How to repaint artificial flowers

How to repaint artificial flowers

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I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t realise you could repaint artificial flowers until very recently. For a few years I’ve had a bunch of yellow artificial tulips shoved in one of my (many) DIY supplies boxes. I loved the tulips themselves but I was at a complete loss as to what to do with them because yellow doesn’t match anything in my house.

Then it dawned on me. I could try to repaint them.

Yes, it took ya girl Temperance two years to realise that paint existed.

I’m an idiot.


I’d never tried to repaint artificial flowers before but I figured I had nothing to lose. I couldn’t use them as they were so it was no real loss if I totally messed them up.

I’m happy to report that my experiment worked! Not only did it work, it was actually really quick to do as well. All in all, it took me 30 minutes to repaint 24 artificial tulips.

Here’s how I did it, step by step:

How to repaint artificial flowers

To repaint artificial flowers you will need:

  • Paintbrushes (having a few different brush sizes is useful but not necessary)
  • Acrylic paint in the colour(s) of your choice. For my flowers I used Jo Sonja’s ‘French Blue’ and a plain white acrylic paint.
  • A jar (or other container to stand your artificial flowers in while they dry)
  • Palette (or something else you can mix paint on)
  • And, of course, the flowers themselves.

Step 1: Mix your paint colours

Unless you are an artistic genius (I am not), I recommend looking at photographs of your flower (in my case, tulips) before you mix your colours. This way you can see how shades of colour blend into each other in a real flower, which helps your paint job look realistic.

After looking at an embarrassing number of tulip photos (like I said, not an artistic genius), I mixed a few different shades of blue-grey and added some plain white paint to my palette.

Paint colours used to repaint artificial flowers

Whatever colours you choose for your sweet little flowers, make sure you have a nice mix of both light and dark shades as well as plenty of white paint.

Step 2: Time to repaint!

Roll up your sleeves, we’re about to repaint some artificial flowers! Please bear in mind that different types of flowers have different colour distributions. If you are repainting an artificial flower that is not a tulip, use the following information as a guide only 🙂

To begin, apply a dark shade to any visible ‘inside’ petals, like this:

Inner leaves painted with dark colour - Repaint artificial flowers

Shadow would naturally fall on these parts of the flower. Choosing a darker shade of paint, rather than a lighter shade, allows the paint to emulate the look of these shadows – helping your flowers look realistic.

Next, apply the lightest shade of blue-grey to the top of your petals. While the blue-grey paint is still wet, brush a few thin strokes of white paint on the tips of your petals. This emulates the light that would naturally catch on the the tips of the tulips. Use your paintbrush to lightly blend the white and light blue-grey into one another.

Artificial flower with light paint on petal tips

Next apply a darker shade of blue-grey to the mid-section of your petals. Use your brush to blend the darker blue-grey with the lighter blue-grey.

Artificial flower painted with darker shade of blue

From here, apply an even darker shade of blue-grey toward the bottom of your petals. Blend well with your brush. Add small, thin strokes of your darkest blue-grey to any parts of the flower where shadows would naturally fall. Add small, thin strokes of white to any parts of the flower where light would naturally fall.

Don’t worry if you mess any of this up – I certainly did the first time I did it (my flowers came out significantly darker than I wanted them to). Once the paint has dried you can repaint the flowers if needed, so have fun with it!

Once you have painted your flower, pop it in a jar and leave it to dry. My flowers dried in about an hour on a cold winter day.

Repainted artificial flowers drying in jar

Step 3: Seal your flowers (optional)

If you want to, you can seal your flowers with paint sealer. This will protect your paint and is a good idea if your flowers will be exposed to lots of moisture/handling.

I didn’t seal my flowers because I’m lazy 🙂


Your flowers are finished as soon as they are dry.

Here are my repainted flowers:

Finished DIY project - Repainted artificial flowers now light blue surrounded by pinecones and wicker basket

Have you repainted artificial flowers before? How did it turn out? I’d love to hear about it in the comments 🙂

If you liked this upcycled home decor tutorial, please consider pinning it for later ♡

Artificial flowers don't match your home decor? Don't throw them out - repaint them! Whether you're looking for a cheap transitional home décor idea or want to easily update your old home décor, this budget DIY project shows you how to repaint artificial flowers using only acrylic paint. A great way to save money when decorating your home AND reduce waste!

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