How To Turn A Rainy Day Into Art

Sidewalk art that puts chalk to shame

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."

Stats

  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Cost: $15
  • Difficulty: Easy

Materials

  • Cardstock
  • Clear spray paint
  • Aerosol antiperspirant

Instructions

  1. Cut a stencil out of cardstock and place it on the sidewalk. Spray with clear paint.
  2. While the clear coat is still wet, mist with deodorant.
  3. Remove the stencil and let the paint dry for about an hour.
  4. Wait for rain to reveal your art—or just use a garden hose.
Stay Dry

Stay Dry

Photographs of the Rainworks sidewalk art created by Peregrine ChurchCourtesy Rainworks
Hopscotch

Hopscotch

Photographs of the Rainworks sidewalk art created by Peregrine ChurchCourtesy Rainworks
Kindness

Kindness

Photographs of the Rainworks sidewalk art created by Peregrine ChurchCourtesy Rainworks