Exploding Paint





Introduction: Exploding Paint

About: Working wireless-ly.

Not the Italian job kind (although I know how to make that too), but a type of burning paint that can be used to burn whatever you paint into wood, and then scrubbed away. You will be left with a piece of wood with whatever you painted charred into it. Its fun, safe (compared to my other projects), and a gives a good show when you light it.
So half the art is actually the process of making the art.

Step 1: Parts


1. Piece of wood, it will be your canvas
2. Gunpowder https://www.instructables.com/id/EEXOON4E1HEPA8KQNM/
3. Dextrin
4. Paintbrushes
5. Rubbing alchol
6. Pencil and Sharpie

Step 2: Make the Paint

Essentially this is the same stuff used to coat the fuse in this instructable https://www.instructables.com/id/E9ZBOE35P9EPA8KZXX/.

In a tupperware container mix 10 parts gunpowder with 1 part dextrin. The amount you will make depends on the size of whatever you are painting. However, it is a good idea to mix only a small amount because you can always easily mix more if you run out.

With the powder in the tupperware container pour in the rubbing alchol. Stir in between pouring, and keep adding rubbing alchol until the gunpowder is about the consistency of acrylic paint. Stir it until all the clumps are worked out and you should have a somewhat homogeneous mixture.

The picture shows the mixture after I added the alchol but before I mixed it.

Step 3: Prepare the Wood

Sand down the piece of wood until the surface is smooth, and there are no splinters. Wipe down the wood with a damp papertowel.
Sketch out on a piece of paper what you want to paint on the wood. I choose to write out tetranitrate in script that way, I will only need to light it once and it will burn through the entire thing. If you are painting a picture and want to only ignite it once, all of the lines have to connect. If you are more concerned about the end product then the show it makes when you light it having the lines connect does not matter.
Using the pencil, sketch out on the wood what image you want. When you are done go over it with a sharpie. It is hard to do fine details with this paint so try not to make any lines you have too thin.

Step 4: Painting

Dip your brush in the mixture, make sure the brush does not pick up any clumps of gunpowder. Start to paint out the sketch you drew. Try to paint thick but smooth, meaning you want a lot of gunpowder evenly spread out on your lines.

By the time you have gone over it once, the part where you started should be beginning to dry. You can probably see pieces of the wood underneath the paint, that is bad. Go back over it with a second coat focusing especially on the areas where you can see the wood through the paint.

Let it dry for a few hours. After it is dry check it to make sure that no wood can be seen through the paint, if it can be you need to go over it again.

Step 5: Lighting

Place the wood on the ground outside. Have a damp towel in one hand to put out any fire that may remain after it has burned. Gather a crowd if you want to show it to them, but keep everyone a few feet back. Even though this is just as safe as lighting a fuse, some embers may jump off.
With a bbq lighter in one hand, and the towel in the other, light it up.

For a nice little celebratory climax, I put a spoon-full of flashpowder https://www.instructables.com/id/E65PVI1DFCEPUCHXG0/ at the end of it.



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    I'm not familiar with the term 'sharpie'. What is it? Is it a sharp tool to emboss (or engrave) your design? Is it a marker pen? Pls help!

    15 replies

    oooooshit!!!! man!!!!!! u don't know wut a sharpie is!!!!!!! nonononononononononono u must know its a pen ,but just a pen the best pen in the... well its a pen...

    Were not all American, do you know what vegemite is or an emu?

    my dad used to eat scrambled emu eggs for breakfast. 4 eggs fed 10 peeps

    leave vegimite alone its owsome beter than promite or any other "mite"

    Your mum was GROSS!

    did you just say that sharpies are only in america and that they are not in australia by comparing them to vegemite and emus!!!?

    Can you get Vegemite or emus in America without importing?

    its a marker too

    A sharpie is a famous brand of permanent marker. You can probably just use the pencil marks.

    it is a black marker that that will write on almost anything and will not come off... just like any permanent marker

    Oh my god, someone who doesn't know what a Sharpie is! They've really become kind of ubiquitous, and "Sharpie" can sometimes act like "Google" in a sentence: a brand name which became so common that it now means " permanent felt-tip marker," just like google means "search for on internet using a search engine." I guess we all forget that not all slang is universal.

    It's just the brand name of a fine-tip permanent marker.

    not always fine tipped. Its just the brand name of a permanent marker.

    Hey Tetranitrate, have you thought of using a modern nitro-based smokeless powder? More energetic then black powder but safer to handle and store. It's also available by the pound for, well, not a whole lot. It's also available in a wide range of burn rates and grain sizes. Not sure how it would work with your dextrin/alchol binder though.

    3 replies

    "More energetic than black powder"

    Sorry, people don't seem to realise these are two different words.

    YES! I thought I was one of the few out there who cared! Nice to know we still exist.