As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

How To Spray Paint Graffiti Like a Pro

The first rule of graffiti is that there are no rules. In fact, graffiti has come into being in order to break the stereotypical rules. This makes it much more than just some colors on a wall, a canvas, or any surface that will hold paint.

It’s an emotion, a sense of independence. Today it’s widely acclaimed as one of the most renowned forms of modern visual arts.

If you’re interested in expressing yourself through this form of modern art, then you’ve landed in the right place. Keep reading till the end to know how to spray paint graffiti as a method of expressing yourself.

Here we discuss elaborately all the crucial steps, starting from can-holds to spraying methods.

Graffiti and Its Origin

Graffiti ranges from everything including lettering, tagging, and message-bearing works of art that hang in a museum. Just like every other popular art, it’s also improving and personalizing itself every day, and the evolution has been truly phenomenal.

Before we jump in to tell you how to get started, here’s a little bit of history.

Even though modern-day graffiti started booming in the l960s, the first evidence of graffiti dates back over a thousand years.

The earliest graffiti was just wall writings and engravings. This has now spread all over the world and evolved into, what we like to call, ‘masterpieces of spray art’.

How To Spray Paint Graffiti

Spray painting graffiti isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. If you want to make a statement on a wall or some other space you have in mind, the first thing you need to understand is that graffiti requires patience. 

By following these simple steps you’ll be able to create perfectly painted graffiti every time.

And it should be clear, while we do understand the roots and culture of graffiti, we aren’t advocating any illegal activities. There’s so much you can do to express yourself with graffiti while staying on the right side of the law these days.

In fact, including the artistic tone and skills of modern graffiti artists is a great way to personalize your spaces, as well as your crafting.

Start Small

Many beginner artists make the mistake of starting with huge projects without prior preparation. Remember that bigger tasks involve higher costs and are harder to get your head around. Even planning a large graffiti project is a skill in itself.

Wondering what can you do about that? Well, the best thing to do is to start small. Before you start a large project, practice your lettering, your designs, and color theory in a notebook or sketchbook.

If you find it risky to experiment with color combinations on a permanent wall, try out those combos on a canvas or a piece of plywood first.

When you get the hang of it a bit, move on to painting a smaller wall or a feature that you want to design.

Choose The Perfect Spot

The next thing to consider is that not every wall is a good canvas. Don’t just jump onto any empty wall that you have in your garage, room, or house.

Although there are no hard rules, we recommend that you save the best places for the last. But, remember that the beauty of paint is that you can always paint right over it if your design doesn’t work out the way you intend.

In fact, having a practice wall somewhere like a garage, a basement, or somewhere outside your house that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic is a great way to practice your work on a larger scale.

Develop Your Own Tag Or Distinct Style

Graffiti tags are simply a combination of letters that help you leave your mark. It’s your identity, and can even become a part of your message. If you’re like the idea of developing your own tag, then make sure yours is completely unique.

Now, just because you want to be a graffiti artist doesn’t mean you must have a tag. To grow as an artist, you should master all sorts of lettering, and that’s only possible through practice.

Having a tag from the beginning can sometimes limit your true potential if you let it. You shouldn’t let it contain you or limit what you think you can produce. Also, always remember that a big part of the purpose of graffiti is to have fun.

Get Your Essentials Ready

Here’s a list of seven things that are a must-have before you start to spray paint. Remember that missing out on a few of these items might not ruin your art practice, but it can definitely harm your long-term discipline and even your health.

  1. Spray paints
  2. Respirators
  3. Safety goggles
  4. Appropriate clothing
  5. Re-adjustable spray nozzles
  6. Newspapers
  7. Stencils
  8. Markers

Outline Your Sketch Before Coloring

Some artists like to work in a very loose and impromptu way without any previous thought to their designs. They like the feeling of letting a piece come to them as they work. But, if you’re just starting out, it’s probably a good idea to plan before you start painting.

Draw your letters on a page in the same way that you want to paint them. That way you will have an idea of the piece you are pursuing. Even if it changes along the way, you’ll have a better chance of success if you have a starting point.

Here are the basic steps and suggestions –

  1. Follow the sketch and outline your art on the wall with a clear spray.
  2. After the outline has been made, start filling it up with colors from your palette, in your preferred style.
  3. Needless to mention, you must always shake your spray-can well before you start spraying.
  4. Try out different types of interlocking between letters from time to time.
  5. Fill in the art with solid colors.
  6. The early days of learning to spray paint are all about experimenting and finding the right style. Try out your favorite shades of gradient on your artwork as well.

Master Your ‘Can Control’

The secret to efficient spray painting is proper can control. How you manage and operate your can has a lot to do with the outcome of your piece.

Whether your Tag, Throw-up, Blockbuster, or Wildstyle will stand out from others or not depends on your sense of can control. Here are some essential instructions –

  1. Position yourself properly; take a solid stance facing the wall.
  2. Always face the can towards the wall perpendicularly. Avoid spraying at an angle.
  3. The fatter the can cap, the farther you want to hold it from the wall.
  4. Thinner lines require faster motions. Whereas, fatter lines can make do with slower hand motions. Calibrate your speed accordingly.
  5. Move your arm and not your wrist. That way you can avoid the unwanted thickness shift.
  6. If you want to bring in a 3D look to your graffiti drop a shadow underneath, or on any side of the letters.
  7. Lastly, do subtle line works by spraying in short intervals. This is not exactly detailing, but an enrichment of the art’s form factor.

Border and Detail With Darker Colors

After you’re done with the solid colors, it’s time to move on to bordering.

The fine border is what brings completion to your piece and makes it look like the graffiti you intended to paint. Follow these surefire ways to perfect bordering and detailing.

  1. Choose the darkest color from your pallet to border your solid paint-work.
  2. Outline one letter at a time.
  3. Carefully go around your letters. A mistake on bordering the interlocks can cost you hours of hard work.
  4. Focus on keeping the distance between the can and wall constant at all times. Graffiti with irregular borders does not look professional.

Precautions You Need to Take

These are the precautions you must take.

  • Remember that heat and fire are you and your paint’s worst enemy.
  • Always do your artwork in a well-ventilated place.
  • Make sure to wear your protective masks and gloves when spray painting.
  • Always carry a little box of first aid. If paint gets into your eyes, rinse with water, or seek medical help.
  • When spray painting indoors, make sure that the stove, atomizers, and radiators are all turned off.
  • Do not expose your paint cans to extreme heat or pressure.
  • Lastly, never puncture your empty cans, rather recycle them.

Step Up Right, Practice, and Make Your Mark!

If you’ve read through the instructions, then you already have a decent idea regarding how to spray paint graffiti. Practice is really the only way to get good and become confident in your graffiti artwork. This is the only way your lines will be as clean and strong as you want them to be.

Once you develop the skills you need, develop your style and show the world or just your friends and family what you can create.

Be confident. Graffiti is a fantastic way to raise your voice through your artwork.

Leave a Comment