How to Paint a Straw Hat

by Camela Bryan
A hat with a smooth surface is best for hand-painted designs.

A hat with a smooth surface is best for hand-painted designs.

Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

A straw hat is a wonderful surface for paint. You can paint your hat a solid color to match a special occasion outfit or you can add cheerful hand-painted designs to a hat for casual wear. Women have been painting hats for years. In her novel "Little Women," Louisa May Alcott wrote about the March girls painting their hats. You can paint your hat before you add any additional trimmings.

Items you will need

  • Straw hat
  • Spray paint
  • Stencils
  • Pencil
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
Step 1

Apply two light coats of spray paint, if you wish to change the color of the whole hat. You may paint both the inside and the outside, or just the outside. Wait 30 minutes for the paint to dry after each coat.

Step 2

Draw your desired design on the plain or painted hat with light pencil lines.

Step 3

Fill in large areas of the design with a light coat of acrylic paint. A heavy coat of paint will bleed through the straw.

Step 4

Wait 30 minutes after each coat of paint until it is dry to the touch.

Step 5

Add a second light coat of paint as needed.

Step 6

Add details with a small paintbrush.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cut the top and one side off a large cardboard box to make a spray-paint containment chamber.
  • Follow all warnings on the spray paint.
  • Protect nearby surfaces from overspray with drop cloths or newspaper.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images