Seattle artist Peregrine Church uses rain as his medium. By stenciling images and words on the sidewalk in water-repellent spray, he creates Rainworks—art pieces that appear only when it’s wet outside. Instead of shelling out $45 for the paint Church uses, you can follow the lead of DIYer Dan Rojas to make your own. Rojas discovered that spray antiperspirant contains a commonly used hydrophobic chemical. Clear spray paint binds it in place, creating a cheap water repellent that can last for months. “A lot of the stuff you see,” Rojas says, “was made when people put two or three products together and came up with something new.”
This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Turn a Rainy Day into Art.”
- Time: 1.5 hours
- Cost: $15
- Difficulty: Easy
- Clear spray paint
- Aerosol antiperspirant
- Cut a stencil out of cardstock and place it on the sidewalk. Spray with clear paint.
- While the clear coat is still wet, mist with deodorant.
- Remove the stencil and let the paint dry for about an hour.
- Wait for rain to reveal your art—or just use a garden hose.