I hand paint custom cornhole boards and have been brainstorming about ideas for my own boards. (For those of you who do not know what cornhole is [also called Baggo] check out the ACA for complete information.) I wanted to do a graffiti theme on them, but am not a true graffiti / spraycan / street artist, so I decided to hand paint the characters, lettering and small details and then I would spray paint the background. What better background for graffiti than a brick wall!?
Obviously painting a brick finish can be done in many places, but I have chosen to do it on my boards. Imagine a wall or floor in your house, or even a car or desk top, your imagination is the limit! This technique can also be varied, so keep in mind that this is a baseline and can be modified to your creativity and ideas. Please comment if you want, but if you would like to tell us how you would have done it better, then I suggest you do your own instructable and show us!
Step 1: Masking the design
To start with, I had a set of boards painted white. On one I had started my character and the other, I just had light pencil sketches for planning. I will not go into how I painted the character or made the boards, as this instructable is aimed towards spray painting a faux brick finish. There are two ways you can look at creating the foreground designs.
1. Starting with a character or any sort of design in the foreground means you have to mask it off before you paint a background, this makes the design pop more as it creates hard defined edges. It is also easier to create your foreground designs since you can have a blank canvas to work on. It is however, a tedious task of masking a design, especially one with a lot of detail.
2. Painting the background first and then adding the details on top allows some of the texture and color from the background to show through plus creates softer edges on your designs. However when you add your foreground details onto the background in this manner, it is harder to sketch them on the background for painting. I did both ways as you will see.
Step 2: Painting the joint color
I gave the whole area a good coat with the light tan, and then went over it lightly with a darker tan. The darker color has a texture so I rubbed it with my hand as well as a cloth rag to get it to smooth out a little. If you barely press the nozzle on the darker color the paint will "sputter", this adds some nice texture almost like sand in the mortar. Just try to avoid blobs and splotches in your paint. If you mess up, just re-coat with your base color and try again. Bricks and mortar are hardly ever perfect with solid single colors, so variety makes it better.
Step 3: Creating the mortar joints
To start with, I stuck one end of the tape down and then started working my way across the board. You can bend the tape slightly and at the same time, slightly pinch in the sides at various points along the joint to vary the thickness of the joint. The older or rougher the bricks you want to emulate, the more wave and variety you want to put in the joints. The one thing you do want to be aware of, is for the most part, your joints should run in a level line. They can be wavy but generally level, just try not to allow them to run up or down-hill. If you need to create guide marks on the sides of your substrate for the start and stop point of the joints to keep them level, then that works as well. I just used my eyeballs.
Step 4: Adding details to your joints
Step 5: Paint the bricks
Bricks have a lot of variety in their appearance and some of the things we want to create are: Highlights, Lowlights, Speckling, Scratches, Shadows and/or Wear.
I used a couple different techniques to achieve these qualities. I started by spraying my two base colors together, then applying a piece of glossy paper and lifting. (Note: If your paint is not wet enough, the paper will stick and leave little chunks if you are not careful. It does require practice and patience.) This is the same technique artists use for Space Paintings (search youtube for examples). I also did a "scrumbling" technique with a plastic bag on my hand and just dabbed and rubbed the wet paint. After I got a good mix I lightly touched up areas I wanted to with one of the light base colors. You want to try to individualize bricks since they are separate pieces in a wall and not one big component.
Once you have all the bricks painted, take your lightest colored spray paint and barely press down on the nozzle just until it starts to sputter. This will create a speckling effect on the bricks. You can do the same with black if that's the texture you want. Finally, I lightly touch the bricks on the "bottom" side to create a sort of shadow.
Again, play around with these different techniques and try to come up with others that get the effect you're looking for - just let your creative juices flow or spray.
Step 6: Unmask, Cleanup and Touchup
One other little touch I did on my boards that you can see in the final step is used the spritzing technique and spritzed the edge of the hole. This gives a really cool burned out look or whatever you want to call it. I think it really sets off the hole.
Step 7: Finished Product(s)
"Gimme3" is a reference to the scoring in corn hole - getting a bag in the hole is 3 points in case you didn't know.
Thanks for looking and have fun! If you have any questions or further details, just ask!