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Aging Glass Jars Tutorial

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For my potions kit, I went to several thrift stores to find cool glass bottles.  The only problem was they looked new and shiny! I tried 3 different methods of distressing them, and liked all 3 effects. I am excited to try this in my bathroom which has a rustic beach feel.

The first way I tried was painting the jars with acrylic paint. I used 3 different colors to give the bottles different looks. I added about a dimes worth of paint, and then added water to dilute the paint down.  For some of the bottles I added a lot of water, because I wanted the effect to be subtle like the bottle on the right. The other two bottles I added less water to the paint, because I wanted it to be more noticeable, like the two bottles on the left.


After adding the water I simply painted the outside of the whole bottle.


Then I took a paper towel and blotted it off to get the effect I wanted.

If you mess up simply apply more paint and blot it again. When I got the bottle the way I wanted, I put my finger inside to carry it (that way I didn’t mess up the sides) and put it into my oven directly onto the rack. Close the oven and turn it to bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. When it comes out the paint is nice and set.  Although, I would not get it wet as a precaution. Be sure to put the bottle into a cold oven and then give it time to cool. If you subject the glass to temperature changes too quickly it can break.

Different colors really made a difference!


This was definitely for more of a dirty grungy feel. I simply mixed a little bit of dirt with equal amounts of Mod Podge Matte Finish and water. Then I painted the dirt on and let it dry. I did the inside and the outside for this method. When the glue dries it leaves the dirt on the jar and leaves a slightly milky color on the glass.

This was by far my favorite method for distressing glass! I loved the look of it. It was easy to do a very subtle look with sandpaper but you could really get an old aged look too. The more you sand the more distressed it looks!


A few things I learned about sanding glass:

  • Make sure you sand all different directions! That way it looks random.
  • It starts off hard to make a scratch in the glass and you wont feel like you are making a lot of progress but the more you sand the bigger the difference starts to show.
  • Some glass is easier to sand than others.

This one I did for a very subtle look:

While this one I really sanded down:

It was really fun to play around with the methods and it really didn’t take very long. While Thrift stores were great places to find bottles I raided my pantry and came up with some of the best bottle shapes!

I am going to make me some bath jars using these vintage labels from shutterstock!

Or maybe I will use something more simple like this from the idea room.

There are so many possibilities with aged glass!
Have fun!



Previous author of Over the Big Moon. I shared my passion for home and family life! I love graphic design, DIY projects, cooking, and working in my garden! My favorite role is taking care of my husband and our 3 amazing and busy boys!

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