Black Pumpkin Display for Halloween – Easy, Quick, and Cheap!

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Black paint is my Halloween decorating go-to trick.   A little (OK, a lot) of black paint can turn anything into a Halloween display in no time flat.  Take this beautiful black pumpkin display with gold flake, for instance – they took me less than an hour (including dry time!).

The bonus for this project is that these pumpkins will last a long time.  Painted pumpkins will outlast carved pumpkins by almost a month. So if you get into your Halloween spirit a little early (like we are this year), painted pumpkins will be a great addition to your displays.

Black pumpkin display with two black painted pumpkins with gold stems and sprinkled gold leaf over the top.

no Carve Black Pumpkin display for your halloween table!

These pumpkins are also not so scary and lean a bit glammy. So if you’re into Halloween but are not engaging in the creepy crawlies, this project is right up your alley.

We have a few other cute Halloween projects that you might want to check out too:

The first step is to insure you get the right pumpkin. 

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The very first thing you need to do is fetch your pumpkins.  You will look for pumpkins that are blemish-free, have no soft spots, and have thick skin.   Any pumpkin with holes or dents is a not-go; they have already started to rot and will continue to deteriorate, ruining your display earlier than anticipated.

It would be best if you also found a pumpkin with a good-sized stem. The stem in this project is gold, and the bigger the stem, the better the look. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of focusing on the shape of my pumpkins and forgot about the stem, and had to go back out looking for more to complete this project. 

Closeup of  many small pumpkins.

Special Paint is Optional.

I used Fusion mineral paint because I love the finish and the color of their coal black.  It’s SUPER black and dries to a lovely matte finish.  The finish is also incredibly durable.

But you can use hobby paint if that is what you have, or even spray paint.  I’ve tested them all, and they all work, but Fusion is by far the best finish.

Supplies Required

This project does not require a lot of supplies or tools. When you pick out your three pumpkins, place them together and ensure that the three go together well. I like to find tall+ short, skinny + fat, and vary them so that none are the same size, but they all compliment one another. Going the sizes makes for a balanced display.

Note: I only used a tiny bit of my fusion mineral paint and even less of the gold flake for my black pumpkin display. A little bit of both goes a long way. Before you buy the larger containers of Fusion mineral paint, or gold flake, have a plan to make more things (like gold flake ornaments for the holiday tree) or paint an old piece of furniture coal-black (it does look stunning).

Tools required

  • Paintbrushes!
  • Soft brush for scrubbing
  • spray bottle or cloth for bleach solution

Step 1

Clean your pumpkin with a soft bristle brush and a few drops of dish soap to remove any debris or dirt. Dry the pumpkins well and set them aside.

Step 2

Spray or wipe your pumpkins down with a diluted bleach solution ( 1 part bleach to 10 parts water). Give the pumpkins a good going over and allow the bleach to sit for 5 minutes. The bleach ensures that any bacteria on the pumpkin is destroyed and helps the pumpkins to last longer. Next, wipe off any access bleach solution on the pumpkin with a dry clean cloth.

Step 3

Paint the stem. You do not need to be fussy about the stem because the paint on the pumpkin, as well as the gold flake, will ensure any nonperfect paint marks around the stem are covered.

If you use Rub N Buff, painting the stem first makes applying the Rub, N Buff.

A pumpkin stem being painted gold.

Step 4

Paint the pumpkin with a flat brush paintbrush. Paint from the top of the pumpkin to the bottom in one controlled brush pass. This eliminates brush strokes and gives the pumpkins a lovely finish.

Try not to go over spots that have already dried.

Allow the pumpkins to dry completely.

Step 5

Give the pumpkins another coat of Fusion mineral black paint the same way you did in step 4. Allow the pumpkins to completely dry.

A black painted pumpkin with a gold stem being painted with a second coat of black paint.

step 6

Do one black pumpkin at a time – we need the paint to stay wet in this step.

Using the same black paint, paint only the first 2-3 inches on the top of the pumpkin and a tiny bit along the sides. We use the color to glue down the gold flake, so add paint where you want the gold flake to stick.

Start placing the gold flake heavily around the base of the stem, and lighter around the edges where you stopped the paint. I found rolling the flake between my fingers and allowing the flake to sprinkle around the pumpkin gave me a look I was after.

Pro tip – Turn any fans OFF before you open your gold flake. My whole office is now speckled in gold and not in a good way.

Black painted pumpkin with sprinkled gold flake around the stem.

Step 7.

Allow the black pumpkins to dry. If you have any spots where you feel you need more gold, it is perfectly OK to touch up to add a bit more paint and a bit more flake. I messed around with mine for a bit before I was thrilled with the design.

No carve Halloween black pumpkin with gold stem and gold flake against a dark black backrgound.

Can You Put These Pumpkins Outside?

Although black-painted pumpkins will do OK outside, the gold flake may pull off or not look so glamorous after a rainfall. For this reason, I recommend keeping these pumpkins for indoor displays.

Looking for More DIY Halloween Fun?

These Halloween projects that might pique your interest:

Happy Halloween!

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