Way back when I was a student, I went out with a graffiti artist for a while. He changed the way I thought about graffiti – he and his friends weren’t vandals (they didn’t go around spraying their tags on trains and lamp posts); instead, they were artists, meticulously drawing intricate designs up on squared paper beforehand, then creating amazing works of art on designated ‘legal’ walls or at festivals, using different nozzles, masking tape and all kinds of other clever tricks to create different effects.
Anyhow, he bought me my first ever can of spray paint, and helped me to spray a beside table hot pink. It looked amazing – and from then on I was hooked.
As I’m hopeless at drawing things (although I’m quite good at Pictionary…), I’ve stuck to furniture and accessories – spraying gives a lovely even finish, and transforms even the grottiest item within minutes. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to be an expert – you literally just shake the can, point it at the object, and let rip.
My most recent project has been doing up a retro woven bucket chair that had been languishing in my parents’ loft. I sprayed it red and gave it a whole new lease of life in my new summerhouse (nothing fancy – we just clad the walls of my shed in cheap pine tongue-and-groove, painted them white and then painted the floor with grey gloss). It was in a terrible state, but now looks quite cool, don’t you think?
If you fancy giving spray paint a go, my top tip is to start with some old plastic garden planters or windowboxes, or make a tin-can plant display like the one above…
1) Take some old tins outside (soup tins or larger cooking oil cans work well – ask a local restaurant or takeaway to save you some)
2) Lay down an old sheet or some newspaper to protect the grass, then place your can upside down over a wine bottle so that you can spray the whole of it without having to touch it.
3) Spray it in whatever colour you like, then leave it to dry. I like Plasti-Kote Super Gloss spray paints (around £6.50 for a giant can) or Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch (about £5.50) both from www.Amazon.co.uk or DIY shops. They both work well on wood, metal or plastic.
4) Bang a nail through the back into a wall or fence post, and your can is ready to fill with soil and flowers. Lovely!
If you do spray anything, please send me a picture! Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: I still know that graffiti artist and he takes commissions, so if you ever want a really cool mural, painted shop shutters or even just a canvas with your child’s name written in graffiti style, give me a shout and I’ll put you in touch!