Create a retro splatter painting for a playful piece of wall art.

How to Make a Cool Wall Art Painting

by Kathy Adams

Wall art or art prints from a decor store, featuring many of the same run-of-the-mill themes from one store to the next, may not suit your tastes. Rather than settling for one of those or no painted wall art at all, create your own using household items and a few craft supplies.

Splatter Paint

Splatter painting is a somewhat wild and messy technique where paint is flicked onto the canvas or project material rather than painted on. This retro theme is found in art and fashion from the 1980s paired with vivid colors including fluorescent paints, although the 1980s version is just a "louder" interpretation of a style explored by artist Jackson Pollock in the 1940s and 1950s. The technique works on art canvas, a painted scrap of cardboard or shipping foam, or whatever material you have on hand. The effect looks best when painted over a dark color such as indigo or black, but can be applied over virtually any shade. To make a splatter paint piece of art, dip a brush into a pool of acrylic craft paint, such as fluorescent purple or pink, then flick the brush toward the project piece from various angles. Use several colors for the most "radical" look. For a variation, place an object on the canvas such as a plastic star, then flick paint over everything, removing the star for a blacked-out area free of paint.


Graffiti can be much more artistic than simply some words scrawled on a wall with spray paint. Several colors of spray paint, used to paint various areas of an art canvas or scrap of posterboard, pair together to create art as simple or complex as you'd like, from cartoon people to an outer space scene. Spraying through meshlike materials such as a potato or orange sack creates interesting visual effects over painted art. Stencil shapes create specific solid imagery on your work, such as a tree or UFO shape. Practice on scrap paper or cardboard to hone your technique.

Painted Groupings

A dozen or more items, such as pieces of plastic cutlery, old spools or plastic toy soldiers, turn into a wall art grouping when pieces are individually painted or dipped in various colors of paint; for example, a row of four blue spools, followed by four purple, four red and four orange. Attach items to an inexpensive canvas art board from an art supply store for a movable piece of wall art.

Abstract Ombre

An ombre, or fade, effect serves as a statement piece and potential decor color pallete for a room. Create the effect by choosing one main paint color, such as candy apple red, and painting a bold stripe on a canvas. The ombre comes into play by mixing a little more white paint into the color for each successive stripe, resulting in a modern, somewhat abstract piece of art. Enhance the effect by creating a pattern, such as chevrons or interlocking squares, with masking tape before painting. Removing the tape reveals the fade design through the pattern.

About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.

Photo Credits

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