3 ways to paint pinecones–help me pick!

3 ways to paint pinecones

In between cleaning house, prepping my Thanksgiving menu, decorating a kids table, and all the other every day things, I am also trying to prepare for Christmas decorating!

I plan on making a lot of homemade decorations this year along with using many things from nature too and I don’t want the decorating to drag on for days and weeks when we get down the tree and boxes next weekend.  So I am trying to get some of it done now so it is ready to put up when the tree is ready!

I picked up a bunch of pinecones at my in-laws house last week and baked them (250 degrees for 30 minutes) to remove all the potential bugs.


Then I thought I would experiment with 3 different ways to paint them and see which one I liked best.  But I can’t decide so I need YOUR help!

I painted just the tip of these pinecones with white paint.  (I would probably sprinkle them with Epsom salt as well but that is packed away in my Christmas stuff right now.)


This to me is the most natural looking method.


I dipped this pinecone all the way down into paint and let it drain off.  It took a good bit of paint to do this!  But I LOVE this look!  I can also imagine this done in other colors as well.  (And if I attached some wire to the top, I would dip it all the way into the paint so the whole thing would be covered.)


These could be done in any color, like these…  So pretty!


Then these pinecones were spray painted.  One coat of white primer and 2 light coats of white spray paint.  They actually look a little more gray in person since the spray paint doesn’t cover extremely well.


And here’s some closeups.

Paint dipped pinecones


Painted just the tips.


And spray painted.  See how they sort of look gray or shimmery?  They aren’t completely white.


By the way an easy way to hang pinecones is to screw a little hook like this into the top of the pinecone.


Then you can slip some ribbon or jute or whatever you want through it to hang them on your tree, on a garland or however you want to display them.


So which one is YOUR favorite?  Which one should I do for my tree?

Painted pinecones


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  1. says

    What a difference between these techniques. I like each one for different purposes. I think painting the tips, especially if you add epsom salt, is perfect if you want that natural snow-tinged look but the dipped ones would be very cool if you want to add a pop of playful colors to your tree. I agree with Kelly & Sherry that a mix of the two could be fun.
    Thanks for sharing all three techniques; this post is getting filed away for my future use!

  2. says

    I love all three. See how I make decisions…I don’t. lol!!!

    Ok, if I really had to choose, I like the painted tips and the fully dipped cones the best. I also love the thought of mixing the two possibly. Great post, Christina. I was planning on collecting some of these for our ornament fest starting this Monday. I’m so excited.

    Thanks for sharing. ;)
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  3. stacy says

    All three. lol Since you’re fully decorating three trees this year, right? :) I like painted tips or a combination of painted tips and dipped. I’m sure whatever you choose will be beautiful!

  4. Glenda says

    I like the painted tips the best but the dipped ones are very pretty too. I have a bunch of pinecones I am getting ready to paint so your ideas are just in time for me. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Vicki says

    I love all 3 because they are versatile and unique for various ways. I think if they were going to be used in a ‘collage’ of items the dipped ones would be great; but if used in a bowl like balls you hang on the tree then the multi-colored would be cool! So I think you might have to decide where they are going to go and then make your decisions that way?! Enjoy…wish I had some to work with!

  6. Jane says

    I love the fully dipped cones! I also love the basket of multi-colored cones!
    Can’t wait to see your trees.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. stacy says

    Thanks for this idea! Just painted the tips of some pine cones a few days ago with the kids. They look awesome in a garland. Even the ones the kids did turned out great. So simple, quick and easy!

    • Stephanie Duncan says

      My neighbor and I painted 145 pinecones yesterday. It was divided between dipping and painting the tips. This morning when I went to check on them all the fully dipped ones had closed – bummer – why. The ones tipped are fine. Just a tip on painting the tips.
      We were wearing gloves with nitrile that you can get cheaply at home improvement stores. We were getting paint on the gloves as we handled the ones we dipped. Rather than waste the paint we used our gloved hands to paint the tips. Works great.

  8. Linda Gorman says

    I like the paint dipped cones, it’s different. I saw Sarah Richardson do this on her show and she “thinned out” the paint with water. Her colors were beach colors because she was decorating her her beach house. They were really pretty.

  9. Peggy Aldridge says

    When I want just a hint of color for my wreaths I spray them and some I put glitter on before the paint dries. When I need more color I dip them. I’m not a fan of the painted tips.


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