Fun with Paint: How to Freehand Squiggles

Color Therapy

Here’s one for the “Why Not” file: why don’t you paint a squiggle on your wall?

I painted the squiggle above so long ago I forgot about it — I wasn’t even sure where to file it myself. Then last month a client asked if I ever painted a squiggle on a wall, and I dug up this old photo. I’m pretty sure I did this in a moment of whimsy, and copied something out of a decal catalog (I’m a painter, not a decal applicator). And I’m also fairly certain the boyfriend moved in a few months later and painted over it. They moved again and we repainted two more times but no hard feelings, I got my photo.

At the top of the post is last week's project. This is Fine Paints of Europe H00750, a deep plum, over Benjamin Moore Abington Putty HC-99. The first squiggle is probably Ralph Lauren Olive Tree VM102, but that information is lost to the mists of time.

Pro tips: if you'd like to try a freehand design like this, use a Benjamin Moore Extra Firm sash brush — it won’t flop around as you come into the curves. Farrow&Ball is an especially good brushing paint; the emulsion completely levels out as it dries. If you want a bright color like magenta or chartreuse, that’s mixed in a transparent base and will require five coats of paint, try mixing the paint in Aura Matte instead — it’s denser. Make a thumbnail sketch first, and then let 'er rip.

(Image credits: Mark Chamberlain)