Introduction: Incredible Detailed Water Droplets From Spray Paint

In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to spray paint these incredible detailed water droplets!

It's an incredible simple process to paint surfaces with these water droplets. You're sure to amaze the people you show your painted things to!

If you're anything like me, after learning this trick you'll be searching for what things you own that would like nice with a coat of painted droplets.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Parts and Tools

You are going to need the following:

  • Spray paint
    • Color of your choice
  • Push spray bottle
    • Like a bottle for window cleaning
  • A surface to paint droplets on
  • Optional:
    • Masking tape
      • For masking areas you don't want droplets on
    • Clear coat
      • For sealing the spray painted droplets

Step 2: How It Works!

You know those coffee stains on paper you get when you place down your cup of coffee? Have you ever noticed how those stains are always darker at the edges and lighter in the middle?

This is the effect we are recreating now!

The process involves making actual small water droplets on the surface you want to paint. Then we are going to lightly paint the surface. As the paint dries the same physical process happens as when your coffee stains get darker around the edges.

If you are curios about how and why this happens I found this quote on mentalfloss to explain the phenomenon:

"The actual mechanism is somewhat like this: Water evaporates faster from the exposed edges of a coffee drop than from the interior. For this reason, you might expect that the drop would shrink in area as it dries. In practice, however, the drop edge gets pinned by bits of solid material or by the texture of the table, and this prevents the edge from receding. In order to accommodate the slightly faster evaporation at the edges, the liquid at the center flows outwards. The molecules and solid bits floating in the water get swept along in this outward flow, and as the drop continues to dry, they pile up at the edge like windblown snow against a fence."

Step 3: Creating the Droplets

First, you probably want to cover your painting area with some cardboard or newspaper to avoid painting the areas all around you.

Clean the surfaces you want to paint and lay them on something solid with little wind around. They are going to be lying there for a while. If you have a surface that is very smooth to the touch you might want to sand it lightly to make sure the paint sticks later on.

Take your push spray bottle and fill it with water. Be sure and set your nozzle to spraying a fine mist of water, not a direct stream. Now point the bottle upwards and start spraying water directly over your surfaces. As the water falls down the surface tension in the water will create small droplets.

Keep spraying water until you're happy with how the droplets look! I like to get a combination of smaller and bigger droplets.

Step 4: Painting the Droplets

Shake your paint real good and point it towards your surfaces to paint. You want to hold the spray can about 50 cm (20 in) away.

Very lightly start spraying paint in a diffuse cloud as you move the paint can over the surfaces. This will make the paint fall down onto the water droplets. You'll want to make each surface is hit with paint from the same direction. This creates that eye popping 3D effect.

The paint is lighter than the water because it's smaller droplets coming from the nozzle. This means you need to point the spray paint in the direction you want the paint to fall. You cant spray paint straight up like we did with the water.

Inspect your surfaces and add some more paint if you feel like it is needed. If you sprayed too much paint you can quickly dry it off and go over with some paint thinner. Let dry and add water once more to try again.

Step 5: The Waiting

This part is about as fun as watching paint dry. Now you need to wait for your paint to dry!

It's a good idea to do this project on a hot and sunny day without much wind. This means the paint dries quicker and the wind wont disturb how the water lays on the surface.

Let the paint dry for about half a day or longer to make sure the paint is completely dry.

If your painted surface gets a lot of wear you can seal the painted droplets with some clear coat. This creates a scratch resistant layer above the paint so it will stay on much longer.

Step 6: Finished! Final Thoughts

Congratulations you just painted incredible detailed water droplets! The effect looks really good even up close!

As soon as I discovered this painting effect I looked all over for things that I could paint. It's so easy and gives a really nice look. I would probably give a coat of droplets on my laptop if it wasn't all black!

Show your friends and I guarantee they will all be impressed!

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