Room Paint DIY: Drippy Wall

7 Materials
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!
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  24 questions
  • Ellen 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 Janet h on Apr 08, 2017
    Does the paint leave a texture?
  • Carol Suthers 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 Jane Seeherman Solomon on Jun 04, 2017
    Where did you get the syringes?
  • Mar24020953 Mar24020953 on Aug 24, 2017
    What is the masking tape used for?
    Malene Denber
  • Bethany C 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 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 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?
  • Melanie Roby Melanie Roby on Aug 24, 2017
    Where'd you get the syringes?
  • Andrea Johnson 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 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 Berni Mingus Eddy on Oct 18, 2017
    what if the wall has a texture to them? its not completely smooth.

    • Mysti 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 Peg Meehan on Oct 18, 2017
    where are you getting the syringes this size??? Please let me know! Thank you
  • Ali17964420 Ali17964420 on Mar 05, 2018

    How can I produce chalk paint

    • Marcela Marcela on Mar 05, 2018

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

    • Wendy Wendy on Mar 05, 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 Jessica Serrano-Gregg on Mar 05, 2018

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

    • on Mar 06, 2018

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

    • Pyesangel Pyesangel on Mar 10, 2018

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

  • Gail Gail on Mar 05, 2018

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

  • Ctu6992126 Ctu6992126 on Mar 05, 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 Jane on Mar 05, 2018

      It takes approximately 1 hour for a touch dry.

    • Patti Levay Patti Levay on Mar 06, 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 Samii Anne Branter on Mar 05, 2018

    Does it have to be chalk paint?? Xx

  • Al Kimball 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 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 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!

  • DonnaLee Cielenski DonnaLee Cielenski 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 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 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 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.

    • Brayjo12 Brayjo12 on Jun 18, 2020

      Would love to see a picture of this crazy sounding floor. Wonderful!

  • Diane Diane on Nov 01, 2018

    Why chalk paint???

    • on Nov 02, 2018

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

  • Debbie 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 91 comments
  • Annie Annie on Jan 02, 2021

    I think you’ll have to thin the paint and clear coat when done. Just sayin

  • Paula H Paula H on Feb 26, 2021

    Don’t do it!!! You can never paint over that when you get tired of it. And you will. All of the runs will show through. It requires scraping off and then a plaster skim coat to remove. Or new Sheetrock.