Here on Cape Cod (where I’m lucky enough to spend the summer), spatter-painted floors are so common that we take them for granted. I donâ€™t know why our colonial ancestors started spatter-painting their floorsâ€”perhaps they couldnâ€™t afford rugs, or more likely, they didnâ€™t want to constantly beat the sand out of themâ€”but I, for one, am glad they did. First of all, spatter-painted floors hide a multitude of sins; almost nothing shows up on them. But more important, they are simply beautiful. Theyâ€™re a wonderful way to add texture and interest, while still keeping the overall look minimal and clean.
Creating your own spatter-painted floor is easier than it looks; all that’s required is paint (here’s a chance to use leftover cans sitting in the garage) and a few plastic forks. Luckily, the important thing is not perfection. For best results, you want random globs and clusters in myriad sizes, not a uniform spread. But be careful not to overdo it. Think small galaxies in the night sky, not Jackson Pollock.
N.B.: To see more photos of spatter-painted floors at Salt Timber Cottage, go to Design Skool.
Above: First, apply the base undercoat (usually in a darker color than the splatters). Once the floor is dry, the fun begins. The best tool to create the splatter effect is a plastic fork. Simply dip the prongs in the paint. Then, from a standing position, gently tap the base of the fork where it meets the handle as you move it over the surface of the floor. This technique gives you a bit more control and allows you to spread the drips more evenly. Use just a drop of paint to create smaller dots; more for larger ones.
Above: For character, youâ€™ll also need a few dribbles. For these, coat the fork with a bit more paint and turn it sideways so the paint drips off in the end. Then flick your wrist or move it in a curve.
Above: A guest bedroom floor painted green with white spatters.
Above: My kitchen floor is an unexpected shade of pumpkin spatter-painted with white and black.