Room Paint DIY: Drippy Wall

We have been doing some very exciting paint projects behind the scenes these last few months, and this one has to be my favourite.
It's a very simple project although it takes a bit of planning, but once you get it right, it's great fun. Try your own room paint DIY this Spring with a riot of colour!
You will need:
A variety of paint colours (we used Chalk Paint ® decorative paint by Annie Sloan in Emperor’s Silk, Napoleonic Blue, Antibes, Barcelona Orange, English Yellow and Florence).
A different 20ml syringe for each colour
Masking tape, drop sheets and paper to protect your floors
How to:
At first, I used 20ml per line – THIS IS WAY TOO MUCH! The paint kept running and running for a good 30mins after application, so start with between 3 and 5ml until you get the hang of it.
Then it’s really as simple as sucking the paint into the syringe (don’t dilute it),
carefully placing the syringe as close to the cornice as possible,
and slowly pushing the paint out!
I finished one colour at a time, keeping the lines dense and long on the one end and making them gradually more sparse and shorter toward the other end of the wall.
It’s amazing to see what the paint does: some of the lines run perfectly straight down, others have a mind of their own and go off in their own direction (the fan that we turned on at some point may have had something to do with a few of them taking off diagonally!). Some of the lines even merged to form new and interesting colours of their own. So all in all, every wall using this method will be entirely unique!
We’d love to see what you do with this, so choose a wall, get your paint out and get creative. Please send us your pictures!

Resources for this project:

CHALK PAINT (R) by Annie Sloan - Napoleonic Blue (Quart - 32oz) –...
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

24 questions
  • Ellen
    on Jan 31, 2016

    Very cute! Much cheaper than wallpaper, too! When it's time to re-paint, will you have to do much sanding to the 'drips' to remove their profile?

  • Janet h
    on Apr 9, 2017

    Does the paint leave a texture?
  • Carol Suthers
    on Apr 18, 2017

    How much did this cost, how many diff cans of chalk paint?
      on Apr 18, 2017

      Hi Carol, the cost is really minimal. I used the chalk paint that I had left over from previous projects. But honestly, for the amount of paint that you need, you can get sample pots and you'll still have plenty left!
  • Jane Seeherman Solomon
    on Jun 4, 2017

    Where did you get the syringes?
      on Jun 5, 2017

      HI Jane, I bought them from my local pharmacy.
    • Patti
      on Jul 14, 2017

      You can go to any pharmacy and ask the pharmaslist they will give u a couple for free.
    • Infoseekrs
      on Oct 18, 2017

      Wal-Mart has them in the US especially with Thanksgiving just around the corner.
  • Mar24020953
    on Aug 24, 2017

    What is the masking tape used for?
    Malene Denber
  • Bethany C
    on Aug 24, 2017

    What kind of paint did you use as a base? Did you have to use a gloss finish or primer to help the paint run?
      on Aug 24, 2017

      I used chalk paint straight out of the tin. You can use any standard PVA wall paint - I am pretty sure that you can use enamel as well if you want a glossy look! Gravity makes the paint run so no need to dilute or anything else. Make sure you test one stripe first and leave it for a good 30mins to really see when the paint stops - some of these ran for quite some time!
  • Granny
    on Aug 24, 2017

    Did you sand off/smooth the "nub" where the paint stopped it run?

    Do you own this wall? How hard to repaint if rented?

    Thank you
      on Aug 24, 2017

      I didn't sand anything, I just left it as is - it adds to the effect for me! And this is an owned property. I can assume that you will need to sand it down a bit before repainting.
  • Colleen Kenny-Brudny
    on Aug 24, 2017

    Did you paint the wall first, and did you wait for it to dry before you used the syringes?
      on Aug 24, 2017

      Hi Colleen, the walls were already painted in white for some time before I added the color to them.
  • Melanie Roby
    on Aug 24, 2017

    Where'd you get the syringes?
  • Andrea Johnson
    on Aug 25, 2017

    Did u have to reapply paint to the line or will one syringe travel down the whole wall?
      on Aug 28, 2017

      The paint that I used traveled very well - too well actually, the first few lines made a complete mess on the carpet! Try 1 line with around 3ml of paint and see how far it goes down the wall. Remember to wait a good 30 minutes because it does keep running for quite a while. Happy experimenting!
  • Lisa
    on Aug 29, 2017

    Do you think this would work on a drop cloth or some other kind of material for an non-permanent project for renters?
      on Aug 29, 2017

      I am not sure how well paint will run on fabric. If you have a really big canvass it could work. Otherwise, I suggest that you do it on MDF panels and prop that up.
  • Berni Mingus Eddy
    on Oct 18, 2017

    what if the wall has a texture to them? its not completely smooth.

    • Mysti
      on Oct 18, 2017

      RaThink of it this way, for textured walls would make it look more random, chaotic. Remember that scene in jurrasic park,where they are still in the tour and ian malcolm explained the theory of chaos to dr. Sadler by dripping water on her hand and explaining that it would never fall down her hand the same way? They little inperfections caused it to drop randomly.
  • Peg Meehan
    on Oct 19, 2017

    where are you getting the syringes this size??? Please let me know! Thank you
      on Oct 19, 2017

      Hi Peg, they are from my local pharmacy. You should be able to get them online as well.
    • Ada Kittell
      on Oct 26, 2017

      Would like a Hobby Lobby store have these?
    • Cindy Roe Young
      on Mar 5, 2018

      If you have a Co-op, Tractor Supply, Rural King or other 'farm' type store they should have some in the animal vetting area.

    • VickiC
      on Mar 5, 2018

      I have purchased them on Amazon as well! :)

  • Ali17964420
    on Mar 5, 2018

    How can I produce chalk paint

    • Marcela
      on Mar 5, 2018

      Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of latex paint + 3 spoonful sof cold water. Mix well.

    • Wendy
      on Mar 5, 2018

      I used normal paint to which I added a few tablespoons of corn flour... result!!! Much cheaper than buying chalk paint which is expensive!!

    • Jessica Serrano-Gregg
      on Mar 5, 2018

      Is corn flour like corn starch? Can it be interchanged??? Thanks!

      on Mar 6, 2018

      I've never tried it but from the above it looks like you're in good company!

    • Pyesangel
      on Mar 10, 2018

      Marcela, what size of spoon do you use for making chalk paint???

  • Gail
    on Mar 5, 2018

    Do you have to use chalk paint or is acrylic Ok too. I have lots of that.

  • Ctu6992126
    on Mar 5, 2018

    If you do what you show, dripping the chalk paint, is there a way to rake it across the wall like a rainbow or would there not be enough time because of drying?

    • Jane
      on Mar 5, 2018

      It takes approximately 1 hour for a touch dry.

    • Patti Levay
      on Mar 6, 2018

      maybe you could try using a New corn broom, cut away some of the "brush" so you don't overload the pulling of the rainbow too quickly... never tried it, but just a thought

  • Samii Anne Branter
    on Mar 5, 2018

    Does it have to be chalk paint?? Xx

  • Al Kimball
    on Mar 12, 2018

    Love the wall, daughter would love it. Also need cubbies to do her room over. Love the ones in the picture. Where could I get these. Please!

  • Al Kimball
    on Mar 12, 2018

    Love the wall, daughter would love it. Also need cubbies to do her room over. Love the ones in the picture. Where could I get these. Please!

  • Al Kimball
    on Mar 12, 2018

    Love the wall, daughter would love it. Also need cubbies to do her room over. Love the ones in the picture. Where could I get these. Please!

  • Don12727204
    on Apr 16, 2018

    Where do u get the Anne Sloan paint

      on Apr 17, 2018

      HI DonnaLee, thanks for your question! That would depend on your location - I suggest you search for Chalk Paint in your area. For this project however, you don't HAVE to use chalk paint, any wall paint (PVA) will do!

  • Gra17007163
    on Sep 10, 2018

    Could this be done on a concrete floor by just swirling the different colors around out of a syringe? Same type of paint???

    • Lana Hassell
      on Aug 22, 2019

      Hi Gra, I would like to tell you what my sister did to her concrete floor in her game room in her new house using ENAMEL paint and paintbrushes and a paint roller. The first thing she did, of course, was clean the floor really good. She got out the paint for the whole floor, and using the roller, would pour some paint down and then spread it with the roller. The paint was BLACK. After that paint dryed for several days, she was able to go to the next step, which was fun. She had the six bright colors: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and White. She opened the cans and had a new brush for each can. She would dip her brush in the paint and then sling that paint all over the floor. That was the prettiest floor I have ever seen. It is 11 or 12 years old and still looks good. 🌹💖😘

    • Jude
      on Dec 13, 2019

      I did that starting with white paint in a converted warehouse. Then I used those little craft paint bottles. For the workshop, I started with red, spattering, dripping, flinging... (After the first color, red, it looked like a murder scene, but changed as some as I added the other colors.) I topped it with a clear sealer. In the kitchen, I painted a braid pattern around the edges and threw clear and colored glitter into the clear topcoat. They both looked great and are still going strong several years later.

  • Diane
    on Nov 1, 2018

    Why chalk paint???

      on Nov 2, 2018

      Great question! I had a lot of chalk paint left over after another project. Any paint suitable for walls will do, however 😊

  • Debbie
    on Nov 10, 2019

    I would like to try this on a bathroom wall. Would some type of sealer need to be used for cleaning?

Join the conversation

2 of 87 comments
  • Tamela Gates
    on May 19, 2019

    I will have to try this out in either my son's room or the spare room. Thanks for the inspiration! It looks like an awesomely creative project! 🖌️🤗

  • Land
    on Oct 14, 2019

    I'd love to do this with some kind of shimmer paint in silver on my graiege bedroom walls. Love it!

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