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Tortoise Shell Style Painting Technique


(1 Votes)


Serve your guests with style using this lovely tray enhanced with a “faux” tortoise-shell paint technique from Krylon.

Tortoise Shell Painting Technique


  • Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Paint - Leather Brown (#52501)
  • Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Paint - Flat Black (#51602)
  • Krylon Stained Glass Color - Blue (#9021)
  • Krylon General Purpose Metallic - Gold Metallic (#1706)
  • Wooden Tray or Project of your choice
  • Rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits
  • Sea sponge
  • Low tack masking tape
  • Newspaper
  • Disposable rubber gloves

Surface Preparation:

  • When working with unfinished wood, prepare your surface by sanding smooth and wiping clean with a tack cloth. Apply a primer to seal the surface.
  • When working with bare metal, be sure surface is free of rust and oil. Apply a primer to seal the surface.
  • When working with plastic, glass or ceramic, lightly sand surface with fine grain sandpaper and wipe clean with a tack cloth. This will help the paint to adhere better to these smooth surfaces. Apply a primer to further improve adhesion.


  1. Place project on newspaper to protect work area.
  2. Mask off any areas you do not wish to paint. Shake all paint cans to prepare to paint wet on wet.
  3. Spray one heavy coat of Gold to cover entire area. Do not let dry.
  4. Immediately spray light spots of Leather Brown, Flat Black, and Stained Glass Blue over wet gold paint. Do not let dry.
  5. Sprinkle or drop mineral spirits in spots to cause reaction to paint. Wearing rubber gloves, use sea sponge to dab at paint to create mottled, tortoise shell effect. Let dry completely.
  6. For added protection of your finished project, spray several light coats of Krylon® Crystal Clear or Satin Finish as a final step. For projects that will be used outdoors or near a window, use Krylon® UV-Resistant Clear.


For more project ideas, please visit www.krylon.com/projects.

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