How to Paint a Sleigh for Christmas

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Santa's sleigh is poised to make a return! And even though the sleigh belonging to the man in the big red suit is currently parked in the North Pole, you can get crafty and makeover one of your very own—that is, with a brand-new DIY paint job.

Sleigh painting is not a one-size-fits-all (or rather, one-color-fits-all) type of project. We all know a traditional Christmas Santa sleigh is usually red. But you can also get creative as you craft children's sleighs, antique sleighs and dark metal sleigh-centered Christmas decor. Don't stress if you're not sure where to start. We've got you covered with an easy step-by-step tutorial.

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So, if you have an old sleigh that's just taking up space in your shed, basement or garage or you scored a thrift store find, read on for some serious Christmas inspo and info!

How to paint a Santa sleigh

If your sleigh already has paint on it, start with sandpaper and wipe off any remaining residue. To save time on painting, use a spray paint/primer combination product. Choose a glossy cherry red for the main part of this home decor DIY. Spray paint can be used on just about any surface, so you can use it for wood, plastic, metal or wicker.

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Tip

Buy a few extra cans of paint to make sure that you have enough.

First, use painter's tape to protect the areas near the runner at the bottom or anything you don't want to paint red. Spray on the red paint, allow it to dry and then follow that with black spray paint/primer on the runners,

You can decorate the sleigh with white and gold metallic paint and a paintbrush, but don't forget to draw on the designs first with a marker. Get artsy with your painting techniques and the embellishments and choose a holiday-themed design. If this is your first time painting a sleigh, stick with something simple, such as a garland or scrolls. You can also add a "Merry Christmas!" logo, an outline of Rudolph, a snowman or a Christmas tree to the side of the Santa sleigh.

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An all-white sleigh with or without Santa and the reindeer is a modern, clean look. It can also provide a blank canvas to hang up Christmas lights.

Warning

If you get a lot of snow, it will be harder to see the sleigh. These sleds do look nice in warmer climates when there is no threat of snow.

How to decorate a sleigh for Christmas

If your sleigh is large enough to sit on your lawn and accommodate Santa, Rudolph and the rest of the Christmas Eve gang, you can make it look even more festive when you are finished painting by adding extras, like bells, holly, ribbons and wrapped boxes.

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Tip

Attach all decorations so they won't blow away in the wind. Also try to use snowproof and waterproof decor whenever possible.

Your sleigh doesn't have to sit outside. A popular sleigh design features an antique sled propped up in a corner on a porch. You can use a tartan green and red ribbon tied at the top with a bell-shaped cookie cutter and bells hanging from it. On the ground next to it, place some bright red poinsettia plants.

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This DIY also works for furniture makeovers too! No sleigh? No problem. Instead of a sled, use a thrift store sleigh bed. Paint the base of the bed frame and the headboard red, green or white or you can use a cute Christmas color combo.

Additional sleigh decor ideas

You can also hang a Christmas wreath from a kid's wooden sled. Simply lean it against an outside wall and hang the wreath from the top with colorful holiday ribbons. Play up the all-natural look and hang pine tree branches and large pine cones.

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Another option is to use a mini gold metal sleigh on a tabletop. Fill it with metallic gold, red and green Christmas balls of different sizes. Add some Xmas greenery to balance things out.

Midsize sleighs look nice on the ground next to your Christmas tree, and they can pull double duty as gift holders. Deck out this home decor design with candles and tree ornaments. And, of course, you may also want to place Santa on his sleigh.

That's it! With a few touches of paint and some crafty decor, you're ready to fly into the holiday season with a Christmas sleigh that will land you on Santa's nice list!

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