April 06, 2020

How to Dye Sola Wood Flowers - Hand Painting!

Hand Painting 101

You’ve mastered the dip dye method and your flowers are looking great with a solid one color coat. Ready to take your sola wood flowers to the next level?! Let’s chat about hand painting!

how to hand paint sola wood flowers

Hand painting is a great way to bring in multiple layers of colors and/or help to get a very realistic look to your wood flowers. It also can bring color to a flower that may be prone to uncurling when using the dip dye method. 


What you’ll need:

  • Sola wood flowers (I will let you know the names of each type I use for each technique)
  • Craft acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes (size depends on the size of the flower and how small the details you are adding will be)
  • A spray bottle with water and/or a cup of water (one that you don’t mind getting paint in!)

sola wood flower tutorial


Blended color (using a water spray bottle) 

For this technique, I used a 3” dahlia wood flower (https://ohyourelovely.com/products/dahlia-set-of-12-3-inches ), 3 colors of craft paint, a spray bottle of water and glycerin (don’t worry, there will be more on glycerin in the coming blogs and you can just use water to start learning the technique) and a paintbrush (but also my fingers because I love messy crafting!)

sola wood flower dyeing tutorial


The best way I have found to give the flowers some great depth is to work with several colors on each sola wood flower. For this particular one, I started with the lightest color in the center and worked my way out. You could also do the opposite and have the darkest color centered but the most important part of this technique is to start your painting in the center of the flower.

sola wood flower dahlia


Take your paintbrush, dip in your center color paint and apply liberally. Next, use your spray bottle and add some water. Once the water has been sprayed on, you can take the paintbrush and start to pull the color out toward the edges. However, I almost always use my fingers for this step! Messy hands = project well done!

pink sola wood flower


Continue to add paint to each flower layer, spraying water between colors and blending the paint out. I also like to add a little of the next color to the tips of the previous color petals (ie - add light pink to the tips of the outer yellow petals and add darker pink to the tips of the outer light pink petals) for an amazing, multi-dimensional effect!

Painting delicate or curled flowers (using a cup of water)

how to dye a sola wood flower peony

Here we will be using a 3” mature peony sola wood flower (https://ohyourelovely.com/products/matured-peony-set-of-12-3-inches ) from our shop, craft acrylic paint, a paintbrush and a cup of water. 

adding paint to the petals  

The key to this technique is to find the creases! Once you find where the flower petals meet, dip your brush in water, then in the paint (get a decent sized glob on the brush) and apply the paint to the creases.

 Pink sola wood flower peony

I generally work in layers and will apply to the creases of the outside petal layer first, allllllll around the flower. Then, dip your brush back into the cup of water and spread the paint from the crease to the edge of the petal.

pink sola wood flower peony


Continue until the inside petals have received this same treatment and there you have it! A realistic flower that has kept its shape. Side note - if you are wanting to try this with a flower that has super curled edges (aka a Blanche or Rosa or something similar), use the same idea but do not pull the paint with your water brush through the edges/curls. Keeping those in their raw color can make for some AMAZING effects!



getting ready to dye sola wood flowers

This tip comes from Ember, OYL co-founder Maggie’s daughter! She did an amazing tutorial in our Facebook group and I am so excited to share her tips with all of you! For the tie-dye effect, I used our 3” star lily (https://ohyourelovely.com/products/star-lily-set-of-12-3-inches ). It works best on flowers with flat petals (you’ll see why as we move forward with the steps!).

 Rainbow sola wood flower

To start, choose 3-5 paints that work together. Apply each separately using a paintbrush, and be sure to use a thick layer of paint. You can apply the paint in as many different ways as your imagination allows but I started with lines of painting working with the wood grains.

creating a tie dye sola flower


After all the paint has been applied to the petal, take a dry paper towel and pull the paint off in the direction of your paint (ie- along the lines so they don’t mix). If you have applied the paint in sections on the petal where pulling with a paper towel will mix them, dab instead!

Finished tie dyed flower


Each of the petals in this finished flower used different ways of laying down the paint. Keep experimenting to find the one that works best for you.


Once you get started hand painting flowers and experiment with styles, you’ll find a method that works best for you. It may involve one or more of the techniques I mentioned above or may be completely different. And that is awesome! If you found any different processes that you love, let us know in the comments!