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

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!


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.

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.

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.

Spray-on varnishes are tinted, yet transparent.