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What transparent spray-on material darkens it's background?

Im looking for a way to evenly darken an area of a wall, while keeping the 'background' visible. The effect Im aiming at is that of a shadow cast on the wall, sharply distinguished from the lighter surroundings but still showing the texture and perhaps images underneath. I am specifically looking for a material that can be sprayed, for example with a air pump spray but a spray can would perhaps even be better. I bought a transparent lacquer in a spray can, but it turned out to be too transparent. Another option could perhaps be to dilute black paint?

A few conderations:
  • I prefer to spray it (fast and evenly)
  • Background to 'paint' on will be brick and wood
  • Preferably non drip (or not too much at least)
  • I want to cover a small area several times and will use a stencil template.
How would you go about doing this? Do you know of ready made materials in spray cans that do the trick? If you know of a specific liquid, where could I buy it?

Many thanks in advance!

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phillchill (author) 5 years ago
Thank you! the comments about leaking and plattering garden sprayers, underline how nice a low-pressure spray can would be. I found these: http://artprimo.com/catalog/b112-transparent-black-p-2666.html, http://artprimo.com/catalog/transparent-signal-black-312-p-891.html, http://www.shopmtncolors.com/s.nl/it.A/id.241/.f

Ill pop into my local graffiti store and ask them about these options.
phillchill (author)  phillchill5 years ago
So I went to my local graffiti shop today (Chrome and Black for those of you in London) and asked for advice. I got a Belton/Molotow 'Signal Black Transparent' spray can that is specifically for shading effects, exactly what I needed! Haven't tried it properly yet, but they told me it allows you to darken a surface layer by layer.
If you can't find a glaze/lacquer/varnish that does what you want, a very dilute mixture of black ink and a transparent lacquer might be an answer, though you'd need to work out the mix yourself.

You might also have some luck with a light shade of glass paint - since it's made to be transparent but it's not like normal paint and I have no clue how you'd get it to spray, nevermind give an even, fine coat.
caitlinsdad5 years ago
Look for the paints at the home center that are "glazes". They are semi-transparent when dry and can be tinted to match whatever you are trying to darken. Trying to spray stuff out of one of those garden sprayers might not work for a fine art application since you end up with more splatter than finely misted spray - only an air brush/pressured sprayer will atomize a thin mix correctly. A glaze could be applied with a brush or ragged on though. Good luck.
Kiteman5 years ago
Spray-on varnishes are tinted, yet transparent.