How to Stain Natural Gourds for Fall…

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Hey there…do y’all have Fall Fever yet? I know that we do 🙂 We’ve been enjoying football, pumpkin spice lattes and breaking out our Fall decor. We hope you enjoyed the first week of our Fall Bloggers Tour. Week one we did Tablescapes, and you can see ours here.

Some of you were very curious about my large gourds that I used on my dining room table…

Fall tablescape using bright green pears, burnt orange, vintage and rustic elements. Also the ise of natural elements - leaves, berries, cotton and twigs. This is a Bloggers Fall Tour.

Most of the questions were:

Are they real?

Yes, they are.

Where did we get them?

I have had all of these gourds since we lived in North Carolina. They were $1 a piece from the farmers market. So I guess I’ve had them for about 13 years. They have kept very well!

How did they become rust color?

I used stain and paste wax. I personally feel that the stain enhances the natural beauty of the gourd.

So, we thought it would be fun to just show you how we did it – plus you get a sneak peek as to what our mantel will look like 🙂

Make sure that you start with clean gourds. Now, we don’t mean to douse them in water as this could ruin your gourd. Take a damp clean cloth and wipe off any dirt or debris to ensure a smooth finish.

How to stain natural gourds for Fall. By adding just a little bit of stain, it preserves and enhances the natural markings on the gourds. The paste was gives a slight sheen. The natural gourds are beautiful, but were too light for Fall decor. With a little bit of stain, it really makes them pop.We just used a paper towel to apply a light coat of  stain all over and let it dry.  We wanted the stain to be darker so we used Provincial 211 by Minwax.

Using a paper towel, apply the stain to the gourd. We like minwax, especially Provincial 211. The stain will start to soak into the natural gourd immediately. The color looks beautiful.

Using the stain gives the natural gourd a great rust color and wonderful sheen. The markings also are much more enhanced.You can really tell the difference the stain makes when you set it side by side with an unstained gourd.

Using the stain makes a huge difference on the gourds. Such an easy DIY project for Fall.Once the stain is dry, which took only about an hour, we coated the gourd with Minwax paste wax and just lightly rubbed this in.

Apply paste wax onto the gourd to protect the coat and give it more shine. The stain will be dry in about an hour.Now we have beautifully stained gourds!


These stained gourds are perfect Fall decor. The stain gives them so much more character.We just love how they turned out!  Be sure to check back next week to see how we incorporated the gourds into our fall mantel decor.

Staining natural gourds can be risky, but the risk was worth the reward. The natural gourds have a beautiful sheen and are perfect for Fall.



  1. That is amazing! I didn’t even know you could stain gourds! These look great, can’t wait to see how you use them in your mantle.

    1. Hey CoCo…isn’t it amazing what a tiny bit of stain can do? We love the new finish 🙂

  2. Nicely done! I see now how this enhances the look and preserves them ~ especially if you’ve had them for so many years! I’m going to try some small ones for my narrow mantle 🙂 Bwg ~~~

    1. Hi Bobbi- the stain just adds more depth to the natural gourd. We really love how they look 🙂

  3. Renee @ The Refined Relic says:

    Vicki and Jennifer, I had not idea you could stain gourds. And to be honest, they look much better stained than natural. The stain brings out the all the variations in color. Again, another wonderful idea from 2 Bees in Pod. Have a blessed day.

    1. Hey there Renee – we so appreciate your comment. Many years ago I was hesitant to add that rust stain to the other gourds – but it just adds so much richness – we love it!

  4. Vicki and Jennifer, wow I had no idea you could stain gourds and your tutorial is perfect and easy. Love them!!! beautiful job and will share later. xo Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks for stopping by and reading our post 🙂 Do y’all have gourds out your way?

      1. Zoey Claire says:

        I just found your site but since I’m into gourds, thought I’d answer. I grow gourds and have for years. I love the plant and every harvest is a surprise. Any new information on different gourd treatments is welcome for me. I opened an Etsy site (OutrageousBirdhouses) and now try to sell painted ones. It os just a small site but I love doing it and try each year to do bigger, thicker varieties. I can’t believe you got those big ones for a dollar! What a bargain. Thanks for your instructions. Zoey P.S. I found you on Pintrest

  5. I love this. The gourds have even more character when stained. Central Florida is not the gourd capital of the world, so I’ll need to do some searching to find a few.

    1. Hey Bambi! It really is amazing how well the addition of stain enhances the natural markings on the gourds.

      I will look for some gourds for your Florida Fall Tablescape 🙂

  6. I had no clue a real gourd would last for years! I love the side by side picture,,it’s amazing how much better it looks with a little stain! Also, thanks for stopping by our new link party!! I really appreciate it!

  7. Those are gorgeous! I have a few dried but unfinished gourds sitting around and I think I’ll try that!

  8. Wow! I never knew that you could do this to gourds…or that they would last so long! They look fabulous.

    I love your tablescape that you did for the Home Tour as well as your fall mantel. You have great style!

    Thanks for linking up with us on Your Turn to Shine this morning!

  9. Debra Cameron says:

    Beautiful gourds!! Did you remove the seeds or leave them in?

  10. Hi, you post interesting content on your site, you can get much more
    visits, just search in google for – augo’s tube traffic

  11. Do the gourds need to be dried before staining Them?

  12. Does the wax you put on last protect them when you put them outside or do I need to treat them further with spray varnish ?
    Love to craft !!!!!

  13. Tammy Lee says:

    Don’t you have to scrape them first? That always takes hours! If I don’t have to scrape, that would be amazing!

    1. Hi Tammy-

      We think that it depends on the type of gourd that it is. Agreed, that some gourds take more scraping and cleaning.

      All the best~
      Vicki and Jenn ~ 2 Bees

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