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Free Ultimate Furniture Painting Guide

How to Paint An Antique Gumball Machine

An antique gumball machine turned whimsical!


I learn something new with every newly styled gumball machine!


With this being my very first ANTIQUE gumball machine, you know there was a lesson or FIVE involved! Can we please start a gumball revolution fancy family?! 100% of my past painted gumball machines were newly ordered from Amazon. They are relatively lightweight, easy to disassemble, and fully intact!


This one is made of cast iron, meaning it weighs A LOT, was challenging to disassemble (user error LOL), and had a large crack on the faceplate.

Using Dixie Belle paint on a gumball machine


Preparing the gumball machine to paint

It belongs to my aunt, so saying no to the project was not an option!

Once the machine was disassembled and the remnants of gumball shells and paper wrappers were removed from the inside, I gave it a good wipe down with White Lightning and rinsed it well with water.

Since the machine is slick metal, I used Slick Stick which is my go-to primer for all slick surfaces.

You apply one coat and let it dry overnight. Then follow with a second coat the next day and allow it to dry for several hours before you begin painting.


Pro tip: I almost always apply Slick Stick with a stipple motion.


Repairing time!

While the Slick Stick dried, I decided to tackle the large crack on the faceplate.


Using Dixie Belle Mud, I filled the large cracked area and smoothed it out as much as possible.


Using Dixie Belle Mud in white to fill crack in cast iron gumball machine

I allowed this to dry overnight before sanding back smooth with a fine-grit pad.

It worked beautifully!


sanded down dixie belle mud to repair gumball machine

WoodUBend additions

Adding WoodUBend trim around the base always adds so much to these gumball machines.


Applying WUB trim to gumball machine that was heated with a heat gun

This time, I chose to stack two trims and I'm thrilled with how it looks!

WoodUBend is easy to use. Just apply heat, add glue, and press into place.


It's color time!

I landed on the colors Antebellum Blue, In the Navy, and Peacock.

I covered the entire base with Antebellum Blue and let it dry.


Painting on dixie belle paint on a gumball machine to upcycle

An ombre effect was created by adding In the Navy to the bottom third and Peacock to the upper third, blending each into the Antebellum.






Ombre effect with blended dark and light blue chalk mineral paints from dixie belle

Pro Tip: Keeping the gumball machine on a turntable helps this process.


I used the same three colors of blue to paint a WoodUBend applique that I was planning to apply to the glass globe.


Using In the Navy to paint WoodUBend applique for gumball machine upcycling



Finished color blend for applique that will be applied to glass of gumball machine

The top of the gumball machine is painted in a starburst pattern using the three blues as well; however, I used a paint wash technique to soften the overall sharp edges of that design. Paint washing means adding a lot of water to paint and sometimes wiping it back slightly.


Painted top plate of gumball machine

Using Titebond wood glue, I attached the gorgeous applique to the glass globe.


Applying titebond on painted back of WoodUBend applique

WoodUBend applique applied to glass dome of gumball machine

Finished view of applique on gumball machine

Make sure to heat the applique first, then press it into place. Also, make sure to cover the entire backside with glue.


I also paint the backside of the appliques on the glass, so the raw wood color does not show from the other side.

Metal leafing on the gumball machine faceplate

Now for that repaired faceplate!

I brushed on a single coat of metal leaf adhesive and waited thirty minutes.

Painting metal leaf adhesive onto front of gumball machine

I applied it to the screw on the top, the faceplate, and the coin handle.


Wrapping metal leaf on top screw for gumball machine

Once it became full tack, I laid down the silver leaf sheets and brushed away the excess.


Placing silver metal leafing on faceplate of gumball machine



Brushed off metal leafing to smooth out application to gumball machine

Metal leafing is a huge favorite of mine, and I just love an opportunity to use it!

I brushed on a single coat of metal leaf sealer to all the silver leaf areas (not the paint) to protect this finish and keep it looking fresh!

It is time to enhance the gorgeous new trim around the base and the applique on the globe.

I used Dixie Belle's silver gilding wax and a small craft brush to dry brush all the raised areas, which is excellent for highlighting the trim work!


Gilding wax in silver applied to applique for aged, antique look on gumball machine

Close up view of gilding wax in silver on trim of gumball machine

I then used Antebellum blue in a dry brush fashion to add a bit of shadowing to the silver face plate, just to age it ever so slightly.

Gumball Machine Finishing touches

For the final and fancy finish, I sprayed a single coat of Diamond Dust to the base and the lid BEFORE putting the pieces all back together.


I coated those same pieces with a Polycrylic spray top coat in clear satin.

The machine went back together, but not without a struggle. LOL!

Painting tutorial of gumball machine made of cast iron

The old screws were slightly bent and somewhat stripped, but I finally made it work!

This machine taught me patience. With its heavy weight, I prefer to work on lighter-weight machines!

I also learned that Dixie Bell Mud could be used to fill cracks on metal that you plan to paint!

The extra effort of the heavy lifting was worth it!

I think it is gorgeous and so does my Aunt Ann!!!

I'm curious how many of you own one of these really old and heavy machines?

I'd love to know!

Get your gumball on!


The Art of Fancy & Fabulous Gumball Machines


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