread around the neck, the base and then do the rest randomly until you are happy with the result.
Step 8
Step eight
Wrap some rough twine around the jars to add to the charm. Fill your jars with fresh flowers or tea light candles, and enjoy as a table centrepiece or just as a decorative feature!

Upcycling for Good

You can find a huge range of treasures, from ornaments and picture frames, to furniture and toys at your local Salvation Army store that you can easily upcycle with a little Resene paint and some imagination.

"Our Family Stores are full of treasures generously donated by members of the public. We value these donations and try our hardest to re-purpose and sell as much as possible. We’re all about re-using and recycling, so teaming up with Resene on Upcycling for Good was a perfect match. Resene’s products and tips are a natural fit with our pre-loved furniture and accessories, which are usually great quality but could sometimes do with a lick of paint to ensure they fly off the shelves.

Each year, nationally, our stores save 16,000 tonnes from landfill. This initiative increases the value of the donated product, improves the range of goods for our customers, and furthers The Salvation Army’s mission and Resene’s community activity.” Gareth Marshall, The Salvation Army's National Family Store Manager.

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.