Can You Spray Paint Real Flowers (How To DIY Guide)

Organizing flowers for your big event or art piece can be tricky. When you can’t get what you want in time, there is a temptation to get crafty; can you spray paint flowers? We break down our thoughts and the facts behind painting flowers.  

Can you spray paint fresh flowers? In short, yes. However, they will lose some of their life, and you will need to buy the right paint. Standard spray paint contains harmful chemicals and additives that kill real flowers over time. Because of this, many florists use floral spray paint that has a kinder formula and a thin mist-like application.  

The idea of spray painting a bouquet may seem bizarre; after all, the joy of flowers and plants is in their natural beauty. However, there are a few reasons someone may choose to do so. You may have a big event coming up in a few days, and the colored flowers you want are not available, for example. Alternatively, your event may have a set color theme, or you want to change the color of artificial flowers to your liking. Some people even use a clear coat of floral spray paint in an attempt to preserve their pressed flowers for years to come. 

Because of the loss of lifespan for real flowers, we would recommend only using floral spray paint under certain circumstances, i.e., you have an event in a day and you cannot get the right flowers. If you have more time, try dyeing the flowers yourself or asking your local florist to do so. Alternatively, use dried or pressed flowers and admire their natural beauty. 

Can You Spray Paint Real Flowers

What Happens When You Paint Real Flowers? 

Will spray paint kill flowers? 

When you paint real flowers with standard spray paint, even water-based ones, the chemicals in the paint will affect the plant and slowly kill it. Because of this, we would suggest using floral spray paint if you can and water-based if it is impossible to get a hold of. If you can’t wait, consult with your local florist to find alternative natural flowers that would suit your event or tastes for an all-natural and cheaper way to adjust things. 

Can you paint dried flowers? 

Dried or fake flowers will simply receive a new coat of paint that can make a wonderful addition to any permanent displays or art pieces. It is perfectly fine to use standard paint on artificial flowers if you put the proper protective gear on and place the flower on drop cloths or newspaper. We would still recommend using floral spray paint on dried or pressed ones in most cases. 

red rose

How To Successfully Spray Paint Real Flowers

Materials: 

  • Chosen flower/s 
  • Drop cloths and newspaper 
  • Protective face wear, gloves, and clothing 
  • A small brush 
  • Cotton buds 
  • An air can 
  • Your chosen spray paints 
  • Painter’s tape 
  • Plastic bags 
  • 1
    Set up your painting space by ventilating the area and putting plenty of drop cloths down.
  • 2
    Put on your protective face wear, gloves, and clothing.
  • 3
    Strip the flowers of any dead or dying parts and dispose of them.
  • 4
    Prepare your flowers by cleaning them. Gently use your small brush, cotton buds, and compressed air can to remove debris between the leaves and petals.
  • 5
    Section off any areas that you do not want to be painted with painter’s tape and/or plastic bags.
  • 6
    Spray two to four layers of spray paint onto your flowers. Ensure that you keep the spray paint 8-10 inches away from the flower and that you only add a thin, even layer each time.
  • 7
    Wait for the layer to dry completely before continuing.
  • 8
    Repeat with each layer until done.
  • 9
    Let the flowers dry completely, which could take around 24-48 hours since flowers have natural moisture within them. 
man mixing a paint in a can

How To Make Painted Flowers Last Longer

How long do spray-painted flowers last? This is a little tricky to answer, but typically only a few days to a week and a half at most. It is hard to get fresh flowers to stay alive when painted, which is why we only recommend doing it in certain circumstances. 

If you want a bouquet from that special event to last, we recommend pressing or drying them. Once done, use a floral spray to put a top coat on them and keep them safe and clean. It would also be wise to ensure that this bouquet is not exposed to direct sunlight or outside weather as it may get damaged. 


Frequently Asked Questions 

Which is better, dye or spray paint flowers? 

That depends on your needs, but we would argue that dye is the better alternative as it is better for the environment and provides a simple way to embrace a flower’s natural beauty. 


How long does it take to dye flowers? 

This depends on a bunch of factors, including the type of flower, length of the stem, the strength of the dye, and more. In general, it could take between a couple of hours to 24 hours for your flowers to be dyed to your taste. 


Can you paint fake or artificial flowers? 

It is possible to paint fake or artificial flowers using standard spray paints. We would recommend trying Krylon spray paint on fake flowers or other brands such as Rustoleum branded spray paint. 


Conclusion

Once you know how to spray paint real flowers, it becomes easy enough to spruce up bouquets in an emergency. Dyeing can help you match the flowers to your event, but we recommend finding an alternative flower type to enjoy their natural beauty. 


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