Aluminum foil is a versatile staple in most kitchens. It is not surprising that artists are finding uses for it as well, including painting with oils directly onto it or using it for adding texture to creation. Depending on your project, there are several ways to paint aluminum foil and many ways to incorporate it into your home décor as well.

aluminum foil
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Basic Painting

Since aluminum foil is a slick, metal surface, it needs a coat of primer if you want to give it an even all-over color. Etching primer is designed specifically for metals and works well on aluminum foil. If you cannot find this spray paint in your typical paint section, check out the automotive section. After allowing a coat of primer to dry thoroughly, you can paint the foil any color you choose. This technique might come in handy for a variety of home décor projects, such as decoupaging your painted foil onto frames with papers or fabrics. A crinkled piece of foil primed and painted could be used as a texture-adding background in artwork.

Step 1

Prepare your work area by spreading out a drop cloth or old newspapers. Fold a piece of foil around your cardboard piece. The shiny side should face you.

Step 2

Spray the foil with etching paint, following the manufacturer's instructions. For better coverage, use short, consistent sweeping motions when spraying on the primer. Allow primer to dry completely.

Step 3

Spray paint the primed piece of foil using short, consistent sweeping motions for best coverage. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

Child-safe Painting

Non-toxic tempera paint can be made to adhere to aluminum foil with the addition of a few drops of dish liquid to the paint. One teaspoon of dish liquid to each half cup of tempera paint is recommended. Stir the dish liquid into the paint, and it's ready to be brushed or finger-painted onto the foil. Use the designs to decorate your child's room, a playroom, or the guest room when relatives come to visit. As an added treat, allow them to take the child's creation home as a memento.

Step 4

Lay down several old newspapers or your drop cloth on a flat surface. Pour 1/2 cup of tempera paint into each cup. Add 1 teaspoon of dish liquid and stir. Using the dish liquid with tempera paint negates the need for a primer. Wrap the desired piece of foil, shiny side up, on the cardboard, canvas board or plywood.

Step 5

Using a brush or finger, paint the desired images onto the foil. Allow image to dry completely before moving it.

Foil Etching

Etching a design into painted foil is an activity that allows the artist to scratch off paint to create a unique design. These can be as simple or as intricate as the designer wants. Incorporate foil etching into your home décor by tracing silhouettes and framing them, or try etching a monogram or family crest.

Step 6

Lay down several old newspapers or your drop cloth on a flat surface. Pour 1/2 cut of tempera paint into a cup. Add one teaspoon of dish liquid and stir. Use of the dish liquid with tempera paint negates the need for a primer. Wrap a piece of foil, shiny side up, around a piece of cardboard.

Step 7

Paint the foil with the tempera-dish liquid mixture. Use even strokes to get consistent coverage. Allow the foil to dry completely. A second coat may be added if desired.

Step 8

Use the stylus to scratch a design into the paint. As you scratch the design into the surface of the paint, the foil will be exposed to show your design.