Have you ever looked at all the breathtaking photos of the galaxies that NASA took and felt really, REALLY inspired? Especially with the recent viral videos of galaxy spray painting on the streets making it look so easy! Galaxy spray-painting is actually, remarkably, do-able even if you can’t draw or paint for nuts! And I really wanted to admire the galaxy from the comfort of my bed. So that’s exactly what I set out to do. Time to DIY & paint the ceiling in my bedroom woohoo!
Disclaimer: I am not a professional ‘spray painter’ (is that the word?) so my methods and ‘techniques’ might be blasphemous or too chapalang (Singlish for haphazard) for the master painters. Also, brace your neck and fingers before you embark on this project, or attempt to finish it in one day as I did. It will cramp like it has never cramped before. ALSO, possible health hazard.
Ok so first things first, you need to VISUALISE your galaxy. Do you want a more pinkish-purplish galaxy or an orange-reddish one or a mix of everything? The latter is pretty challenging if you have a small canvas, so I recommend you pick 2 main colours for your galaxy.
I have divided the colours into the following section:
Core colours (You NEED this, you will use tons of this colour except for white, it will save your butt):
Main colours of your galaxy:
Pink and purple; OR
Purple and light blue; OR
Orange and red; OR
Green and light blue; OR
Listen to your heartttt (..before… you tell him goodbye..)
What you’ll need
Recommended Spray Paints:
Krylon Spray Paint is the best in my opinion.
It’s generally affordable and it’s high quality. You would need a good brand especially for the white spray paint (as it needs to have a good nozzle for a technique used later) and for the rich solid colours (so that the colours would really pop)
You should get cheap spray paint for black.
Krylon’s price for black is not bad but if you can a cheaper alternative, I say go for it.
Since I used tons of black spray paint for this project (~ 7 bottles), I need it to be DIRT CHEAP.
Quality doesn’t really matter for black, in my opinion. Only white and rich colours need to be of good quality. Again, this is just my opinion. I’m a broke bitch okay, I need to prioritise.
A clear sealant is optional, but I got mine from Krylon as well.
Poster paper (for your test run)
Mask and Goggles I can’t stress enough how important this is. I say this because I didn’t use it for my first attempt and guess which idiot discovered the galaxy in her saliva and eyes afterwards. I should inform NASA of these new galaxies.) If you want to be extra protected, get an inner head mask as well.
Frogtape Painter’s tape for the edges
Unless you are into drenching your hands in spirit alcohol and rubbing it raw to remove the paint.
Lots of Newspapers to cover the floor and furniture
Ladder Make sure its high enough for you to be able to touch the ceiling on its highest step
Medicated balm for your poor neck
(I feel like this is becoming a list of reminders of the mistakes I did.)
Do a test run of the galaxy on the poster paper so you roughly know how it should look like
Practice these 4 techniques (click on the gifs to expand it!):
Technique 1: Black out
First, you should spray the black paint around the edges of your canvas, and then freestyle it around your canvas in a ‘swirly’ pattern.
There’s no need to be a perfectionist for this step as you will keep adjusting it throughout the process, trust me.
Technique 2: Mix in the 2 main colours
Now spray the 2 main colours on the canvas but try not to use it too much on the canvas.
Practice the strength and distance of the spray can. If you are nervous, try to spray further so you can roughly see how it looks like before you go right into it.
As a rough guide, the further the distance of the spray can the more dispersed it looks and this is the way u BLEND these colours together.
So to make the colours POP, bring the spray can closer.
If your canvas looks too much like the Yupi worms instead of a galaxy, its time to bring the can further away my friend.
Say No to Yupi Worms galaxy
Technique 3: Bring it all together
Now its time to use a bit of both the core colours and main colours until you reach a nice balance.
How do you find the balance? Honestly, it depends on you. If you like how it looks, then it’s balanced! Easy as that!
Technique 4: White sprinkles
Now, this is the part that either makes it or breaks it. It’s important to invest in a good quality white spray paint for this.
The last thing u want is for the nozzle to be clogged and leaving behind big ass white splashes on your canvas.
So what we want are many tiny white dots from this step. There are 2 ways to achieve this:
1) Angle your spray upwards, AWAY from the canvas. This is my favourite method.
2) But if the nozzle is being a bitchass, then you have to either spray it on your fingers or the tip of a paintbrush and flick it around. The magic is in the flick.
For those bigger white dots, you can either ‘erase’ them by spraying back the core/main colours on it OR you can make it into a sparkly star!
Sparkly stars ain’t my forte. Actual spray painters would spray the white paint against a straight-edged tool to give that glowy effect but that requires way too much technical control that I don’t have.
So I would usually wait for the whole canvas to dry before I paint the diagonal lines with Acrylic paint.
The tip is to go SMALL with this and it will actually look legit. If your diagonal white lines look too thick, you will immediately look like a fraud spray painter. (Which I am but no one has to know shhhhhh)
Once we get the boring part over and done with, time to start!
Put on all your safety equipments and set up your ladder near the edge of the ceiling. Work in sections. All sections use the same steps, so once you get it down, it’s pretty easy. It’s just tiring and a whole load of manual labour.
The Actual Painting Process
As practiced, black out the edges of the ceiling and do all the 4 techniques in order.
The only difference is the angle. You need to keep angling upwards. This unfortunately means that much of the paint would disperse to the ground. That is why the strength of the nozzle is important!
The dispersing technique won’t work as well on the ceiling due to gravity. The technique is to press STRONGLY on the nozzle but position it further away, to give that effect.
It is an unforgiving technique especially on your fingers as you will have to continuously put enough pressure on the nozzle such that it will be directed to the ceiling.
My ceiling consists of around 15 sections. I calculate the section according to how much area I can reach from my position on the ladder.
I don’t know why but the ceiling is soooo much larger once you get up on the ladder. The labour never ends!
If you have a ceiling light, a nifty idea is to paint the brightest colours in that area to give the cool effect of the lamp lighting up the galaxy.
On paper, we would usually finish our masterpiece with a spray sealant. But for the ceiling, I didn’t bother with one. I mean you technically SHOULD… but my fingers and neck were crying out for help at that point. I have had this galaxy ceiling for 7 years and it still looks good as new, so that’s good enough for me. Be better than me, guys.
Finish up your galaxy with the white sprinkles and starbursts!
It was difficult to give that sprinkled effect by spraying the can so I trial-ed and error-ed for this step by flicking the tips of my paintbrush and my fingers as well. Do whatever works for you as long as it sprinkles!
For the starbursts, I simply waited for the area to dry before I used Liquitex acrylic paint on it.
The lines might look too solid so what I usually do after painting it with acrylic is to spray white paint over the centre of the star but from a DISTANCE. This is to give that glowy effect.
And… you are pretty much done. If you want to add a moon, just get a stencil of a moon and spray paint it with white. It’s pretty straightforward. I did this for my niece’s ceiling (pic on the right)
Now step back and watch in awe at the monstrous creation that you have made before you. I don’t mean the galaxy ceiling but the crazy amount of loose paint on the floor, on the furniture (which I assume is covered with plastic, don’t say I didn’t warn you) and worst of all, on yourself!
At this point, your fingers and neck should be aching like mad and you are probably questioning if this was worth all the pain and effort, and the major clean up it entails.
I have no clue if it’s worth it but hey, now I have a bomb ass galaxy ceiling in my bedroom! Yasssss!
I have an addiction for the galaxy design though I had some DIY fails in the past when I tried spray painting a galaxy on Dr Martens shoes. After that nightmare, I went on to research a bit more and came up with the top 3 techniques for painting a galaxy on shoes!
Let me know down in the comments down below if you have embarked on a DIY project on a whim or are doing any galaxy home decor! And if you are trying out this project, break a
PIN ME FOR LATER!