Hand-Painted Stanley Cup!

Discover the latest trend with a Hand-Painted Stanley Cup! Learn how to create your own Hand-Painted Stanley Style Cup with my easy-to-follow guide.

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3 Stanley style drinking cups hand painted. The first one is teal with bold blooms of light and dark pink, The Second is pink and has a colorful palm tree with blue, green, purple and white. And the third one is a black cup with flowers.

I am so excited to share how to paint a Stanley Cup or a Stanley-like cup. Stanley cups are all the rage lately, but they can be pretty pricey, you can visit my store to grab a budget-friendly alternative that closely resembles the Stanley cup. We have all kinds of pretty colors, and these are the exact cups I painted on for this tutorial.  Enjoy creating your own personalized tumbler!

What will I need to paint my Stanley or Stanley-like cup?

Tips on what paints and sealers to use on your cup.

I just used regular craft acrylic to paint my cup. You really don’t need any special paint, craft acrylic will do. If you want paint that gives you more texture, I’d choose a thicker paint. But, for this project, I wanted thinner paint and less texture, so I went with the craft acrylic. As far as sealers to protect the cups, you can use decoupage, epoxy, or polyurethane spray sealer. I used the polyurethane spray.

Hot pink cup with a colorful palm tree. Christie Hawkins holding a spray sealer to protect the hand painted cup.

You can choose whichever finish you prefer – gloss, high gloss, semi-gloss, or matte. I wanted a glossier finish so I went with a high gloss varnish, but you could go as low gloss as a matte finish. It’s really up to you.

How to Paint a Tumbler

1. Wash your Cup:

Before you get started painting, make sure your cup is clean. That is really the only prep you have to do for the cup. You can paint directly onto the cup with your acrylic paint.

5 different hand painted Stanley style cups. One pink with a colorful palm tree, one gray with colorful blooms, One black with dark pink and light pink flowers with green leaves, a pink one covered in pink, teal, purple, and white and yellow flowers, and the last one is a purple cup with yellow sunflowers, blue smaller flowers, and tiny white and pink flowers.

2.  Paint your first layer:

You can begin painting on your Stanley cup or Stanley-like cup with any design you would like. On my teal tumbler, I started with a bigger round paint brush forming the shape of fun little flowers. For these, I used the #5 from my paintbrush set. I painted my messy little flowers that I like to do with light pink, and I picked up a little bit of white with that pink to add in. I then added in a fuchsia color flower for some pop. 

Whenever I’m doing these flowers, they’re not perfect circles. They kind of have some curves around the edges of them. Then, I add green leaves in a bright green followed by a little layering of a teal color. I even put some blueberries on the cup too for some contrast. 

3.  Let your cup dry

I let my cup dry a bit between layers. You can add as much detail as you want. Just keep in mind, if you don’t want the tumbler color to come through, you will have to add a second coat. I added two coats on all my tumblers. Make sure that the first coat is dry because if it’s not, you’re just going to be dragging your paint around and still seeing the tumbler color come through.

4.   Add your second layer:

After making sure your first layer of paint is dry, begin adding on your second layer. This will help guarantee that the color of your Stanley or Stanley-like cup does not come through your painting.

5.  Easily clean your mistakes:

If you make any mistakes, you can just grab a baby wipe, Clorox wipe, or a damp paper towel to wipe off those errors. These tumblers are super forgiving when it comes to cleaning up and touchups.

6.  Your painting techniques will stay the same even on a cup:

Remember if you push down hard on your brush, you will get a bigger circle or stroke. If you press down very lightly, you will get a thin stroke. Also, if your hand is shaky and you feel like you can’t make it steady, you can always hold your wrist or rest it on the table to help give you a little bit more stability. All the same rules and guides apply when painting on a cup as they do on a canvas.

7.  Use Posca Pens or a thin brush for details:

I used a white Posca Pen and a thin brush for the last few details. Although, I did like the brush a bit better on the cup surface. I feel like it was easier with a brush because it’s a curved surface so your bristles just kind of pull alongside it. So, I went back to my skinny brush and did my white highlights with that as well. However, Posca Pens work great too.

How to Seal Your Painted Cup

DecoArt Duraclear High Gloss varnish, and DecoArt Decoupage Matte, which is a sealer..

Before you seal your paint, make sure your cup is completely dry. You will need to collect a few supplies – paper towels; tape similar to painters tapes, like FROGTAPE or TSSART Art Tape; a sealer of your choice; and something to lay over the top of your cup if you use a spray sealer because you don’t want the particles to go inside the cup. You can use a piece of cardboard or an old canvas. Now you are ready to seal your beautiful cup!

Art tape around the top rim of the cup.

Step 1

Get your tape and wrap it around the silver rim of the cup. Fold the tape inward while wrapping it towards the inside of the cup. You want to do this so you aren’t leaving any sealer on an area you drink from.

Step 2

Wrap your cup’s handle with a paper towel to avoid getting unwanted sealer on it.

A Hand painted cup with colorful blooms. The handle is covered in paper towel to protect it when using a spray sealer.

Step 3

If you are using a spray, like I did, you want to lay a surface on the top of your cup. Spray straight on so you’re not risking getting any of the spray inside of the cup. I used a spray-on polyurethane. You can also use a brush-on sealer, like a decoupage sealer or an epoxy sealer. You can choose any finish you would like.

A Stanley Style Cup (pink) with hand painted colorful blue, pink, purple flowers. The handle, and top edge are wrapped, and the top is covered to protect it when putting on a sealer.

Step 4

After applying your sealer, give your cup plenty of time to dry. Even though some sealers say they dry in a few minutes, I still recommend giving it a few hours before you wash the cup and drink from it. 

Grey hand painted cup with flowers. A bold pink with white accents, bright pink with yellow accents, and bluew with lighter blue and white accents all with black centers. A yellow petal flower with orange and white accents and center. Green leaves. A splash of glitter on the flowers and leaves.

Never put your painted Stanley or Stanley-like cup in the dishwasher. Eventually, over time, the heat from the dishwasher can break down any sealer.

A black Stanley style cup with bold blooms in burgundy, light and darkp pink. Green foliage, and white dots on cup.

I hope you enjoyed this painting tutorial. I enjoyed stepping outside the box and painting on a whole new surface… a cup! Now, every time you take a sip, you can also enjoy your beautiful work of art!

Watch How to Paint a Tumbler:

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