DIY: Paint Splattered Wall – Art Themed Room, Part 1



When my daughter, “E” – The Artist, said she wanted her room reno to be with an art theme, I said, “Okay. That sounds like you.”

When she said she wanted to throw the colors of the rainbow all over her walls, I said, “ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?! THERE IS NO WAY WE’RE DOING THAT!!!!!

And you see who won, don’t you?  Well, actually, we compromised.  She got to throw paint on one wall.  Once I thought about it, I decided it might look kinda cool.  So we agreed on the ever-popular “feature wall.”

Just Call Me Braveheart

I was really brave, because we didn’t even practice.  We just got in there and went to town.  Actually, just call me Lazy.  I thought about getting several sheets of poster board, taping them together, and practicing on those, but laziness won out and I figured, if we screw it up, we’ll just sand it and paint over it.  Maybe you can just call me Confident!

First, Paint Picking Party

You only need to buy the small sample sizes of paint.  The paint department at the big home improvement stores will mix these for you in any of the gozillion colors on those little color cards.  So choose your colors, get your sample cans, get a brush if you don’t have one, and a roll of painter’s tape.  We used a window sash brush, about 1-1/2″ wide. You’ll need something to protect surfaces like dropcloths, but we just used trash bags, and newspapers would work too.  (This is assuming ALL furniture is out of the room.)

Second, Everybody Join The Prep Squad

Prep, prep, prep.  If you’ve painted a room before, you already know how important this is.  If you can image accidentally throwing bright red paint on your newly painted white ceiling, you can really imagine how important this is!  I just used trash bags with painter’s tape, and also covered the baseboards and the electrical outlet.

paint splattered wall tips

We didn’t need to cover the flooring, because we have no flooring at the moment.  We had removed the 22-year-old carpet, -(gross)- and figured it was smart to get the painting done before installing the new vinyl plank flooring that is on order.  That is a cool product. Have you seen it?  I’ll be showing y’all the installation here on WCIJ soon, and on Hometalk, depending on when the factory ships our order…already delayed a week. 🙁    But in your case, protect your floor as well as your ceiling!  See what I mean?

paint splattered wall tips

Finally, prepping the adjacent walls:  we decided not to protect them because we wanted the splattered paint to “wrap around” a little.  This is up to you.  If you want it strictly on one wall, then cover and tape off the other walls as well.  (Maybe I was just being lazy again.)

In short, protect from overthrown paint by covering:

  • ceiling
  • adjacent walls, optional
  • baseboard (oh, and window & trim, if that applies)
  • floor
  • outlets, light switches

Third: Ready, Set, Throw!

Tip #1: Start with the darkest paint color.  Let that dry before throwing the next lighter color.  This prevents the colors from running together and making a yucky brown or gray.

paint splattered wall tips

Here we have just the purple, blue, and green.

Tip # 2:  Don’t throw paint in the same direction each time, for a more random look.  If everyone participating in the project is right-handed, it’s easy to forget this and a pattern will start to emerge, so try to remember to flick that paint in every direction.

Tip #3:  If you only have one brush, let it dry in the sun between paint colors.  (You’ll need to wash it out thoroughly, of course.)  You don’t want any water in the brush watering down your paint, and the paint doesn’t take long to dry.  It only needs to be dry to the touch before you can throw the next color.

Tip # 4:  Technique.  Hold the brush in the middle or down low on the handle.  Don’t hold it at the bristles.  Stand far enough from the wall that the brush will not hit the wall.  Use a flick of your elbow and wrist more than a shoulder motion – you’ll get more momentum that way. paint splattered wall tips

paint splattered wall tipsThese photos show how I kept my upper arm fairly still, and used more of an elbow-and-wrist motion.

Tip # 5: Let paint drip off less for stringy effect, more for droplet effect.  When you dip your brush in the paint, you’ll need to let the excess paint drip off some.  If you want a stringy effect on the wall, don’t let it drip off very much:

paint splattered wall tips

If you want a more separated droplet effect, let the paint drip back into the can until it won’t drip any more:

paint splattered wall tips


We did both, and it really looks great.

paint splattered wall tipsHere we are with the layers getting built up: purple, blue, green, red, orange.  Just need yellow now! 

In case you’re not convinced about covering your ceiling, look what happened!  So glad I took the time to cover ours.

paint splattered wall tips


Tip #6:  When you think you’re all done, walk away for about an hour, then come back and take a good look.  Taking a break from it really helps.  Now, do you see any “holes” in the paint, any glaring blank spots?  Also, is there any one color that there is too little of?  We found a few empty spots, and also realized you couldn’t see the purple at all.  So we added purple to those spots.

All finished!  My daughter loves it, and can’t wait to get her new room finished so she can move back in and enjoy her paint-splattered wall.

paint splattered wall tips


I hope you’ve gotten some good tips here and if you can think of any to add, please leave a Comment, or just let me know what you think of it!  Be sure to come back over the next few weeks, when we’ll be adding the vinyl plank flooring, lofting a former bunk bed, and then doing the decor.

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7 thoughts on “DIY: Paint Splattered Wall – Art Themed Room, Part 1

  1. Hi Dawn, I just followed you on Hometalk and you just followed me! So nice to meet you! I live in SC, too and used to live in the Columbia area. We now live in a small town near Florence. Love your blog and this is going to make one cool room for your “artsy” daughter!

    1. Thanks, Jane, it’s nice to meet you too! I’ve been to your blog before, but I didn’t realize you were a fellow Sandlapper. I need to get better at the Hometalk thing, hope to see you there often!

  2. Oh my goodness, I had this bedroom as a teenager! We actually did the splatter paint on all 4 walls, then I wallpapered (yes, I did this myself as a teenager) up to chair rail height with black and whiter vertical striped wallpaper. Not exactly what I’d choose for myself today, but I loved it at the time!

    1. Jan that’s so cool that you did that as a teenager! I’m 44 and still don’t want to tackle wallpaper. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Our H.S. janitors painted an end of the hallway wall black and splatter painted it with silver and white (school colors). They used plastic drop cloth and taped it all around so they created a little “room” to catch the splatters and really went to town. Not sure how they covered themselves (maybe trash bags?) — IT’S REALLY COOL AND YOUR DAUGHTER’S IS TOO!

    1. Thank you, Frances, she really likes it. What a great idea for school decor, especially using the school colors! -Dawn @ We Call It Junkin

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