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How to Paint a Cow Print

Leslie Rose

There are so many fantastic things about cow prints. First, the black and white (or, less commonly, brown and white) pattern matches a wide range of decor, and provides a basis for a very commonly recognized and appreciated theme (cows).

Study cow spots until you're ready to create your design.

Second, cows are considered fun, benevolent and, quite frankly, all-around cool animals. Therefore, the use of a cow pattern in home decor makes that home just like cows themselves: fun and all-around cool. Finally, painting a cow print is one of the easiest ways to add a splash of personality to a room. Cow prints are hard to mess up and easy to make.

  1. Research cow prints. Look for a cow spot stencil, if that's your preference, or at least find a couple pictures of cows that have the sort of cow spots you're looking to imitate. Keep a few photographs on hand while you're working. You may even want to buy a swatch of cow-patterned cloth to use as inspiration.

  2. Prepare the area for painting. Tape off the sides and edges of the area. Clean it, if necessary.

  3. Paint a plain white background on the wall where you'll be painting the cow print. Use paint rollers to cover the large area and paint brushes to paint the corners. Wait for this coat to dry and repeat. After two coats of white paint have been applied, assess the wall to see if more coats are needed. If any color below this coat is showing through, the coats must be applied until the wall appears to be plain white.

  4. Draw the outside of the cow spots on the wall using a plain pencil. These spots should be circular-ish in shape, but the edges should be organic and rugged. Refer back to the pictures you compiled for inspiration. Notice that each cow spot is of a different shape and sizes; imitate this. Don't worry about getting it right or wrong; there aren't exact rules for making a proper cow pattern. Just don't use straight edges because this will look unnatural. After you've drawn one spot, draw a second and a third, and so on, until the wall is covered in spots. If you're using a stencil, place the stencil against the wall and draw the spots inside the stencil until the wall is covered.

  5. Fill in the cow spots you used with black or brown paint, using a medium-sized paint brush. Cover up the edges you drew so that the pencil marks are no longer visible. Use the pencil marks as a guide only, and don't worry about painting outside the lines. Wait for the paint to dry, then paint the spots with a second coat of black or brown paint.

  6. Tip

    Practice drawing cow spots on a sheet of paper before beginning to draw the ones you'll paint. A cow print can be used to decorate any surface, whether you're painting a sign, a picture, a mantel, stool or some other object in your home. Be creative. Place cow paraphernalia around the room to emphasize your cow theme.