4.03.2013

DIY: PAINT-SPLATTER LAMPSHADE


Lamp: Home Goods. Tray: Coconut Grove Gallery & Interiors. Silver shaker: Lincoln Road Antique Market. Shot glasses: Ralph Lauren. Blown glass cocktail stirrers: St. Sophia Greek Festival Bazaar. Penguin shaker: Z Gallerie. Everything else was collected over time, from various flea markets and thrift stores. 

      Inspired by my recent post about Kate Spade's new Saturday line and their punchy paint-splattered pillow, I got to thinking that I could probably DIY this funky pattern onto something at home for little to no money. I love a good graphic burst of color. And really? How hard could it be to splatter paint? After deciding that a lampshade would be the cheapest available sacrifice (should I hate the results) I set to work and soon found that it wasn't hard at all! In fact, it's a pretty quick job (the lampshade you see above took about 20 minutes tops) and a lot of fun...BUT HEED MY WARNING!



Things will get messy.
 
Don't worry. You can learn from my mistakes. Acrylic paint cleans up easily if you wipe right away. This will mean cleaning as you go, so choose your work area wisely and carefully cover a wide radius. Those little splatters travel unexpectedly far, trust me! And it helps a great deal to have the following handy while you work:
  • Two brushes. One for light colors and one for dark colors.
  • A bowl of water.
  • One or two small towels. 
  • A stack of paper plates. The quantity will vary depending on the size of the surface you're splattering.
  • Several sheets of paper.


     Swirl your brush around in water between color changes and then wipe any excess off with a towel. This will keep your colors from accidentally mixing. Each time you dip your brush in paint, lightly dab onto a paper plate immediately after. A little paint goes a long way. It also helps to do a test splatter onto a sheet of paper after each color-dip. It'll help you see how the splatter will shape up given the amount of paint currently on the brush.

 
     If you're after watercolor-type splatters like mine, all you have to do is add a little water to your acrylic paint. The more water you add, the softer and blend-ier your splatters will be. Sifting (soft, but rapid oscillations) the brush will produce spots. A sharp flick of the wrist will produce comet-like streaks. Before you start, spend a few minutes testing out your wrist movements.
 
 
     Here's a close up of my watercolory splatters featuring all of Hubby's and my favorite colors. I love how layered and nuanced the pattern turned out. I confess that I have virtually no skill and totally didn't have a color-layering plan--I just sort of dumbly flicked my brush about and hoped for the best. If my lampshade can turn out this cool, you'll be just fine!
 

Tray: Coconut Grove Gallery & InteriorsDouble old-fashioned glasses: Ralph Lauren. Clear acrylic console: CB2. Football trophy: Won by my flag football MVP stud-muffin of a husband! The de Kooning "Bull/Matador" inspired painting behind the trophy is by yours truly, produced during sister-bonding-time at an art studio class that served lots of wine. Smaller marble top table: thrifted at Bargain Barn for $30! Can you tell hubs and I are avid game-nighters, by the way?

The best part is that I didn't even have buy supplies--I had paint left over from other DIY's!
 
Side note: Please excuse the creative license I've taken with non-words such as "splatters", "blendier" and "watercolory". But bending the grammar rules in favor of an authentic voice is a always worthy sacrifice. Please feel free to share your thoughts. (And now you have confirmation that I am, in fact, a big nerd.)
 

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