How to Paint a Giraffe Print Pattern

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloths

  • Household cleaner (optional)

  • Fine-grit sandpaper

  • Painter's tape

  • Newspaper

  • Latex or acrylic primer

  • Paint trays or small disposable containers

  • Paintbrush

  • White, yellow or tan latex or acrylic paint

  • Chalk

  • Brown acrylic or latex paint

  • Artist's brushes


Practice drawing giraffe spots on scrap paper to hone your technique. This makes the painting process go faster, yielding more realistic results.

Study several giraffe images, noting spot variations, to determine which type of spots you prefer to paint.

A giraffe print adds a playful, wild touch to a room's decor, whether painting a desktop, an art canvas or even an entire dresser. Creating the print requires no templates or stencils -- free-form spots give the print a more random and natural look, much like on an actual giraffe. While the pattern can be painted on just about any surface, use a primer or paint designed for the material at hand; standard household primer may not adhere properly to plastic, for instance.

Step 1

Wipe the object or wall down thoroughly with a soft cloth to remove dust. If the project surface is dirty, clean it with an appropriate household cleaner and a soft cloth.

Step 2

Sand the project area with fine-grit sandpaper if working on a surface such as a piece of furniture or small wooden craft object. Sanding also scuffs up laminate furniture and plastics, making the surface more receptive to primer. Wipe the dust away with a soft cloth. Skip this step if painting a wall.

Step 3

Cover any areas you don't wish to paint with painter's tape. Place a small project piece atop newspaper, or place newspaper on the ground in front of an area such as a wall to catch stray paint splatter.

Step 4

Pour some of the primer into a paint tray for a large project, or a small, disposable container for a small project area. Acrylic or latex primer may be used for a small object; latex primer is more cost-effective for large areas. If painting plastic or metal, use a primer designed for plastic or metal.

Step 5

Coat the project area thoroughly with primer using a paintbrush, allowing the primer to dry thoroughly. Apply a second coat if the original object color is still visible; allow it to dry as well.

Step 6

Apply a coat of white, yellow or tan paint over the entire project area with a paintbrush after pouring some of the paint in a paint tray or shallow container. Apply a second coat over the first, if necessary, allowing paint to dry completely after each coat. This is the base color for the giraffe.

Step 7

Draw random blob- or amoebalike shapes on the painted surface with chalk or a pencil, keeping the shapes near one another so just a bit of the base color shows between each spot. Redraw any shapes as desired.

Step 8

Pour some of the brown paint into a shallow container. Dip a fine artist's brush into the paint and go over the outline of each giraffe spot to create a neat outline for each spot. Make the outlines as thick as you'd like; this will make it easier to fill in the spots with a larger brush.

Step 9

Fill in the spots with a regular paintbrush for large areas, or continue using artist's brushes for smaller surfaces such as picture frames.

references & resources

Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.

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