With all the big projects going on in the basement, like cork floors and installing baseboard, I was craving a quick pick-me-up decor project.  I am starting to make and collect decorative accessories for the basement.  We are getting so close to furnishing the basement and I want to be ready to style it up!

Since I like some of the less conventional colors for decorating, I always have a hard time finding accessories I like.  Over the years I have learned it is easier to make my own or tweak items to get the right color.  For this project I started out with two mis-matched glass canisters and used paint to make them a cute set.

Painted Glass Canisters

I found the larger jar with aluminum lid at HomeGoods for $8.  I loved the unique shape of the lid.  Then I found the little glass jar with glass lid at Goodwill for $2.  Again, loved the shape of the lid.  It was very similar to the aluminum lid on the other jar.  So, this was the start of my little project.


For the small jar I really wanted to try back painted glass.  It is just what it sounds like…painting on the back of the glass so the color shows through the glass.  After a good cleaning, I started the process by putting a dollop of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the jar.  I used my favorite AS Chalk Paint color, Provence.


I slowly swirled the paint around the jar to coat the inside.  I used a foam brush to help spread the paint at the end.


While the jar rested upside down to let the excess paint drip out, I tackled the glass lid.  I used the foam brush to paint the inside of the lid where is was recessed.  I left the rim paint free.  There were slight brushstrokes from the foam brush, but they aren’t noticeable from the other side through the thick glass.


With the small jar drying, I moved onto the aluminum lid.  While spray paint might have given me a smoother look, I won’t use spray paint indoors, meaning I am on a 6 month hiatus each winter.  Instead I painted the lid in the same color chalk paint.    Chalk paint is pretty forgiving with brush strokes once it dries.  I used two coats to get good coverage.  Once the paint dried, I brushed on one coat of polycrylic in gloss finish.


I adore these jars now!  They make such a cute set.


The detail on the cut glass of the small jar is so beautiful.  I think the design is more apparent with the color behind it.  The jar will just be decorative.  With the painted inside it would not be good to use for any liquids.  It might be okay for holding dry stuff, but I am totally okay with it just being pretty to look at.  Plus, I have the bigger glass jar for storage.


And, before I go, how perfect are these jars with my new decorative book boxes?  I fell in love with them when I recommended them for a client’s foyer.  They are normally about $50 for the set on Wayfair.  I spotted them on a shelf at HomeGoods yesterday and almost knocked another lady over getting to them (oops…I apologized).  They were selling them each individually, but I grabbed all three.  My HomeGoods price for all three was $24!!!


I am planning to use lots navy, aqua, chartreuse, and yellow in the basement.  Accessories are hard to come by in those colors. I see more back painted glass projects in my future!

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13 Responses to Using Paint to Coordinate Mis-Matched Glass Jars

  1. What a great idea! We just finished our Billy Bookcase hack for our basement office and now I’m dying to accessorize but not spend a fortune. Love the idea of painting the inside of the glass!

  2. Melissa says:

    Hi Jackie! I noticed those book/boxes at Home Goods on Saturday. I’m glad I wasn’t in front of you when you saw them, haha. I was thinking of getting a fiestaware turquoise utensil holder, but maybe I’ll try to paint a jar like you did here instead. Nice!

  3. These jars are so cute! I love the color you chose! Thanks so much for sharing & for linking up to the “Thrift It” party!!

  4. Dawn says:

    I’m having such a hard time finding Valentines Day decorations. I was hoping to find some romantic looking plates, or some cream, white, or red colored vases to do a romance kinda theme on my mantle. After seeing this post, I now realize I could buy some cheap dollar store glassware, paint it red, and make my own collage of beautiful glassware. Thank you so much for the inspiration, I can’t wait to put it to good use!

  5. love these! I definitely agree that the pattern on the glass shows up much better with the paint on the inside than it would otherwise.

  6. Kari says:

    I got those same boxes two weeks ago at Home Goods! They are on our entryway table bottom shelf to hide extra keys, iPod headphones, etc. Then I found another one of the middle sized ones at Marshalls this past week. Definitely didn’t need it … but had to get it … just in case! ;-)

  7. Well how simple and cute! I have seen other version of this, but I think yours might be my favorite! Thank you so much for sharing! I am feeling inspired! Oh and thank you for sharing at the “Thrift It” party!

  8. anu says:

    These look great, but I kept staring at the book boxes! I must find some of those for myself! Thanks for sharing.

  9. These are beautiful and what a great idea – I would have never thought to use chalk paint on glass.

  10. Gabrielle says:

    I am planning a cabdy buffet do you think the chalk paint will rub off if I use the jars for candy?

    • Jackie says:


      I think there is a risk of the paint scratching on the inside of the glass if you put anything inside the jars. Consider lining the jars with something.

  11. Betty819 says:

    I’m planning on a make-over for our sunroom and the turquise color is what I have in mind as an accent color. You made that look so easy when you painted the inside of that glass jar and lid. Did you paint the outside of the glass jar too? Would that be safe to put food/like candy in after you have painted it? I have a glass jar similar to yours that I bought at a Thrift shop for $5 or $12 but I think I’d like to keep it like that but will be on the look for something else, less expensive to go into that room that I can use the Annie Sloan paint inside.

    • Jackie says:

      Betty, I only painted the inside of the jars. I would not recommend using them for food. Wrapped candy might be okay, but be careful as anything might scratch the paint off the glass.

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