Sunday, November 20, 2011

(Faux) Blackened Wax Fruit Tutorial~Thrift Shop Bowl Makeover

 If you read my blog on a regular basis you already know that I'm a thrift shop junkie. I have a favorite local shop run by the sweetest little ladies. They are exceptionally kind to me and always seem to have the "good stuff". Last week I stopped by, and among other things, found this...
...large wooden bowl filled with faux fruit, only $4. This is only a few pieces of the fruit, as I nearly forgot to snap a "before" photo. I had an idea brewing and was impatient excited to get started.

I've always wanted a big ol' bowl of the beautiful blackened wax fruit that I see in shops, but being the cheapskate that I am, have never wanted to spend the money on something "I can make myself". Yes, yes we've all been there, haven't we? We CAN make it...but we almost never do. Well, when I saw this lovely big wooden bowl filled with fruit I got the idea to turn faux fruit into "blacken wax" faux fruit. And if it didn't work...well, the bowl was still a deal at $4, right? And while I was at it, I decided I'd give the bowl a new/old finish.
 I already had everything I needed, so I gathered my materials.
 For the faux wax fruit you only need a few things.

Black Acrylic Paint, Matte Finish (the cheap stuff is fine)
Ground Cinnamon  (the cheap stuff is fine here too. I bought ALDI brand)
Small Artist's Paintbrush
Drop Cloth
Handheld Hairdryer (optional, but sure speeds up drying)

This project is so're gonna love it.

Spread out your drop cloth and give yourself plenty of room to work. If you do a lot of pieces, you'll have fruit drying everywhere. Using full strength paint, begin painting each piece of fruit with a nice even coat. I painted one side of each piece of fruit then sat it aside to dry and did the next piece. Then I went back and painted the other side of each piece. I checked each piece in bright light to be sure I had good coverage. You want the original color of the fruit to be completely covered. 
 Like this.
I didn't paint the stems. Tip: If any of the fruit is missing a stem-or if they look "fake", you can replace them with stems from real fruit. Just poke a small hole in the top using an awl or a large needle and glue in the replacement stem. Do this before adding the cinnamon.  
 Now for the tricky part. OK, not really...there is no tricky part.

After the fruit is completely dry (this is where the hairdryer comes in handy), pour your bottle of cinnamon into a shallow dish. This project only uses up a small amount of cinnamon, but you can keep what's leftover to use on another project. Just don't use it for cooking. Now, roll each piece of fruit in the cinnamon. You can gently pat, rub or sprinkle...whatever works for you. I just rolled mine around, then sat each piece aside while I painted my bowl. 
Now for the bowl...I started by giving my bowl a good washing and allowing it to dry overnight before painting. There was no previous finish on the bowl. For painting the bowl I used Old Century Colors, acrylic paint in the color, Olde Pewter 2023. I used full strength paint to get the look of a heavily painted old bowl...but you can water your paint down (one part paint, two parts water) for a more transparent look. 
 My painted bowl, before the antiquing process.

I painted the bottom of the bowl, going around in a circular motion, with the grain. Pay special attention to the rim and the bottom where you would see natural wear, were it an antique bowl. If you get too much paint on the bowl, just use a wet cloth to scrub some off, again following the bowl's contours. You can also use fine sandpaper to remove a bit of paint. When you're happy with the way it looks, set it aside to dry. Again, I used a hairdryer to speed up the process.

After your bowl is dry you'll want to go over it with an antiquing medium to give it a bit of age. I used Folkart/Plaid Antiquing Medium, in the color Apple Butter Brown, to stain my bowl. Mix one part antiquing medium to two parts water. Remember a little goes a long way. Brush the mixture on over the outside of the bowl and quickly wipe off excess stain with a dry cloth. Then repeat on the inside of the bowl. The antiquing medium drys fast and the longer it sits, the darker the wood will be. If it is too dark for your liking, wipe some stain off with a wet cloth. 
The  bottom of my painted bowl, after a light sanding and applying the antiquing medium.

I antiqued both the inside, and the outside of my bowl. Keep in mind that you won't want to use these products on the inside if you plan to serve food in your bowl, as they are not food-safe. 
 The inside of my finished bowl is a nice warm brown color.


Looks  and smells just like the real deal...and just in time for my Thanksgiving table!

That's it! Told you it was easy!

Until next time...


  1. Those turned out SO pretty! Thanks for the instructions on how to make them - I'd like to give it a try someday!

  2. Wow!!! I love it!! Thanks for sharing. You did an awesome job.


  3. Tres cool Rhonda....Wow - that fruit looks amazing! On the hunt now!! Thanks for the tutorial..."Easy" is oh so good in my book....;o) Have a great holiday week! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  4. Great tutorials! You got amazing results for the bowl and the fruit! Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. Robin your fruit turned out amazing!Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial.Hugs,Jen

  6. Absolutely gorgeous! But how does the cinnamon adhere to dry paint?

  7. Thank you for the kind comments, ladies. Your all too good to me. :)

    Karen, I'm not sure how the cinnamon adheres- probably some scientific principle involving swirling atoms. LOL I found out by accident when I picked up a painted piece of fruit with cinnamon on my hands. I was getting ready to apply glue...and found there was no need to!

  8. Thanks for the fabulous & oh so easy tutorial Rhonda!! Love how your fruit turned out!!

    Have a wonderful week~Becky

  9. Thanks for the tutorial, the bowl of fruit looks great and I bet it smell good too!

  10. Fabulous bowl of fruit! Thanks for sharing the process!

  11. thank you for sharing the tutorial! I absolutely love how this turned out. Great color for the bowl you had chosen. Never thought of making blackened with paint! Thanks so much!

  12. I'm so far behind on your blog, doing a little catching up. =]

    That bowl is a steal for only $4 and the fruit too is a bonus. I love to wax plastic fruit, it's so much fun. I've been collecting it throughout the year so I have a load to wax now, I better get busy! I LOVE the blackened fruit you make. I dip mine in wax and add the cinnamon so mine is brown but your blackened fruit is beautiful! The bowl looks great now too! Thanks for sharing your tutorial and tips. You make it so easy.

  13. Love your blog! Im now a follower!

    Mark @ Room363

  14. Super tutorial ... I hope to have the same luck as you do and get the same results...awesome!

    Warm Regards,