Try this paint splatter technique if you are looking for an unusual and visually striking design for a wall in your home or business. This is a photo of the finished project from my hair salon where it was always a focus of interest and great conversation starter. The advantage of this technique over a free-hand design is that it keeps the effect more true to form and realistic, and it is much less messy than trying to throw paint on the wall!
Step 1: Tools for the Job
You will need an overhead projector. It does not have to be a color projector, but the job will be easier if you have access to one. You can typically find old overhead projectors at schools, libraries, or pawn shops. In addition to the overhead projector you will need a clear transparency sheet, a washable marker, paint, and paintbrushes (mid-size and fine point).
Place your transparency on a protected flat surface.
Step 3: Splatter Time!
Dip your brush in the paint and splatter away. Keep in mind that more paint on the brush will cause bigger splatters. If you want to create the effect that paint was "thrown" on the wall, keep your splatters moving in one direction. If you want to have a more random effect, turn your transparency in different directions so that the paint is going every which way.
After allowing the paint to dry on the transparency, place it on the overhead projector and turn the projector on.
Adjust the height, position and zoom on your overhead projector until you obtain the desired size and position of your "splatter" on the wall.
Using your washable marker, trace and outline the shapes of the spatters. At this point you can customize your design my choosing which splatter forms you want to use. Be sure to pay attention to the small shapes, as well as the tails and little holes within the design. The little details are what gives it the realistic effect!
Step 7: Involve the Kids!
You can even let your little ones lend a hand!
Here you can see the forms traced out. It does not have to be perfect, but this is a much easier process on a smooth wall as opposed to the sheet I am using for demonstration purposes.
Begin painting in the forms. If you are wanting to do more than one color, you should splatter two different colors on the transparency then follow that pattern to know where to apply each color on the wall. The key is to keep it as random as it is on the transparency.
Step 10: Finishing Touches
When you have finished filling in the forms, which may require more than one coat, you will want to go over the design with a fine point brush to smooth out the edges. Again, since I am doing this on a sheet it is much trickier here than it is on a smooth finished wall surface.
Here is the mostly complete demonstration sample. After the paint has dried you can wash off any exposed marker lines.
Step 12: A Finished Wall
This is a more isolated look at the finished project from my old salon. Notice how the two colors overlap in places. If you are using a simple gray/black overhead projector like mine, use two sharply contrasting colors (they don't have to be your wall colors) so that you can differentiate the shades of grey on the wall when you are tracing and painting the forms.