How to Paint an Egg

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Egg painting and decoration is an art that has been around for centuries, made popular by the wildly decorated, over-the-top eggs designed originally by Peter Carl Fabergé. If you are artistically inclined, you too can paint an egg like an expert with a few tips and pointers along the way.

Things You'll Need

  • Eggs
  • Bowl
  • Straight pin
  • Cookie sheet
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Craft knife
  • Fine grain sand paper
  • Acrylic primer
  • Small cardboard box
  • Acrylic paints
  • Brushes

Hollow out your egg. The best way to paint an egg if you want to be able to have it on display indefinitely is to hollow it out and paint it from there. You will go through several eggs while doing this, especially if you haven't tried this technique before. Do not get discouraged or frustrated. Eggs are cheap, and the more frustrated you get, the more difficult your task will become. Begin by holding your egg over a small bowl. With a straight pin, poke a small hole in the top of the egg. Gently move the pin around inside the egg to break the yolk internally. Invert the egg now, and poke another hole in the other end. This must be done gently, so the hole is as small as possible. Once the second hole is there, the insides will come out easily. Once it has drained, rinse the eggs thoroughly and let them dry for several hours.

Cure the eggs. After the eggs have air dried, it is time to dry them out completely, making sure that there is nothing left inside that can go bad and destroy your work of art. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. Seat all of your eggs in rows on your cookie sheet and put them in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. The low and slow bake won't damage the shell, but will dry out any remaining egg that is inside. If the eggs are discolored afterward, just remember that they're going to be getting a fresh coat of paint. Once they are out, let them cool till they are room temperature.

Plug up the holes. In a bowl, prepare a small amount of plaster of Paris compound. With the dull side of your craft knife, take a tiny bit of the plaster and smooth it over the holes on both sides. Do not worry about whether or not the plaster is even. Your only concern at this point should be plugging up the holes. Let the eggs dry in accordance with the plaster of Paris' drying instructions. Once they are dry, take your fine grain sandpaper and gently sand down the bumps from the plaster.

Prime your eggs. After baking, some of your eggs may be discolored. If you want to paint them a lighter color, this may be a problem, so before you take out your palette, start the eggs with a coat of white acrylic primer. Use acrylics for your eggs instead of oil based paints, because they will stick better to the shells and will last longer. Cover each one of the eggs with a coat of primer, starting with the top, letting it dry and then finishing with the bottom. Let your eggs dry overnight before beginning your artwork on them.

Paint your eggs. Cut your small cardboard box in half, so that when it sits on your work table in front of you it comes up to a comfortable level. Cut several small holes in the top of the cardboard, just big enough for the eggs to rest in, but not so big that they will fall through. Set your eggs in these holes and begin your artwork. You can paint anything you like on your eggs, as long as you remember to let them dry before you invert them and finish your artwork on the bottom. Patience is the most important virtue in this endeavor, so enjoy your work and take it slow.

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