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How to Paint Buffalo Plaid

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I adore painted buffalo plaid on just about anything. Plaid is neutral, just waiting for more patterns for a layered look. 

Two pumpkins hand painted with a buffalo plaid pattern

Painted Buffalo Plaid

Hand Painted buffalo plaid jars with pinecone sunflowers and painted wood beads

Painted check jars 

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Buffalo plaid is gingham check all grown up. This bold pattern demands attention. 

My favorite way to paint buffalo plaid is free-hand. In other words, I like the imperfect whimsical plaid the best. 

How Paint Buffalo Plaid the Easy Way

The easiest way to paint buffalo plaid or buffalo check is freestyle.

Supplies Needed for Buffalo Plaid Painting

The needed supplies are readily available in my Amazon store

Two white pumpkins, white and blue paints, and paintbrushes on a table

Painting supplies

Paint the Base Coat

The first step was to paint the base color over the entire area where I wanted to create the design. Some surfaces require two or more coats of paint. I recommend you use your lightest color for the base coat.

For my base paint color, I used white, however, any color combination can be used for this design. 

Measure and Determine Horizontal Lines

If you are painting the design on a pumpkin with uneven sections it might be necessary to use some Sticky Note Flags or a piece of tape to mark the sections. 

Note: If you want the stripes to be even you can measure and mark them with a pencil. 

After applying the flags I used an orange highlighter to make a dash to indicate where I would paint with the orange paint. Then I removed the horizontal tape or flags. 

Paper tabs on white pumpkin with paint and paintbrushes

Vertical stripes marked with tabs

For the pumpkins with even sizes and numbers of sections, I painted every other section with the second color. 

I found that this is the easiest way to paint non-flat surfaces.

Paint Vertical Lines 

To paint the vertical stripes I used my second paint color. 

I tried a few paintbrushes and found that I liked a wide flat brush for painting the stripes. 

Painting cobalt blue vertical stripes on a white pumpkin

Vertical stripes

Painting a pumpkin with uneven sections

Painting uneven sections

To continue painting the vertical stripes on the bottom I waited until the top half of the painted stripes were dry.

I painted two coats of paint for stripes.

Painting the bottom of the pumpkin with cobalt blue paint

Painting the bottom


Painting the Plaid Horizontal Lines

I found that using a paintbrush with a wide flat shape was the easiest to paint the horizontal lines. If you use tape or flags be sure to remove the tape or flags before painting the horizontal lines.

Painting the horizontal stripes on the pumpkin

Painting the horizontal stripes

The horizontal stripes needed a second coat of paint too.

Mixing paint for the darker squares

Mixing darker paint

The cross-section of the horizontal and vertical stripes I painted with a mixture of navy blue and cobalt blue.  

Painting the line intersections with darker paint

Painting the intersections

Since I had leftover dark blue paint I decided to paint the stem dark blue.

Painting the stem with the darker paint

Paint the stem

 Painted buffalo check pumpkins are the perfect home decor for fall. 

Buffalo plaid painted pumpkins in orange and blue

Cool pumpkin painting designs

These painting pumpkins look wonderful displayed with fabric pumpkins too. 


More Pumpkin Inspiration 

Fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving all call for pumpkin


six DIY pumpkin crafting ideas

Pumpkin crafting ideas


Marianne from Songbird Blog is showing her
Pumpkin Wall Art

Meegan from Meegan Makes is sharing how to
Decorate Pumpkins with Vintage Doilies

Leen from Sand Dollar Lane is showing
How to Decorate Wooden Pumpkins

Kippi from Kippi at Home has a tutorial on
Buffalo Check Pumpkins.

Michelle from Our Crafty Mom is showing us her
Day of the Dead Pumpkin.

Juliet from A Loverly Life is sharing a tutorial on
How to Paint Pumpkins on Wood.  

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope you found some easy and quick fall inspiration. Please join the Fall Newsletter to get all the inspiration delivered to your inbox. I love keeping in touch, so please say hello in the comments below.

See you soon, 



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Thursday 27th of October 2022

These pumpkins are too cute! I love the buffalo plaid theme too!


Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Love the plaid. The sticky note flag tip will definitely help me out. I am not the straightest line maker!

Juliet | A loverly life

Saturday 16th of October 2021

Kipling, your pumpkins turned out fabulous and your instructions make it look so easy. I need to try this!


Saturday 16th of October 2021

I love your opening to this post. Plaid is neutral, just waiting for more patterns for a layered look.

It's so true! Your painted buffalo pumpkins are a great way to add a colorful touch to any Fall vignette or front porch.

Thanks for sharing the tutorial and fun technique! BTW-how did you possibly do this free handed? You are amazing! Mine would come out so wonky :D


Friday 15th of October 2021

Love the colorful pumpkins. And bravo for free handing the paint job. I could never do that, my lines would be all crooked and top and bottom would not line up LOL!

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