Paint Swiping

by Cathie Cowles

Use acrylic paint to create a dramatic background.


  • Heavyweight white cardstock (Neenah Solar White 110 lb. used here)
  • Acrylic paint (Dylusions Calypso Teal and Vibrant Turquoise used here)
  • Dauber for each paint color (Ranger Mini Ink Blending Tool used here)
  • Baby wipes
  • Heat tool
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (used here: Tim Holtz Dot Fade stencil, palette knife, Wendy Vecchi White Embossing Paste, spray bottle, Ranger Splatter Brush, Distress Black Soot Paint with Dauber Top)


  1. Step 1

    Cut heavyweight cardstock to the desired size. Apply the first color of acrylic paint with a dauber onto the center portion of the cardstock.

  2. Step 2

    Apply a second paint color with a dauber.

  3. Step 3

    Crinkle a baby wipe and swipe a small section in an upward motion using light pressure.

    Get a clean baby wipe and do the same to the next section.

  4. Step 4

    Rotate the cardstock and do the same to the other side. Remember to use a clean baby wipe with each swipe.

  5. Step 5

    Add more paint with a dauber.

  6. Step 6

    Repeat Steps 3-5.

  7. Step 7

    Continue this process until you are happy with the amount of coverage for the background.

  8. Step 8

    Dry the background with a heat tool making sure the paint is completely dry.

  9. Step 9 (Optional)

    Apply embossing paste through a stencil at the sides and middle of the painted section of the background.


    Allow the embossing paste to dry completely before moving on to the next step. Using a heat tool may cause embossing paste to bubble.

  10. Step 10

    Add other layers and details as desired. For the sample, black acrylic paint and water were mixed on a craft sheet to apply with a splatter brush.

  11. Step 11

    Complete the project.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Paint Swiping. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

That is gorgeous. Your background just makes those flowers pop BIG!
Bette  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 3:54 AM
Sorry, posted wrong email.... have a great day!
Bette  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 3:55 AM
How much fun is this??? Can't wait to give it a try! Thank you!!
Joanne Hoffmann  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 4:59 AM
Wow what a great background. Love the color combo that you used and the paste. I have just do not use it much. I am going to give this one a try. Thanks for sharing
Romaine  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 5:47 AM
This looks so FUN! And it is a technique that can't be messed up because it already is....well...messy! Thank you for the great idea.
Nicole  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 6:11 AM
Totally fabulous way creating mixed media background! Love to try it
Helen Gullett  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 6:27 AM
Outstanding and fun. Thank you so much Cathie for this unusual and fun technique.
Prissequito  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 6:38 AM
Beautiful card! I love the look and the technique! TFS
Kathy Harrison  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 8:58 AM
This card is gorgeous! I love these colors together! I can't wait to try this myself! Great job Cathie smile
Jessica Waisanen  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 9:12 AM
I'm definitely going to try this !!!! Yours turned out GREAT !
Therese DuMoulin  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 10:11 AM
This was fun!
muscrat  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 2:31 PM
This looks like a riot--have to try this technique! Thanks for sharing Cathie!
Susanne Gleason  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 7:17 PM
can you do this on canvas?
Mary Mansfield  |  Wed Sep 13, 2017 at 10:16 PM
Mary - sure!
dina  |  Thu Sep 14, 2017 at 4:27 AM
FUN mixed media technique! Thanks for the tutorial, Cathie. Beautiful finished card.
Cynthia O.  |  Thu Sep 14, 2017 at 9:01 AM
Great tutorial, inspired me to do a page in my journal. Thanks for sharing.
Julie Selby  |  Thu Sep 14, 2017 at 12:49 PM
Thanks for a great tutorial Cathie. I love it!!!!
Susie Williams  |  Thu Sep 14, 2017 at 5:55 PM
Wow! That looks fantastic! Can't wai to to try that on my next set of cards. Thanks for the tutorial!
Shari Czerwinski  |  Sat Sep 16, 2017 at 6:22 PM

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