Never tried resist printing? Simply create a pattern on glass, fabric, or wood by pretreating select areas. Your paint or dye won't soak into what you've treated, which leaves behind a unique design all your own! Here are some stylish examples of resist printing, plus the tools you'll need to create the looks.

By Bri Levandowski

A plain pillow gets a hot new look with the help of homemade paste and paint. This simple resist process creates stark, crackly contrast between dark and light hues on plain fabric. Pair with a set of colorful pillows for added drama.

Flour and Water

This paste takes equal parts flour and water (yes, that's all!). Insert a piece of cardboard into a pillow cover, then spread the paste onto the front, let it dry, and watch it crack. Apply fabric paint to the paste with a foam brush, pushing into the cracks as necessary. Let it dry again, then wash away the paste to reveal a stunning crackle pattern. Once dry, heat-set the painted pattern according to the paint manufacturer's directions.

Gold Cutout

Metallic paint adds a special touch to any furniture piece, and this chic geometric design brings a midcentury modern chair to new heights. The seating pairs nicely with complementary gold decorative accents.

Adhere and Apply

To make the flawless lines on this resist-printed chair, cut -- or purchase precut designs -- and adhere vinyl stickers to the wood surface. Use painters tape and newspaper to cover the places you don't want painted. Apply even strokes of metallic gold spray paint for a flawless finish. Peel away the vinyl once the paint has dried to reveal your stylish design.

Watercolor Linens

Want a stylish set of cloth napkins that's totally unique to you? With this resist process, you'll have guests lining up to ask you to create their linens, too! Be sure to thin your paint with a bit of water for lovely watercolor appeal.

Sweet Strategy

For this one-of-a-kind resist project, lay napkins flat and drip corn syrup in any fashion you like across the fabric. Take note: The thicker the drop of syrup, the longer it will take to dry. Let dry at least 24 hours. Once dry, dilute fabric paint with water and apply however you like, being sure to cover as much of the napkin as possible. Dissolve the syrup under running water until your napkin is no longer sticky. Let dry, then set the design by ironing the napkin according to the fabric paint manufacturer's directions.

Beautiful Vase

Who would believe this vase used to be plain and white? Make any of your bland glass or ceramic goods more exciting with this super simple resist technique and a layer of bright paint. Cool blues help colorful buds grab attention, while white dots pop below.

Cemented Style

All this project takes is a paintbrush, sponge brush, paint, and your grade-school friend: rubber cement! Dab thick dots or designs of the glue onto your vase with a small paintbrush. When they're dry, apply paint with a sponge brush. Once the paint is set, peel away the glue to reveal your pattern, then bake it following the paint manufacturer's directions.

Photo Transfer

Create interesting art from family portraits. This monochromatic artwork blends with any decor style, and a simple experiment with transfer art is just the trick!

Tempera Contrast

Preserve family memories with a photo transfer. To start, print an image using high contrast for the best results; it will be much easier to trace the white lines where the tempera paint will go.

Next, rub a pencil across the back of the paper before taping it to a canvas. Trace around the white shapes, remove the paper, and fill in the transferred shapes with tempera paint. Let dry, then cover the canvas with brushed-on swashes of acrylic paint. Let dry before rinsing your portrait under running water to remove tempera paint.

More Paint Projects and Techniques


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