Introduction: How to Spray Paint Buildings

Disclaimer: I am a beginner spray painter who most of the time doesn't really know what they are doing! Please enjoy! Sorry if my instructions are hard to understand, read, or if they are too wordy.


The following items were what I used to make this art piece possible:

  • Spray Paint - Black, any 4, 5 or 6 colours you want to use for you buildings
  • Clear Coat (To keep your paint wet throughout the process of making it. DO NOT USE WATER TO KEEP YOUR PAINTING WET!!!) If your painting dries you won't be able to make any buildings in the paint.
  • Thick Paper/Canvas (Examples - watercolour paper, acrylic paper, card stock, canvas, etc.)
  • Newspaper (To protect the surface you're painting on.)
  • Paper Towel (To clean your gloves and tools)
  • Plastic Card or drywall knife (Examples - used plastic gift card, a flat dull fan-like blade, etc.)
  • Gloves (Since it can get very messy)
  • Mask (For protection)

Step 1: Step 1: Background

To add colour to your buildings, start randomly spray streaks onto the paper, but don't pool the paint or else it won't look very nice. Do as many streaks to your hearts content!

(If you are doing this on a black background, use white) Now, cover most of the paper (or whatever surface you are using) in black, but leave a good chunk of space at the top to make it look nice. Leave a smoky look where you new background colour mixes with the actual paper colour. Make sure you cover all of the colour you painted previously. If you have clear coat spray keep it handy to keep you art piece wet or else doing the buildings will be very difficult.

Step 2: Step 2: the Buildings

When you do the buildings, it doesn't really matter if they are crooked our not in line with the other buildings.

Building 1, 2, and 3: To do a simple square building you use your blade/card to scrape the paint away. You carefully scrape the blade/card horizontally, then lift your blade/card up then place it back down slightly away from were you ended your previous scrape, then scrape you tool down in an angle to give a '3D' look to your building. You can do this in a continuous motion, but to me the building lines look cleaner and cooler when you do it in two separate cuts.

Build 4: Mark a straight vertical line to mark where your building will be. Then starting from the top, start making the box-like shape when you make a normal building and gradually make the 'boxes' larger as you go down the line. You can leave a little bit of the line at the top as the top of the skyscraper.

Building 5: To do a diamond shaped building, you scrape your tool diagonally upwards, then downwards, but you don't have to make the building symmetrical or even. Then, at the point you created, you make a triangle by cutting two cuts in a diagonal downwards motion. Building 5: To make a skyscraper-like building, you first make a straight line, and start making sections (kind of like the way you make buildings 1, 2, and 3) of the tower and gradually making them bigger.

Step 3: Step 3: Bottom-Half of the Skyline and Bridge

Bottom-Half of the Skyline:

You cover the bottom half of the buildings you just scraped out, then You drag your tool in a 'side-up-side-down' motion repeatedly, from one end to the other, it is very random. Remember to pick up your tool and clean it or else you'll get a big glob of black on the end and it won't look pretty. After spray the bottom of the bottom skyline to make it look better. Note: This isn't supposed to be symmetrical or perfect.

Bridge: One way to make a bridge is you scrape horizontally to the side, drop down on a slight angle while continuing to scrape, the go back up slightly and scraping to the side a bit more to finish the shape. The two end 'columns' don't have to be in line with each other. You then do a semi-circle motion to make the bridge more detailed. After that, you make a nice straight line directly across (it doesn't need to be perfect), then you take the edge of your scraper tool and make the cords of the bridge. You make 2, a smooth motion from one column to the line. After that, use the edge of your tool again to make the vertical cords of the bridge. You can either do a zig-zag pattern, or do up and down cords. NOTE: This art piece doesn't have to be perfect! It's ok if there aren't perfect straight lines or if there are weird lines in it!

Step 4: Step 4: Finishing Touches and Completion!

You can add water for underneath your bridge (if you did one), but you don't have to, I didn't do it because I though the art piece looked fine without the water and I ran out of space. You can add more buildings in if you'd like, but now you are free to do whatever you want with the piece. You can frame your artwork, or put it up on your wall!