Years ago, one of my school assignments involved creating a collection of textile designs, and painting one of them on a household object. I chose a wine bottle because it was readily available, and surely considered a household object in France! This time, I thought a graffiti theme would be fun, and included the image above to show you my source of inspiration, which I found painted on a garage door. If lurking about back alleys isn’t your thing, the internet is filled with great images for you to consider using.
- glass bottle
- paint brushes
- gouache paints
- spray on varnish
1. You’ll need an empty glass bottle for this project. Tall bottles like wine and mineral water work well, as will smaller ones like pop and juice bottles. Soak the bottles in hot water to remove the labels. If glue remains on the bottle, a bit of Goo Gone will get it off. Wash thoroughly with soap and water, dry, and your bottle is ready to paint on.
2. I thought it would be fun to be inspired by a graffiti design for this project. If you’re in need of some images, you can search the internet, search Flickr, or view some of my photos by clicking on my Flickr link on the sidebar.
3. Here’s where I get to tell you about my epic fail so you don’t go through the same thing. I initially wanted to use acrylic paints because they are permanent. I primed the bottle with acrylic gesso (recommended by an art supply store) so the paint would adhere properly. Once dry, I began adding acrylic paint and watched as both the paint and primer peeled off the bottle! I’m still not sure why that happened.
I remembered using gouache when I did this project years ago, and decided to try it again. The pink base colour went on perfectly, as well as the white blobs. But when I outlined the blobs in black, the outline peeled off in a few areas. This can occur if the paint is too thick, or too diluted with water. I allowed it to dry, gently brushed the peeling parts off with a towel, and painted the outlines back on with a tiny amount of Sunlight dishwashing liquid added to the paint. This helps it to adhere better and everything worked out well.
If there is one predominant colour in the design you choose, paint the entire bottle with it and allow to dry. You can then draw on smaller details in pencil, before adding other colours.
4. Gouache dries matte, so covering it with a spray on varnish will add a nice sheen and help protect it from coming off, but I still wouldn’t consider it waterproof. Be sure to spray outdoors or in a well ventilated area. Keep in mind that because goauche is water based, varnish cannot be painted on with a brush, or all the colours will mix together.