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How to Make Pumpkins and Gourds Shine for Display

Have you ever wondered how to make pumpkins and gourds shine for display?

It’s super easy and not only will your pumpkins and gourds shine, but they also will also last longer.

How to Make Pumpkins and Gourds Shine for Display

Nothing says fall like a bowl full of gourds.  Each year I look forward to buying gourds and enjoying them through Thanksgiving. 

Gourds are pretty on their own, but even prettier with a subtle shine.  A friend taught me how to make gourds shine many years ago and I’ve used her technique ever since.

This technique also works on pumpkins. So if you’ve been wondering how to make pumpkins look shiny, keep reading!

How to Make Gourds Shine

Buy some gourds and pumpkins and get ready to make them shine!


  • Tub or sink to wash gourds
  • Dish Soap
  • Floor Finish – I use Future which is no longer available. This brand is available as is this one and this one.
  • Small disposable cup
  • Foam Brush

How to Polish Gourds Instructions

The first step is to purchase a bottle of floor finish. My bottle has been only used only for gourds and has lasted over ten years. 

Pour a small amount of the floor finish into a disposable cup.

How to Wax Gourds

Wash the Gourds

Before waxing, wash the gourds to make sure that all of the soil from the field is gone.  I bought mine at our local farmer’s market and they were pretty clean but did have a bit of soil in the crevices.

Some people also recommend adding a tiny bit of bleach to the water to kill bacteria that could cause the gourd to rot.

Wash Gourds

Rinse the gourds and allow them to completely dry before proceeding to the next step.

Make the Gourds Shine

After the gourds are dry, brush a thin coat of floor finish over the entire surface of each gourd.  Use a foam brush and plan on throwing it away when you are finished. 

I have the gourd sitting on a towel here, but you’ll want to use waxed paper as the wax is very sticky.

Brush Wax on Gourds

Let the gourds dry.  Be sure to turn the gourds over so that the underside can dry, as well.

Waxed Gourds

Display and Enjoy Your Gourds

I like to display gourds on our breakfast table.  This is a spot where I see them frequently and can really enjoy them. 

I made the Drop Cloth Table Runner a few years ago and have enjoyed using it for several fall seasons.

Gourds on Breakfast Table

The wooden bowl that I use was my grandmother’s.

Gourds in a Wooden Bowl

Don’t throw out your gourds at the end of the season.  Did you know that you can dry them to use year after year?  I have a huge collection of dried gourds that I enjoy using year after year.

I made this wreath using some of my collection.

Preserved Gourd Wreath2

Have you purchased gourds for decoration?  I have but it won’t stop me from buying more!


  1. This is a great idea – I wonder if this would keep the squirrels from chewing on them? I might give it a try for my front porch display 🙂

  2. Well, I wish I read this about two hours ago, before I took a picture with my dull gourds for my Facebook page. I will have to do this. I didn’t know you could dry them either. Interesting.

      1. I put them on newspaper in our basement after fall is over. The key is to have a dry environment and our basement is dry since we run a dehumidifier 24/7.

  3. Stopping by from throwback thurs, that is so cool! I love the look of how shiny they are! I had heard wax also helps to preserve them and was going o give mine a shot!

  4. Pingback: Dashing Pumpkins- 15 Great Looks - Petticoat Junktion
  5. I never would have thought of shinny gourds, they are beautiful…such a great tip! I love your wreath, so original and the gourds along with your choice of fabric makes for such a pretty one!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!!!

  6. Goodness! I have never heard of this! I will be trying both the waxing and the drying. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Definitely try this! It works like a charm and I now have a giant tote filled with dried gourds that I can use for years to come.

  7. I love this for it won’t hurt the seeds, and I intend to save the seeds for my garden. Future is the best wax too for my floors …HA! will be doing this for mine need to last a long time too.

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