You can create some wonderfully exuberant looks on furniture with Unicorn Spit.
(What? You never heard of Unicorn Spit? It is the non-toxic rainbow gel stain and glaze we sell at our shop All Things New Again in Leesburg, Virginia and right here in our online store.)
We love bold, colorful, crazy looks like this. (You can see the full tutorial on creating the starburst design here.)
But what if you need to tone down all of that crazy?
Can you use Unicorn Spit on “real life” furniture you enjoy in your home? The answer is Y-E-S!
For example, instead of staining wood regular ol’ brown, you can now choose blue (and hot pink) like I did on this little table for my living room. Or you could choose green or red or whatever color(s) match your decor.
The magic of Unicorn Spit is that you can apply color on bare, sanded down wood and still see that beautiful wood grain coming through like you do with traditional stains.
If your furniture doesn’t have a nice wood grain, you can still use Unicorn Spit. Just paint it first! That’s what I did with this mid-century table. I wanted to tone down some of my usual C-R-A-Z-Y and create a softer, more elegant look that would fit with many decorating styles.
Here’s how I did it:
I started by painting the entire table light gray. Next I opened up all of my jars of Unicorn Spit and went to work!
(It is actually more like playing. I just dip my fingers right into the product and start finger-painting. So. Much. Fun.)
I’m sorry I don’t have any “process photos” because my hands were covered in Unicorn Spit. I was too lazy to go inside for a bowl so I squirted some right on the palm of my hand and mixed up new colors right there.
SPIT TIP: Keep a box of baby wipes in your Spit Kit for easy clean-up.
If you really hate to get dirty or you are working on a rough piece of wood and don’t want to get splinters, please use a paintbrush. I like the way Unicorn Spit feels. I like the way it smells (like jasmine) and I like to move it around with my hands.
Unicorn Spit is non-toxic and was invented by the art director at a facility for adults with disabilities. She wanted people who could not hold a paintbrush—either from old age or injury—to be able to enjoy creating art.
My process for this table was simple. I dabbed a little Unicorn Spit on the edges of the table and spread it across with my fingers. Keep dabbing. Keep spreading. Overlap. Blend. Add more colors. Add some more. Squirt with water if needed to help the Unicorn Spit spread around better.
Keep playing around until it looks beautiful to you.
SPIT TIP: When your entire tabletop is covered with Unicorn Spit, stop and let it dry. Then come back and DO IT AGAIN! Add more colors on top of the work you just did. Don’t worry about matching colors or coordinating. Just dip your fingers in and go! The more layers of different colors you build on top of each other, the cooler your project is going to look in the end. If colors start to blend too much or look muddied, stop and let it dry some more before continuing.
I think I did about three different layers of color on this table. The layering is what gives your project dimension when you seal it and makes it look like you are some kind of crazy-cool-wicked-talented artist—because you are! (Yes—YOU! You can do this too. I promise.)
When you are finished creating, seal your work with an OIL-BASED sealer. A water-based sealer will “re-activate” the Unicorn Spit and all the colors will run together in a blobby mess. It is important that you use an oil-based sealer because it will preserve your awesome design and make all of those layers of color seem like they are just floating on top of each other. I used Minwax Polyurethane—3 coats. Follow the instructions on the can.
SPIT TIP: Your Unicorn Spit design will change colors slightly when you seal it. Match the paint for the rest of your project after you seal the spitted areas with the oil-based sealer. I originally painted these table legs light gray. After the polyurethane dried, I realized a darker gray would look better against the design. I re-painted the legs—which was a total pain—but I’m glad I did. The table looks more elegant now. Save yourself some work and wait to to choose your paint colors.
I have another Unicorn Spit project in the works …
These matching side tables were on my Paint Project To-Do List. I used more Unicorn Spit to create a faux stained glass look on those glass inserts. Check it out!
All Things New Again is a family-owned furniture and paint boutique in Leesburg, Virginia (about an hour or so west of Washington, D.C.) We offer our own eclectic brand of hand painted furniture, several lines of easy-to-use paint for your next DIY project (including Unicorn Spit) and furniture painting classes. We also carry Unicorn Spit in our online store. Here’s the link again.
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We’re linking up with Friday’s Furniture Fix #48!
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10 thoughts on “Toning Down My Crazy with Unicorn Spit Rainbow Gel Stain”
Thanks for including SPiTips in your post! Love how you got a very soft look for this table.
Thank you Kari Ann! I feel like if I figure something out, I should share it to help the next person. Thanks for reading my blog. –Courtney
Thanks for all the great tips, especially the one about the baby wipes 🙂
You’re welcome! I thought I was done buying baby wipes when my son was out of diapers … but now I buy almost as many for all of my projects! They are perfect to have around the studio. ~ Courtney
Oh my goodness. I learned so much about this product. It is amazing how it was created and also amazing to seal it with oil-based sealer. Your tutorial is most excellent. And love the beautiful colors all blended together. Thanks so much for linking to Friday’s Furniture Fix. We love sharing your work with our readers. Susie from The Chelsea Project
Thank you so much Susie! I’m so happy with how this little table turned out. Unicorn Spit is so much fun to work with! 🙂 ~Courtney
Love the coffee table,, really unique
Love this project you’ve done. I’ve seen so many awesome VERY VIBRANT! and brightly stained Spit projects but far fewer with the subtlety of this one. Were you able to do this by watering it down or not letting it sit as long? I’m wanting to dive in and do my dining room table but want the subtle effect you’ve accomplished and not the LOUD brightness (for this anyway). Hoping you might offer some additional info before I pull the trigger 🙂
Hi Tara! I understand what you are saying … those VERY VIBRANT! projects are gorgeous…but maybe not so much for your dining room. 🙂 For this table, I painted it first with a light gray chalk-type paint. I think that helped make the colors more pastel. I did this because it was fake wood underneath and ugly. If you can sand down your dining room table to bare wood, you will see the grain through the Spit and it will look really pretty and more jewel-toned. Then I did just what you said … I added a lot of water. I have seen people mix water + Spit in separate jars. I think you can go up to 50% water. I don’t do it that way. I just dab a little Spit on my finger and spread it across the surface as far as it will go. Keep a spray bottle handy and give it a squirt or two if it is too bright and you want to spread it farther. Then it is just blending the colors together, overlapping them, adding more on top. If you want it really, REALLY subtle … create your design then wipe it off. What is left on the tabletop might look really pretty and be just the look you are going for. If not, no worries. Just come back and add more Unicorn Spit in top of it. It really is just playing around with the Spit and the water until you get a look you love. Since a dining table is a big project, I would recommend practicing on a smaller board to experiment and blend colors until you get it looking how you like it. I hope this helps! The best advice I have is just GO FOR IT! Smooshing it all around and seeing what happens is all part of the fun. Good luck with your table! ~Courtney