A bird's eye view of decorative pears with a chippy finish in a vignette.
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Distressed Painted Pears: A Rustic, Fall Decor DIY

Autumn (sigh) Pumpkins, Pears, and Gourds, oh my! All the bounty of nature makes fall decorating so much fun, doesn’t it!? In years past, I have decorated with lots of pumpkins (real and faux) and your other typical fall finds, but this year I thought it would be fun to mix it up a bit. I’ve been seeing all kinds of decorative pears, concrete, metallic, and painted, styled into beautiful vignettes. Have you noticed that, too? Recently I found some faux pears at Goodwill with a nice weight to them, but the color just wasn’t my jam. Naturally, I daydreamed about DIYing ivory, taupe, and French blue painted pears. And immediately, I knew this would be a perfect project for a distressed, wonderfully chippy chalk paint finish!

Coffee table decor on top of a lidded basket in a living room.
Chippy pears will make a beautiful addition to your fall vignettes!
A bird's eye view of decorative pears with a chippy finish in a vignette.
Here are the faux pears with the chalk painted, chippy finish! I love them both ways! What is your personal preference?!

Let’s Paint: a Pretty Patina

Have you ever wondered how to get a multilayer distressed paint finish? You know, the kind that looks like there’s been layer after layer of paint on a centuries-old antique dresser?! I absolutely love the look of those beautiful antiques and the stories that type of patina tells. Recently, I learned how to recreate that type of finish, so today I’m sharing this secret with You! (Keep it just between us though, okay?) 

This is where my favorite chalk paint, One Step Paint, and this life-changing technique come in! At the moment, I am working on all my Fall décor around the house, so I’ll be showing you the technique on these decorative pears. But keep in mind that you can use this technique to transform your own faux fruit, OR you can also use it on pretty much any furniture piece! The products and the technique we’ll be using today were specifically developed to be used on furniture!

A multi-layer distressed paint finish on a decorative pear.
Here is a photo of the way I originally painted & distressed the pears. You can see that I pulled back/removed a lot of the top three layers of paint. Afterward I came back in and added more of the very top layer of paint, a shade called Linen, but I really loved the look of it here. The specific colors of paint, I used here were: 1. Java 2. Windsor 3. Mix of French Blue and Cartouche and 4. Linen.

First, Find your Faux Fruit

Search out your local thrift stores for your faux fruit. Today I am sharing this paint technique on faux pears, but this technique could easily be done with pumpkins or apples. Wouldn’t it be beautiful on your pumpkins?! And feel free to create your own custom color scheme. Speaking of that, what colors do you think would go well with your fall decor?! (Let me know in the comment section below!!

Four faux pears with Goodwill stickers sit in a cement bowl.
These are the faux pears I thrifted from my local Goodwill just as I found them.

Real quick, I have to tell you a hilarious story about finding these pears. So for quite some time, I had the idea of finding pears at the thrift store. After many trips, I finally found the faux fruit jackpot — and at thrift store prices! Yay! But when I was at the checkout, I was quite surprised with the grand total. Because I had been on the hunt for so long, I just went ahead and paid the price. A few days later, I ran into Home Goods, and what do you know?! A full bag of faux pears for way less than I paid at the thrift store! Lol! Has that ever happened to You?! I love thrifting but every now and then, it’s not the cheapest option.

Prep Your Work Space

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m a messy DIYer. It’s so helpful to clear a space and set out all your needed supplies. I don’t have a designated craft room (my husband confiscated it for a workout room), so I just clear of our casual dining table off of the kitchen and lay down a drop cloth or even a craft roll of paper over the table. This is the craft paper I often use to protect my table. (Not an affiliate link.)

Gather Supplies for your Painted Pears

Distressed Painted Pears: Video Tutorial

The written tutorial continues below, but I wanted to let you know that there is also video tutorial. With the nature of this process, I think you’ll find seeing it in video form very helpful.

Clean your Pears or Pumpkins Well

If you purchase your pears second-hand, inspect your faux fruit. Make sure it’s free of dirt, grime, and wax. If they happened to be covered, just wash them the good old-fashioned way with soap and water. Then wipe them down well with Clean Slate, which will remove the grime and any layers of wax. Clean Slate is specifically designed to remove wax and prepare a surface for chalk paint — which you can get here. (Just navigate to “Tools’ then to “Furniture & Brush Cleaner”.)

Note: Many people do not wear gloves when using this product, but I prefer (and highly recommend) to wear gloves to protect your skin.

Paint a Layer of Chalk Paint

Using a natural or synthetic brush, paint a layer of chalk paint in your color of choice. Then, allow the paint to dry.

If you like the exact colors I used on my pears, I painted my first layer in the shade, Java.

Apply a Layer of Cracked Patina

Pour out the Cracked Patina into some type of dish. You can use any kind of clean disposable bowl or cup, or any bowl from your pantry. Then, just paint the Cracked Patina over the first layer of paint. You’ll notice that the Cracked Patina is somewhat sticky, a bit like honey. You will want to try to paint the Cracked Patina in as a few strokes as possible. If you go over it with lots of strokes, the Cracked Patina can goup up.

Apply another Coat of Chalk Paint

Once the Cracked Patina is dry, you will paint over it with your second color of chalk paint. Now this part of the DIY, the timing is crucial. Keep a close eye on the paint — you want the paint to partially dry but not all the way dry.

If you’re planning to use the same color scheme shown in the photos, your second layer of chalk paint will be the shade, Windsor. Windsor is a rich chocolate brown — a beautiful shade!

Pull Back the Paint

Once you find that sweet spot (of the paint being close to dry but not completely dry) is the time to pull back some of the paint. For this you can use your hands or a dry paint brush. I prefer just to tap my fingers in a dabbing motion where I press into the paint and pull away. You will start to see the paint gradually lift away and your fingers or brush will gradually become saturated with the paint. Pause when needed to clean your hands or brush (or just switch to a clean brush).

Repeat the Paint Process as Desired

Next up, you can repeat the process with another layer of cracked patina and another layer of chalk paint.

The colors I used at this point was a 50/50 mix of the One Step colors, French Blue and Cartouche, which created a gorgeous soft bluish-green. Highly recommend!!

Project Recap

So just to recap, you’ll paint a layer of chalk paint, and allow to dry. Then paint on a layer of the “Cracked Patina” product and allow it to dry. Then paint on the next layer of One Step Paint, and when it’s almost dry, you’ll pull the paint off in the desired spots with your fingers or a brush. You can repeat the process several times.

Once you’re happy with all your shades of paint and how you’ve distressed your piece, you don’t have to seal the piece — the One Step paint has sealer in the paint itself. You can add antiquing wax to your project more if you’d like, but that’s just your personal preference — it’s not required as long as you use this specific paint.

Style Your Beautiful Painted Pears

Here are just a few ideas of how you could style your pears into your home decor.

They would also make a cute topper on a plate stack on a fall table! Wouldn’t it be cute to add a personalized name tag with a pear on each place setting?!

Thank you so much for joining me on this DIY! I sincerely hope you love your painted pears as much as I do! One thing I love about it is that the color variations are endless; what colors would you use with this technique? I’m excited to hear your thoughts on all the possibilities.



PS: If you enjoyed this paint project, I know you will love this aged terracotta vase tutorial, too!

* This post contains affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through these links at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting the RouseintheHouse blog.

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