Spray Paint A Camo Pattern

Create a camo pattern freehand with spray paint.

Camouflage is man’s way of mimicking nature, in order to blend in. Artfully painting machines and uniforms to meld into the environment gives you a tactical advantage, as you can see but not be seen. To add a camo pattern to an object, first you must determine the environment you want it to blend into, be it the forest, desert or digital space. Create patterns using the environment as a reference to freehand draw shapes, and select spray paint colors that will work with the pattern to give you a realistic result.


1. Pick matte spray paint colors that fit with the environment you are trying to blend into. Choose three shades — dark, medium and light — of the same color for a camo color palette. For a forest camo, choose black, dark green and light green. For a desert camo, choose dark brown, medium brown and light brown. For digital camo, choose black, gray and navy blue.

2. Spray the object with the darkest color of the color scheme selected. Hold spray paint 6 to 8 inches from surface, and use long sweeping motions to avoid harsh start and stop lines. Apply an even coat. Let dry.

3. Examine the environment you are trying to mimic, either in pictures or in person. Create a pattern freehand on the object. Draw chalk lines in a contrasting color from the basecoat to correspond with effect you’d like to achieve: foliage-like shapes for forest camo, long, wavy shapes for desert camo and blocky, pixel-esque shapes for digital camo.

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4. Spray medium color onto the pattern, following the chalk lines. Do not coat the entire object; let some base color show through. Let dry.

5. Spray the lightest color onto the object to highlight certain pattern areas. Let both the basecoat and the second coat show through to create a textured appearance. Let it dry.