Sunday, March 7, 2010

How NOT to use the Paint Cannon

Hi all!

I broke down yesterday and bought a Tulip Paint Cannon.  I already had some of the graffiti stencils, which I love, so I thought it would be cool to turn my acrylics into spray paint. 

Well, there must be some secret formula that I don't know about.  Seems like I don't get a nice mist/spray, but rather a stream.  I'm a little frustrated, but I plan to press on and try differen't mixtures.  Here are a few pages I "created", hehe

And finally, this mess:

This last page I was a little sad about, the paint was so thick it covered all the wonderful things going on in the background.  I did use the end of a paint brush to scrape into it a bit.  Since this picture was taken I have been working more on the page, and am happy with it.  I will post the finished pages to all of these soon.  If anyone out there knows something I don't about this, please share!  :) 

ETA:  I have watched the Pam Carriker videos, but so far she hasn't given any hints about paint mixtures.

I wanted to send a special shout out to a friend... her art inspires me daily!

And yes, that is Simon underneath that wonderful post card.  I think he was eight there.  I use post it's for title/prompt ideas.

I also finished this page tonight (among others that I will be blogging about in a few days):

Thanks again for all the love and support you've given me.  For those who've asked, I will be in Art Journaling Magazine this July.  I hope I wasn't supposed to keep it secret.  Yikes! 

Much LOVE xoxo 


  1. Hi Paula
    That would probably be my experience with those paint cannons--Pam Carriker has several video tutorials that she has made using them. She makes it look easy. you might want to take a look at one.

  2. Congrats! And I really like that page you say you're unhappy with. Can't wait to see how it turns out. Somehow just knowing there's a hidden world of imagery you can't see makes it all the more special...


  3. Paula - I bought one too. LOL - I'm a sucker for new supplies especially when I see the tutorials. Anyway, I haven't tried mine yet because I don't have the fabric paint. What kind of paint are you using? Maybe that could have something to do with it? I like that second page. Maybe I'll try mine out with my next use.

  4. I just googled this since I have never heard of it. I was just in the Tulip Paint section of Michaels too...LOL! I guess I was just too focused to see they had new products. I haven't been to that section in a long time.
    It looks like a lot of fun to play with. I guess it is going on my wish list. Thanks for sharing your mishaps, like all mishaps I am sure you will be able to turn them into something beautiful!

  5. I second what Lisa will end up with something nothing short of a masterpiece (IMHO).

    Talk to you soon.

  6. Oh, I love Art Journaling magazine; I have the first three editions. Now I have another reason to get the July issue. Congratulations!

  7. Oh dear, that's definitely NOT spray paint effect, lol.How frustrating.
    But they still look good backgrounds. But of course you were after something else.

    LOVE the last spread.
    I would also love to see more of your processes.

    You've given me the idea to use my laptop post its for the prompts, I keep forgetting what's coming up.

  8. Paula, first off I have been inspired by you with my journaling (that I have not posted as of yet) to just go for it! I have used my Mini Mister with half water half acrylic paint with a nice misted spray. Maybe with a kick in the rear I will post some of my pages.

  9. I bought some spray bottles at Walmart for less than $1 each. Sometimes I mix just a bit of acrylic paint with some water in them and spray. Then I wash it out so it won't clog. Maybe that's wasting a little paint but I hardly ever use it like this (maybe twice). Maybe I should try it again but after getting some spray from another kind of paint (that was very condensed and very purple) on my carpet I am not so keen on spraying.

  10. i recently bought a cannon myself. i have not used it because i was wondering about what paints to use. i just went on ilovetocreatedotcom, it really looks like you can only use their fabric paint in the cannon. please post if you have success with other paints.

  11. Not used one of those but had my own problems with experimenting this weekend so I'm with ya on the messy pages! lol
    Think the last page is beautiful, the writing over the heart shape is fab :)
    Thanks so much for commenting on my pages, you are too sweet!! I looked at my pages carefully and yes, I am definitely still a newb LOL

  12. Love your blog!!! And shhh, I will be published again in Art Journaling this summer too!!! We'll keep it a secret...just us!!!! LOL. I have found that the paint cannons work so so with other paints, but work great with the Tulip paints. I just pump them up until they can't be pumped anymore. Sometimes it takes completely cleaning it out and putting new paint in

  13. Paula I love your pages, they are wonderful, esp. the red one with the heart.

    Thanks so much for your comment, your are so right.

  14. Hey... HEY! That's ME!!! I feel a little famous by association. : )

    Also love that you keep ideas on post-its. Mine shoot through my mind at the speed of light and then - poof! - gone. I may borrow that technique.

  15. I had the EXACT same problem with mine, using Tulip's Cannon Fabric Paints. It was coming out all thick and globby - not spray-paint at all (more like that stuff they spray on your walls to give it texture). So, I took mine back to Michael's, thinking it was a dud.

    The salesperson told me that I had too much paint in the canister - the Tulip representative told them to only use a dollop of paint in the Cannon. I didn't quite believe her, lol. She was talking, like, just enough paint to cover the bottom of the canister.

    Well, I got my new one home, and it was doing the same thing, UNTIL the paint was just covering the bottom of the canister. Suddenly, the paint was spraying out all nice and finely, like spray paint. So, yup, I was overfilling it. I think it must be because I'm at high-altitude - we just need a whole canister of air in the Cannon, in order for it to propel out correctly. So, it finally works - the only bummer is how frequently I'm going to have to refill it.

    Also, I got the Cannon paints so I could see how thick/thin they were (since I'd rather use the paints I already have). They are slightly more watery than regular craft paints. So, it shouldn't take too much water to get it to the right consistency.

    I hope this helps!

  16. PS. Ok, so using a dollop was driving me nuts, so I filled it to just below the white bottom thingy, and it still works. It's never going to spray as finely as real spray paint, I figure, but it's definitely spray paint-esque. I also added just a tad more water to the Cannon Fabric paints, and that seems to help, too.

  17. I"m so glad I found this post and read through the comments to DellaLuna's comments. I had the same problem as everyone else. It came out all thick and gloppy.

    I didn't see anywhere in the directions where you are only suppose to cover the very bottom of the can. I poured the whole bottle of paint in!

    Now that I know how to use it I'm off to play again!

  18. got a paint cannon at walmart the secret is to really pump it a super lot that makes the mist. It just takes a little practice. good luck

  19. to the person who asked about using non-tulip paint in the cannon, I've used Delta Ceramcoat craft paint (acrylic) with great success. I water it down about 1/3 water, 2/3 paint (or maybe a bit more watery.
    I make sure to clean it well immediately after, filling with clean water and spraying that thru the nozzle.
    hope that helps :)

    also, re globs, I've only even had it 1 inch full of paint and never got globs. not sure if that may be the trick?

    p.s. I actually LOVE the page you were sad about! I think it looks great :)


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