Son wants to splatter paint room

fairoaksmomJune 20, 2010

My 11-year DS wants to "splatter paint" - a process of flicking a loaded brush toward the wall so the paint flies onto it. We tested it outside on some poster board - looks cool but with the runs and drips, had a 3D quality. Besides the obvious need to really tarp up the room, ceiling, etc. - what else do I need to know? Is there a brand of paint that wouldn't be so gloppy (was testing with Behr)? Dilution? And what kind of nightmare will I be faced with someday when we want to repaint it? Can it be sanded or will it mess up the texture (orange peel)? Or should we say "no way." Any other great techniques that would appeal to an 11-year boy?

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Having orange peel, I would humbly say no. That surely is not the same as a smooth wall surface. It is not the paint making the gloops and glops. It is the amount of paint going on the brush to be slung. When the paint hits the walls it is going to come off the brush the way it was originally loaded, Doesn't really have any other alternative but to follow gravity. Maybe you might try not loading the brush so heavily with the paint and do light flicks with the brush. I mean it is your home, but with orange peel, I would just say "son" we need to compromise on another technique or go with a solid paint. In the future when you go to change the room, depending on how thick and how thick the runs were, yes you will need to smooth out the wall and in doing so will interfere with the original texture already on the wall; in addition trying to get an exact match to repair your orange peel wall.

Maybe you and your son can compromise on doing some geometrical shapes, different size squares; better yet just paint one solid color or let him have a different color for one accent wall. What ever you decide on doing as far as a decorative wall treatment, you are also going to need to take in consideration the texture on the wall and do a really good job burnishing the tape and laying down a matte medium to prevent paint seepage. You could paint the base color, tape, and then run a small line of your base color over the tape edge. This will seal out any seepage if you did decide to do some type of shapes.
As of right now, my vote is just trying to do a solid color with maybe an accent color wall.
hope it turns out for you. :)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 8:07AM
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Thanks, I had a feeling the parental voice of authority should say no. I had already let him choose bright green paint for the two short walls, but painted the long wall white - thinking we were going to splatter paint. He has a couple of guitar-shaped wall decals on order. We were looking for an interesting background that would work into his teen years. Geometric shapes would be cool. Any other paint techniques for teen boys? (He won't hear of sponge painting because that was the lower half of his wall under the juvenile border we just removed - so I think it's associated in his mind with the childish image he is trying to shed.)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 12:20PM
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Another way to spatter paint is to use cheap spray bottles and slightly dilute the paint. It's "mistier" than the slinging method, and more controllable.

You can combine it with stencils - mist the paint or paints around the edge of the stencil - and spray multiple colors.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 12:33PM
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I personally would not suggest that technique for a DIYer. It can get messy, depending on the size of the wall, you may loose interest half-way through the project. Choosing the wrong color combo can be disastrous, as well. I can think of so may other solutions that will take an 11-yr-old well into his teens.
How about really bold stripes, maybe the colors of his favorite team. Others suggested a stencil pattern -- choose two funky colors and you have yourself a winner. Do you have a color scheme or a theme? What kind of furniture. Maybe that can be painted, too.
With that said, imagine if Jackson Pollock didn't make his splatter paintings...Maybe you can do the splatter on a giant canvas and hang it in the center of that wall. I always encourage artistic expressions from my kids, but hate when it makes more work for me :)
Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 7:45PM
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What about letting him have his go on a couple of extra large paint canvasas and then have them hung proudly on his walls ;)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 10:44PM
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With the orange peel I would definitely say NO! However, I love dazzlemewithcolor's idea of letting him get crazy with the splatter by compromising with large paint canvases rather than your walls. Great idea if he goes for it.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 3:17PM
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My son was prob 13 when he wanted to splatter paint. The mother side said "no" but I too thought it would be cool. We moved everything to the center of the room and tarped the floor well.

Then we painted 3 walls one color and 1 wall very dark blue. Of course it took several coats of paint. When all was dry we started splattering - and had a blast. You have to let loose or else it looks fake, imo. We couldn't get high uup so believe it or not - we both jumped on the bed - that was in the center of the room - and splattered from there! I was forever known as the cool mom - too me that's priceless.

Only a tiny bit got on the ceiling - no big deal. He was happy and so was I. Go for it!!!!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 3:22PM
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I like the canvas suggestion. In fact, why not have him help you prime and paint a sheet of 1/4" plywood to match the wall, let him do his thing on that, and mount it? It would be heavy but I don't see why screwing it securely into studs wouldn't work.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 3:51PM
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A few years ago my sister let her daughter do 12" polka dots all over her bedroom walls, they were regular smooth textured. They decided they maybe want to sell their house and had to neutralize her room. They had to sand the paint on the polka dots, there were probably 3 dozen or more, because the texture showed. If you were to do splatter you may have to do a lot of sanding. I think the large piece of plywood is a good idea. He can take it with him when he moves out.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 8:05AM
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Thanks for all your great ideas. Son has been reading these posts with me and understands I'm not just being a wet blanket, but that it really would be a problem later on. We are still discussing which way to go - he really liked the ideas of team colors - but I'm thinking orange and black curtains and he's thinking orange and black walls! Oh well, they are only this age once. Thanks again for all your expertise.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 2:49AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

If you really want the 'splatter experience' wallpaper the walls (or A wall) and splatter on the wallpaper. Prep it first with GARDZ and when you're over this splatter moment, just strip the paper along with the splatter.

You'll have to shop for the right paper but there are many from plan white to solid colors with the slightest of pattern -- could definitely hold and/or enhance a hand-thrown splatter creation.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 5:15AM
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I think a black and orange accent wall would be awesome! Paint the base in a flat orange and do black stripes in an eggshell (or vice versa). You will get a "satin" effect.
Or, measure the room into even squares and do a b/o checkerboard. Maybe a small white pinstripe to break up the bold colors
You can even do stripes horizontally.
Good luck!!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 6:36PM
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You guys hit on every idea that came to my mind too (first was the canvas, then I thought too about wallpaper, then I liked the plywood idea too) But painting walls black and orange not a thing wrong with that either. I know I've helped and contributed so much!

Sounds like he will have a great room and a great mom for letting his creative side come through!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 9:03AM
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