Let the Flecks Fly

Spattering really is something your kid could do, but that shouldn't trivialize its impact. "Spattering is an easy way to revive a blah piece of furniture and give it a custom touch," says decorative painter Ingrid Leess.

This child's desk set started out as plain plywood, so Leess first primed and painted with latex in a satin finish. If you're working with a painted piece, you can go directly to spatter.

Just mix equal parts satin latex—choose a color that contrasts with the base coat—and clear acrylic glaze, which gives the specks shine and dimension. Then lightly load a spatter brush, and tap it against a stick about 6 inches above the surface to create a hail of paint flecks. Do one surface at a time, letting it dry before turning the piece and spattering again.

In just a few hours, watch that ho-hum piece take on a whimsical and original new look.

Paint: Behr's Red Hot (base coat) and Snow Fall (glaze coat)
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    Tools List

    • 3-inch wide paint brush
      3-inch nylon-polyester paintbrush for putting on the base coat
    • bucket with liner
      Cut bucket and liners
    • eye goggles
      Eye protection
    • latex gloves
    • Painter's Tape
      Painter's tape

    Shopping List

    1. Two disposable cups and wide-mouth container for measuring and mixing paint and glaze

    2. Stick to tap the brush against

    3. Scrap cardboard for practicing your technique

    4. latex paint in two colors. We used a satin formula for the base and for the paint to tint the glaze.
    5. Clear acrylic glaze to create semitranslucent, luminous spatters and extend the working time

    6. A smock to keep paint spray out of your eyes and off your skin

    7. Spatter brush with long, separated bristles

    8. Plastic drop cloths to mask off surfaces you don’t want to spatter