Friday, March 6, 2009

March Technique 1 - Paint Spray

This week's technique is creating a paint spray effect with acrylic paint. This technique is super easy and can result in a variety of different effects. Here are the advantages of using paint for this technique instead of ink:

- paint will show up against a dark background,
- paint maintains is vibrancy of color even when dry,
- paint acts as a binder to "additions" like mica powder, so your "bling" doesn't rub off on your hands, and
- craft paint is much cheaper than commonly available spray inks.

Here is a layout I created using this technique as a background.
Step 1. Fill a mini-mister (available at Michaels among other places) about 1/3 full with craft paint. Top off with water leaving enough "air space" for mixing. Shake the mini-misted until the paint and water are well mixed. If you want "glimmer" add mica powder or Perfect Pearls to the mixture now. You only need a small amount, depending on how much "bling" you want. I used three scoops using the end of a paint brush as a scoop and I would say that was almost too much. Don't worry about your mini-mister, I promise it will clean up like new later.
Step 2. Protect your work surface with newspaper and lay the objects you want to spray on top. I'm spraying both black and white Bazzill cardstock.

Step 3. Spray your objects with the mini-mister. If you want a light spray, spray a few times off to the side because the first few sprays sometimes come out heavy. Also, make sure you press the spray button all the way down. If you want a heavier spray, only press the spray button down about halfway.
Step 4. Repeat spraying until you like the look. I sprayed three rounds.
Step 5. If you want your spray to be graduated in color (some lighter spots, some darker spots), blot the first spray layer almost immediately (using paper towels). This will result in a very light color. Allow the second spray layer to dray for about 1 minute and then blot. Allow the third spray layer to dry completely. This will result in some light colored, some medium colored, and some dark colored paint splotches. Note: the mini-mister holds just enough paint to spray both of these pieces of cardstock, for larger projects you may need a larger mister.
Step 6. While you wait for your objects to dry, clean you mini-mister. The barrel can be cleaned by filling with clean water, shaking, and then emptying the barrel repeatedly. The sprayer part is easiest to clean by completely immersing in a bowl of water and spraying until clean (i.e., you'll be spraying under water).
This is what my finished background papers look like. The areas that look really light colored on the black paper are from the mica powder that I added.

If this technique causes your paper to curl, simply place it, face down, under a heavy object after it is dry. Or you can iron it (from the back) on a LOW setting.