DIY Winter Red Truck Acrylic Painting


You’ll have so much fun painting this whimsical, vintage winter red truck with a Christmas tree on a wooden pallet!

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Winter Red Truck

I know I’m not the only one who can’t resist a trip through the Target Dollar Spot every time I walk into the store. I mean, it’s right there and it’s always full of so many cute things! I often grab something that I know I’ll want to paint on even if I’m not sure what that is.

That’s exactly what happened with a wooden pallet I found that turned into the perfect thing to paint this adorable red truck on! 

This is a great holiday season project. It’s all about having fun, embracing imperfection, and enjoying the whimsy and wonder of the Christmas season. Come paint with me!

Materials Mentioned

If your Target doesn’t have these wooden pallet signs, check Walmart, Hobby Lobby, or a local craft store. I found a similar pallet wood sign on Amazon that would work perfectly.

Before we get started, I want to remind you to trust the process! This red truck is going to start off looking very childlike, but all the finishing touches make it complete and turn it into something special.

Something new I added to this one is a fun product called Snow-Tex by DecoArt. It gives a cool 3-D effect to your paintings. You can see the texture in my closeup picture. Adding a little bit of water to the Snow-Tex makes it easier to apply, especially for finer details.

I used DecoArt Cherry Red and Holly Green in this painting as well. I love DecoArt paint because it’s a little thicker and covers better than most brands.

Winter Red Truck Acrylic Painting

How to Paint the Winter Red Truck

Sketch the truck. 

I sketched a simple outline of a truck in the middle of my pallet. This sketch does not need to be perfect – just go for a simple, vintage-inspired look. 

If freehand sketching intimidates you (and it doesn’t need to) and you’d rather use a template, you can grab my truck template HERE free. 

Red truck free download

Start painting the truck.    

Red paint has a tendency to be very transparent. I love to use Deco Art Cherry Red because it tends to cover a lot better than reds from other brands. However, I still recommend giving your truck a base layer of white paint. It will just make that red layer go on even better and give you more even coverage. 

After you give your truck a coat of white paint – except for the tires – use a blow dryer to make sure your white paint is dry before moving on to the red. 

Winter Red Truck Acrylic Painting

Take your Cherry Red paint and give your truck a good coat of this cheerful shade that’s perfect for Christmas. Again, due to the transparency of red paint, you’ll likely need more than one coat. 

Christie’s Tip: When you need more than one coat of a color to achieve the coverage you want, it’s important to let each coat dry thoroughly before adding the next. Otherwise you will end up with gloppy paint instead of a nice smooth finish. 

Add tires and truck details.  

It’s time to paint those tires black. I use an angle brush when painting something round – I find it’s the best brush to use for painting circles. 

I also use black paint to add some shading and details to the truck itself, especially along the fenders and the bed of the truck. I use that same black paint to box in the door. 

Can you see how these details are starting to make this truck come to life? 

Vintage red truck painted on wood pallet

I like to keep my shading a little streaky rather than perfectly blended. That’s my preference, but you can decide what look you’d like for your own truck. 

I used this pretty Desert Turquoise paint to streak some color in the window. It’s like it’s reflecting the kind of beautiful blue sky you get on a crisp, cold winter day. 

Bring it to life with a Christmas tree. 

Our vintage red truck is hard at work bringing a Christmas tree home. 

In keeping with the whimsical, vintage feel of this painting, I used my angled brush to paint a simple tree shape using Holly Green paint. I found the shade wasn’t quite as dark as I wanted it to be. Mixing in a little black helped me get the hunter green shade I was looking for. 

Winter Red Truck bed with evergreen tree in it

Christie’s Tip: If some of the red paint gets in with the green of the tree or vice versa, don’t worry! Since red and green are on opposite sides of the color wheel, anywhere they mix together will simply tone down the color a bit. 

Add finishing touches.  

I added some white details to my tree with wispy brushstrokes and then moved on to adding highlights to the truck. 

I started by painting thin black lines with a light hand – “outlining” the truck including the wheel wells and door. Then I took some white paint and did the same thing to the same areas. This adds so much interest and really brings our truck to life! 

Have fun with Snowtex!  

I discovered Snowtex by Deco Art and couldn’t wait to use it on this painting! 

It’s thick and gloppy and looks like snow. When you add it to a painting, it creates a really cool texture. 

DecoArt Snowtex

Add a little water to some Snowtex and apply some to the truck bed, the tree, and anywhere else you think snow would have collected in your painting. 

It’s easy to get carried away with Snowtex because it’s just so fun to paint with! Start with a little bit and add more if you need to. 

winter red truck with tree painted on wood

I kept this painting simple for now. I’ll go back later and add words and turn it into a wall hanging. I just LOVE how it looks so far. 

I hope you have fun painting your Winter Red Truck!

Watch the full Winter Red Truck Acrylic Painting DIY tutorial. 

Post a picture and share what you learned on The Social Easel Facebook Page!

Stay creative and happy painting!

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my favorite teal on my new paint brush set