splattered smeered and printed image by pdtnc from Fotolia.com

Homemade paint splattered shirts are fun, bold and best of all, one of a kind. As an added bonus, the process of throwing paint around can be therapeutic and fun. You're essentially making a mess that you can wear. So get your goggles out and your newspaper laid down. Here's everything you need to know to make like Jackson Pollock and splatter any old plain cotton shirt into a unique work of art.

Prep Work

Choose your paints and squirt a small amount of each color into its own plastic cup.

Add a small amount of water to the cups and stir with the non-brush end of the paintbrush. The paint needs to be watery enough to drip and to soak into cotton, so the amount of water you add will depend on how thick your paint was to begin with. For very thick paint, you might need a full cup of water to properly dilute.

Lay down newspaper or plastic garbage bags very far around your workspace. Place your cotton shirt in the middle.

Insert newspaper or plastic inside the shirt to keep the paint from bleeding through to the other side of the shirt.

Splatter Time

Dip the brush end of your paintbrush into the paint and being to splatter. There are a number of ways to apply the paint to the shirt. One is to point your brush horizontally and quickly flick your wrist toward your shirt, being careful to aim all paint downward. Another is to get lots of paint on the brush and simply hold it over the shirt, allowing it to drip in a line of paint onto the shirt. A third is to run your finger down the bristles of the paintbrush, flicking tiny droplets of pain onto the shirt. Be especially careful with where the paint lands with this technique.

Get creative and experimental with your paint. Mix colors, overlap splatters, even try pouring paint-water onto the shirt if you are inclined.

Allow the paint to dry overnight before flipping the shirt to splatter the other side in a similar fashion.

Once the shirt has dried on both sides, wash it by itself in a machine on low heat and dry on high heat to set the paint. It should be okay to wash with other garments after the initial wash.


Wear old clothing and shoes or an artist's coat to avoid ruining your garments with stray paint splatters.


Make sure the paint is not washable, as some paints for children are. That would ruin all of your hard work.