Camouflage is a common pattern used primarily by hunters to blend in with the environment, but it has gained popularity in many design fields. Painting a camouflage pattern is an easy thing to do in one day with spray paints and stencils. After choosing your color palette and priming your work surface, you can make any object naturally camouflage.
Part 1 of 3: Choosing your paints
Step 1. Choose 4 or 5 colors that match the environment you want to camouflage
Consider the environment where you plan to wear camouflage. Choose 4-5 paints that match the color palette of the area where you want to camouflage.
If it is not necessary for the camouflage to blend in with the environment, you can choose the color palette you want, such as 4 or 5 shades of pink or blue
Colors to be used depending on the environment
If you want to camouflage yourself in the Forest, use various shades of green and brown.
To make a camouflage on the desertChoose shades of tan, dark browns, and pale reds.
If you are going to wear a camouflage on a snowy environment, use whites, light blue, and gray.
To make a camouflage urban, use a variety of grays.
Step 2. Choose a spray paint for the surface to be painted
Spray paint allows you to use a thin coat on the material with a smooth edge to make it look more natural. Go to your local paint supply store or hardware store to get your paints.
If you can't use spray paint, acrylic paints with a sponge applicator will work, but they can leave more pronounced edges
Step 3. Choose a matte paint if you don't want a satin finish
If you plan to paint camouflage to hunt and blend in, avoid using glossy paints as they will show up more in the environment.
- Some brands of spray paint offer specific colors made for camouflage.
- If you're only using camouflage for decoration, you can use a gloss paint if you want.
Part 2 of 3: Preparing the Surface for Painting
Step 1. Spread a drop cloth under the painting area
Work in a well-ventilated space. Lay a drop cloth on the floor so that paint doesn't accidentally get onto another surface. Make sure the tarp is completely flat so it's not a tripping hazard.
- You can find drop cloths at your local hardware store.
- If you don't have one, you can use an old sheet.
- Move the objects you can from the space so that you do not accidentally stain them with paint.
Step 2. Tape off the areas you don't want to camouflage
Use masking tape or blue painter's tape to cover the areas you want to protect. Cut the tape to match the shape of the area if necessary. Overlap each piece of tape in the middle so the paint doesn't go through the gaps.
If you are covering a large area, such as a car windshield, use plastic sheeting and secure the edges with tape
Step 3. Sand and clean the painting surface
Use 400-grit sandpaper to scratch the surface so that the spray paint will adhere to the material. Work the sandpaper in small, concentric circular motions until the entire surface is smooth. When you're done sanding, use a dry cloth to clear the surface of debris.
- Use an abrasive pad instead of sandpaper if you have a softer or more delicate surface like fine metal or plastic.
- You only need to sand the plastic if it was previously painted.
- If you are painting metal, be sure to completely remove the rust.
Fill holes in wood or drywall with putty; if not, they will show through the paint.
Step 4. Paint the surface with a coat of primer and let it dry
Choose a universal primer that is safe for interior and exterior use. Hold the primer can 12 inches (30 cm) away from the surface and press the top button. Move the can from side to side in quick movements across the surface to coat it in a thin layer. Cover the entire surface you want to camouflage with the primer and let it dry for at least 1 hour.
Use the spray paint outside or work in a well-ventilated area
Step 5. Apply a base coat of the lightest color you have
Hold the can 12 inches (30 cm) from the surface. Work in short strokes from side to side across the entire surface. Overlap each stroke at least halfway so that the primer is not visible. Continue working across the surface until it is completely painted.
Step 6. Let the first coat dry for 1 hour before applying a second coat
Give the primer coat 1 hour to dry and the paint won't smudge. When you apply the second coat, change the direction in which you apply the paint. For example, if you painted horizontally during the first layer, paint vertically the second.
Let the second coat dry for at least 30 minutes before repainting
Part 3 of 3: Making a Camouflage Pattern with Stencils
Step 1. Trace irregular blob shapes onto cardboard or card stock
Draw a series of amorphous spots that are about 3-8 inches (7.6 to 20.3 cm) long and 2 to 5 inches (5.1 to 12.7 cm) wide. Vary the types of shapes and sizes of each of the stencils. Leave at least 3-4 inches (7.6-10.2 cm) of space between each of the shapes.
- You can find camouflage patterns to trace at the following link:
- Use shapes and sizes that match the natural environment you are trying to camouflage yourself with. For example, don't use patterns on leaf shapes if you're making a desert camouflage.
- The size of the shapes depends on the size of the work surface. For example, if you are painting a toy car, make shapes that are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long.
Step 2. Cut the shapes with a utility knife
Work slowly and carefully around the shapes you drew on the cardboard or cardstock. As you cut the pieces, save them all so you can use them later.
- Place a cutting board under the stencils or use a workbench to avoid scratching the table.
- You can discard the pieces you cut, since you will be using the cardboard as a stencil.
Step 3. Hold the stencil against the surface to paint the shape
Use the piece of cardboard or cardstock from which you cut the shapes. Fasten it or use blue painter's tape to secure it to the work surface. Paint the shapes in the second lightest color so that they are 6 inches (15 cm) apart.
- Rotate the stencils each time you apply them to give your work surface a randomly distributed look.
- Make sure you only spray a thin coat of paint, or it won't dry evenly.
- The distance between the shapes will change depending on the side of the work surface.
Step 4. Wait 20 minutes between each coat
It's important that you let the paint dry between each color, or it may run and drip. After each color, wait at least 20 minutes before moving on to the next one.
Step 5. Continue layering shades from the lightest to the darkest
Change to the next darker color and hold the stencil against your work surface. Lightly overlap the stencil over the existing pattern and paint a thin layer on top. Let the paint dry for 20 minutes between each color so it doesn't smudge. Continue painting layers of patterns, working from the lightest to the darkest colors.
Overlap different shapes to create a sense of depth in the camouflage. This helps the surface blend in with the surroundings.
Step 6. Use leaf and branch stencils for a more natural look
Pick out some small branches and leaves of plants that are around your house and tie them in a bundle with string. Hold the foliage against your work surface and the spray paint can 12 inches (30 cm) apart. Use the spray paint on the tips of the branches and leaves. When you remove the greenery from the work surface, there will be an unpainted space that will reflect the shape of the bunch.
- Use a variety of plants, like broad maple leaves or pine needles, to create different textures.
- It doesn't matter what types of leaves or branches you use, as camouflage is mostly used to hide the original shape of the object.
- You can use leaves and branches for any camouflage color.
Step 7. Let the paint dry for 1 hour when you are done
Once you have finished painting with all the colors, allow the last color to dry for at least 1 hour before using or moving the object. Once the paint is dry, slowly remove the tape from around the unpainted areas.