Varnishing Gourds

8 years ago

Asked by Chelone on Fri, Oct 1, 04 at 16:37

I've never tried growing gourds. But I see them for sale everywhere this time of year. Some are right out of the garden, others are varnished.
Do the gourds have to be "dry" or can you simply varnish them right away? I seem to recall we had some that were hauled out year after year (varnished). If you have to dry them, how long does it take and what's the easiest way to accomplish it (boiler room, attic)? how do you know if they're dry and ready for varnishing?.

Answered by: gluecille (My Page) on Fri, Oct 1, 04 at 22:10

Chelone, I'm not an expert on gourds and my first experience with drying gourds was last winter. They have to dry before you can paint or varnish them. Mine took a long time to dry and believe me you can tell when they are dry. They will mold and look nasty so you can't let them dry in the house. Go to the garden web and look under the Gourds forum and you can learn a lot about them. I'm hooked now. I have several different kind of seeds now to plant next year but they won't be ready to paint until the next year.

Answered by: MarieND on Sat, Oct 16, 04 at 22:18

Years ago my grandfather used shelac to cover them. I don't even know if you can buy that now, but they lasted for years. I believed he did dry them first. My daughter has some of them and they are almost 100 years old.

Answered by: pinecone on Fri, Oct 22, 04 at 11:22

We grow gourds and the most important thing you need to remember is: A gourd is a live plant. It dries over a long period of time. Our Bushels are kept till November of the next year. Once they are a year old you will need to clean and if you use water for cleaning you will need to let dry again. Some folks use the top of the freezer for drying after cleaning.