A step-by-step tutorial from All Things New Again showing you how to create a beautiful side-by-side look with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain and glaze. www.AllThingsNewAgain.netHow To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.netOne of the coolest things about Unicorn SPiT non-toxic rainbow gel stain and glaze is that Awesome Creative People are coming up with new techniques for using it every day.

This side-by-side look was the first technique I learned a few years ago from Unicorn SPiT’s Awesome Creative Inventor Michelle—and it is still my favorite!

(We also teach this technique at our Intro to Unicorn SPiT class at our shop, All Things New Again in Leesburg, VA.)

I love how you can do the same thing over and over, but it looks different every single time. I also love applying Unicorn SPiT with my hands. There’s just something therapeutic about smearing beautiful, vibrant colors around with your hands to create pretty designs!

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to

create this side-by-side look with Unicorn SPiT.

How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.netSTEP 1: PREPPING YOUR PROJECT

There are two ways to prep a furniture project for Unicorn SPiT.

Sand it down to bare wood and use it as a stain —OR— paint it first with chalk-type paint and use it as a glaze.

My Red Fire Table (above) was pressed wood with a laminate top (think Ikea furniture). There was no pretty wood grain underneath so sanding wouldn’t work. Instead, I painted it first to give the Unicorn SPiT something to stick to. This vintage drop-leaf table is real wood with very nice wood grain—so I sanded.

Your final product will look different depending on how you prep. As a stain, you will see wood grain coming through, but the colors will be darker and more jewel-toned. Over paint, there will not be any wood grain to see, but the colors will be brighter. It’s a trade-off. Both looks are awesome!

The way I decide how to prep is simple.

If I have nice wood grain, I sand. If I don’t, I paint.


This is the fun part!

For this technique, I think you need at least 3 colors for it to look good. I usually end up adding more. I started this project with: Blue Thunder, Dragonsbelly and Zia Teal. Then decided it also needed a little Navajo Jewel.

How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.netSqueeze a few drops of your first color down the side of your piece. I started with Blue Thunder. Try to space the drops out evenly, but just eyeball it. You don’t need to measure anything. Remember—this is art, not engineering!

How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.net

Next, spread each drop straight across your tabletop. I use my hand. If you really, really hate getting so messy—or if you are working on rough wood and might get splinters—then use a paint brush. I always use my hands. I also use a lot of water to help the Unicorn SPiT move across the surface smoothly. I spray the tabletop lightly and spray my hands frequently before spreading each little drop of SPiT.

How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.net

Spread all of your little drops across one side of the tabletop. Then come back and squirt more drops down the other side. I try not to squirt directly across from my original drops. This will create stripes. I’m going for a more offset look. The next picture shows what I’m talking about.

Look at the three bands of Unicorn SPiT at the bottom of the table. The right side is in between the two bands on the left side, more like a checkerboard. I got off-track towards the top of the table. I squirted the Unicorn SPiT directly across from the original bands and it made stripes. If that happens, it’s OK. You’re going to be building layers of color so it will all look cool in the end. I just wanted to show you the difference.How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.netAfter you are finished spreading your first color across both sides of the tabletop, come back and do the exact same process with your second color, squirting your drops in between the bands of your first color. I used Dragonsbelly. Continue to spray the surface and/or your hands to help spread out the Unicorn SPiT.

How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.netDon’t worry about covering the entire surface of the table at this point. You should still have some bare spots. You are going to continue to fill in the bare spots with more colors until the entire surface is covered.

Here’s what my table looked like after the first two colors.

How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.netNext, I came back with Zia Teal and Navajo Jewel and just kept doing the same thing: squirting a drop and spreading. This is where you become An Artist! Fill in bare spots. Layer colors on top of each other. Blend two colors together to make an entirely new color. Have fun! Don’t think about it. Just squirt and spread and step back and admire your work. And repeat until you think it is awesome.

How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.net

You don’t have to start at the edge of the table each time either. If there is a bare spot in the middle or a place where you think it needs more blue, then squirt it right there and spread out from either side. Play around with it until it looks amazing to you.

THIS IS IMPORTANT! If your colors start to blend too much and look muddied—stop. Let everything dry. Then come back and add more colors on top of where you left off. You can overwork the product and lose the definition between the colors and it will look like a blobby mess. This can be very frustrating when you are just starting out and think you have ruined your project. You haven’t! Just let it dry then add more colors on top. Do this as many times as you need to until it looks wonderful to YOU.

I can’t tell you how many layers of Unicorn SPiT colors I added on top of each other on this table. I didn’t count. I just kept playing around with it until I loved it.

SPiT TiP: Because I apply the Unicorn SPiT with my hands, I always leave behind grubby little fingerprints across my project. (I’m also messy and usually have a few drips here and there.) When I have my design exactly how I love it, I like to come back with a dry paintbrush and ever-so-lightly brush over any weird spots. I call this the Featherdusting Step. It smooths out any blemishes on your project and also helps blend the colors just a bit to give it a really beautiful look.

On this table, I did something special. I came back with some Unicorn SPiT Sparkling Stain and spread it on top of my colors like a glaze. We also sell Sparkling SPiT here at All Things New Again. You can’t see the sparkle in this photo, but you will after I poly everything in the end.

Here’s my tabletop after I finished applying the Unicorn SPiT and feather-dusted everything with my dry paint brush. (Also, my awesome garage!) Then I let everything dry.

How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.net


THIS IS ALSO IMPORTANT! You MUST seal your design with an OIL-BASED SEALER. I use MinWax high gloss polyurethane. I apply 4 coats. After each coat dries, I rub the entire tabletop with a paper bag. This makes it nice and smooth and shiny. The poly does something magical to Unicorn SPiT. It makes the colors “pop” in a super-cool almost 3D way I can not fully describe with words or accurately photograph. In person, this baby is so pretty.

Why not use water-based sealer? Because Unicorn SPiT is water-based. If you really, really hated your design, you could spray it with water, wipe it off and have a clean slate to start over. (I never do this. See my earlier tip. If I hate my design, I let it dry and keep going right on top of it.)

If you apply a water-based sealer over a side-by-side design, you run the risk of “re-activating” the Unicorn SPiT. The colors often blend together too much and you lose the whole awesome look. Only you won’t be able to add more SPiT on top to fix it this time because Unicorn SPiTt won’t absorb into the wood anymore after sealer is applied. Once you seal it, you are done—so be sure you love your design and be sure to use an oil-based sealer.


How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.net

How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.net

How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.net

How To Create a Beautiful Side-by-Side Technique with Unicorn Spit rainbow gel stain. By All Things New Again. wwww.AllThingsNewAgain.net

Thank you for reading my Unicorn SPiT DIY Tutorial! It was long, but I think it is important to see each step in the process so you don’t think your project is ugly when, really, it just isn’t finished yet. My best advice is to just turn your brain off and let you hands—and the Unicorn SPiT—do what they want to do.

Have fun and your project will look gorgeous. Every time!

<3 Courtney

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 paint for your next DIY project, and fun painting classes and workshops.

All Things New Again is an authorized retailer of Unicorn SPiT and the only store in the Northern Virginia/metro DC area to offer an Introduction to Unicorn SPiT class taught by Master SPiTTers. Here’s the link with details on our class.

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71 thoughts on “How to Create a Beautiful Unicorn Spit Side-by-Side Technique

      1. Hi Cindy, You can seal Unicorn Spit with tung oil, but it will darken the colors quite a bit. You can also try wax, but I find wax blurs the colors so much that you lose the cool designs and the colors all blend together. It looks pretty, but it looks different than when you seal with the polyurethane, which captures the distinct bands of color without blending them together. ~ Courtney

      2. It does! I always go for the high gloss bc I like it super-shiny, but the softer sheens are pretty too. 🙂

  1. Fabulous, love the technique and your color selection. Thank you for taking the time to do a step by step.

  2. Hi! I love your work! What is the best technique to use if you want to still be able to see the wood grain? I just did my kitchen table. I like it, but don’t love it. If I wiped it down with a wet rag, would it still be stained and would you be able to see the grain comeing threw then?

    1. Thank you Maggie!

      If you wipe your table with a wet rag ***very very lightly*** it just might be enough to blend the colors together more and take off enough Unicorn Spit so the wood grain shows through better.

      If that isn’t enough, then you can keep going and wipe the Unicorn Spit off all the way. It still might stain the wood a teeny bit, but you can stain over it and start over.

      I think it is best to use a lot of water while you are applying the Unicorn Spit. This helps it to soak into the wood better instead of sitting on top of it so more of the grain shows through. You can dilute it up to like 50% and still see vibrant colors.

      Just need to play around with it until you love it. Spray a little water, spread it around and see what you get!

      Good luck with your table!


    1. Hi Pamela, I have not tried Unicorn Spit directly over enamel paint. I do it over chalk/mineral paint all the time with great results. It soaks into the chalky paint a bit so it sticks. I’m not sure if the enamel paint will be too slick for the Unicorn Spit to absorb into, but it can’t hurt to try. ~ Courtney

  3. What do you do with with the sides or front of a piece of furniture? Do you paint it all one color with chalk paint or with the spit?

    1. Hi Gloria! You can do either. I like how the spit looks around the sides. Here’s what I do…usually there is extra Unicorn Spit dripping down the sides. Just take your hand and rub it around the side/edge to spread the unicorn spit around evenly. It will make its own design as you go and blend in beautifully with the tabletop. If you don’t have enough excess dripping, just squirt a little more color on your hand or brush and rub it around the sides until you love how it looks. ~Courtney

  4. Hi Jessie! I like to paint first with lighter colors so the Unicorn Spit colors will be brighter and more vibrant. I usually cover everything with Unicorn Spit so the paint color doesn’t matter so much. You just don’t want to go too dark or I’m not sure how well the Unicorn Spit will show up. Good luck with your table! It will look BEAUTIFUL!! ~Courtney

    1. Hi Tina! I used sparkling Unicorn Spit. It was a special product they made for a short time last year–and it was awesome! They aren’t making it right now, but… they are going to start producing a sparkle/shimmer Unicorn Spit again and it should be available some time this summer. We will have it in our online store as soon as we get it ~Courtney

  5. If you want just one color is that ok. I want a soft teal color for my china cabinet and I love the shine of the spit product.

      1. Thank you for your response. I will snap a picture of it when I am finished and sent it to you.
        Vickie Heath

  6. Can u please tell me the alternative for this paint in Pakistan? Will it be enamel or deco paint?

    1. Hi Shafia, I don’t think there is an alternative to Unicorn Spit. It is different from both enamel and deco paint because it is a stain that soaks into wood. When you create pretty designs with it, the colors overlap, but you can still see through them all in a way you can’t do with paint. You can try this technique with any type of paint—and it will look pretty—but it will look different than Unicorn Spit because it is such a unique product. ~Courtney

  7. I am going to look for a project to do in unicorn spit. I am going to try a few local thrift stores to find a piece to do. I understand I need to sand first and then spit. I was looking at the minwax high gloss polyurethane, do you use the fast drying type or the “wipe on?” I have done any furniture painting (or spitting) so I really need help. Thank you! I love your piece! It is truly a work of art.

    1. Thank you Michele! I use the fast drying Minwax polyurethane, but the wipe on works as well. As long as it is oil-based polyurethane, it will seal and protect your design. I like the high gloss because I just like it really shiny! Good luck with your projects! ~Courtney

      1. I am sealing a table with the Minwax Wipe-On Poly (yes it is the oil based) but the paint is wiping off with it. Why is this happening and how can I fix it?

      2. Hi Jodonnah, Two things might be happening here. The Unicorn Spit might need more time to dry. Also, you might be overworking the poly. It should be applied very lightly. Don’t go back and forth over the same area. Your touch should be more like “feather dusting” than like “painting” (if that makes any sense!) Let it dry and then come back and put the next coat on. I like to use those little foam brushes. The first coat probably won’t cover all the way with this method. That’s OK. The 2nd coat will fill in any bare spots and the 3rd coat will make the Unicorn Spit pop. I hope this helps! ~ Courtney

  8. Your projects are gorgeous! The way you keep your colors true and yet blend/transition to the next color, is true perfection. Very nice!

  9. Awesome tutorials, best one I have seen. Able to understand complete process. I am definitely going to do this to my dining table using hopefully blush pink, dove grey and a very light mint green. If unicorn spit come in such colors. Am very excited about project. Also would like to see other tutorials. Dresser, headboard. I guess process would be the same. Honestly the table is absolutely stunning♡ Thank you for a really great tutorial ♡

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Heather! Unicorn Spit is so much fun to use—and makes everything pretty. The process for this look is the same on everything. Tables are easy to start with because they are flat. Good luck with your table! ~Courtney

  10. I love your table with the colors you used. Can you explain to me how you applied the sparkle. I know it is available now, but will it change the color of your project??

    1. Thank you Cheryl! I applied the sparkle the same way I applied the regular Unicorn Spit. You can brush it on or use your hands. I usually a little bit of both on my projects. It turns it whatever color you are using. I used greens and blues on this project. ~ Courtney

  11. Beautiful table! Any guidance for a newbie on what size bottles to purchase? I’m turning a door into a desk.

    1. Thank you Michelle! The nice thing about Unicorn Spit is you can add A LOT of water to “stretch” a bottle and still get those beautiful, vibrant colors. Depending on the technique you choose, the small bottles are probably enough to do a door/desk. It sounds like a cool project! ~ Courtney P.S. — We sell Unicorn Spit right here: http://www.allthingsnewagain.net/buy-unicorn-spit

  12. Courtney,
    Awesome table!!
    I’m new to this, and am wondering if you know if I can use a wood stripper instead of sanding. Appreciate any input.

    1. Hi Tonia,

      Yes! You can use a stripper instead of a sander to remove any old paint/sealer and get your piece down to bare wood. Prep it however you would prep a piece to stain it with regular wood stain … only with Unicorn Spit, it will be a vibrant rainbow color instead!

      ~ Courtney

  13. Amazing table, just found unicorn Spit, and would love to do this to my old table and chest of draws, I have read that you can add Floetrol and silicone to the Spit is that something I should add to it, and if so what does that do to the spit and piece of furniture. I would also like to get a high gloss finish after , what is the best thing to use. I like in London England, so not sure of what products i can buy here. thanks for any advice

    1. Hi Laura! You don’t have to add Floetrol or silicone for this technique. I just use water to help the Unicorn Spit move across the table better. It works just fine for this technique. I keep a spray bottle with me and just squirt as I go. For the sealer, I use MinWax polyurethane to get a high gloss finish. I’m not sure if that is available in London. Most OIL-BASED sealers work. You may want to test it out on a sample board first to make sure. Sometimes with water-based sealers, it re-activiates the Unicorn Spit…it blurs all of the colors together and you lose the distinct designs you just created. Typically, with oil-based sealers that does not happen. I have never had that happen with the MinWax, but can’t speak for all sealers so that’s why I recommend testing it out first. Good luck with your project! ~Courtney

  14. Courtney, beautiful table. I’ve seen Michelle use Krylon 3 triple thick crystal glaze, what is the difference between that one and min-wax?
    I’m very new at this, I used half of a wooden table and was trying different designs, I had to restart over and over til I saw what I liked. Well it dried, can I just paint the whole table instead of trying to wet it and clean it or should I clean it. I don’t normally leave it, I’d become tired and lazy, “bad mistake” and now half of the table is a mess.

    Thank You Very Much

    1. Hi Betsy, I have never used the Krylon product so I don’t know about the differences. With Min-Wax, you need about 3 to 4 coats to make the Unicorn Spit design pop. Some products require less coats to get that effect, but I’m just not sure. If you spray the table with water before sealing it, the Unicorn Spit can be wiped off (but it will probably leave some of the color behind, but wipe off the design). If I’m not happy with my design, I usually let it dry and then just continue spitting right on top of it until I like it. Then I seal it to preserve it so the design doesn’t wash off when I use the table. I hope that makes sense. 🙂 ~ Courtney

    1. Hi Reb, I would use a paintbrush so you have more control over the product and apply to each section in the direction of the wood grain. It would be a different look, but it would look really pretty! ~ Courtney

  15. Courtney, your table is absolutely beautiful, very classy. One of the things I’m going to do differently is instead of putting MinWax on I was going to put Rust-Oleum Parks Super Glaze Ultra Glossy Epoxy Finish. This is my first real project, I’ve practiced first, now I’m ready. Could you please tell me by using the Epoxy is there anything different I need to do to finish the table. Thank You

  16. With my comment above this one, I guess I wanted to know if I’m suppose to still seal it with Min Wax before the epoxy, or just use the epoxy. I’m trying to get a bit of a 3D effect.


    1. Hi Betsy! You do not need to seal with MinWax first before applying the epoxy. The epoxy will do the job of the MinWax to seal it … and it will look even more amazing because one application of epoxy gives you the depth/shine of several layers of MinWax polyurethane. I have not used the Rust-Oleum product you referenced in your first comment. But if you have tested it and it preserves your Unicorn Spit design … go for it! It’s going to look awesome!! Please share a photo of your table in our new Facebook group: All Things New Again Artisans Group. I would love to see it!

  17. Courtney, do you recommend a different brand of epoxy and how would I test it. Thanks Again

    1. Hi Betsy, I have not used any epoxy products over Unicorn Spit so I personally can not recommend any. I just use MinWax polyurethane, but the epoxied pieces I see online look amazing. I’m going to try it on my own kitchen table, but I have not gotten around to it on my to-do list yet. That’s how it goes! 🙂 ~ Courtney

    1. Hi Betsy, I don’t understand your question. 🙂 I’m not sure what you mean by keep it particle?

  18. Hello,
    When you are doing a table like this with the fold down leaves, when do you fill in the area of wood that is exposed when the leaves are down? Do you stain that area a solid color and how/when do you seal that area?

    1. Hi Melinda, These are great questions! With drop-leaf tables, I usually put the leaves up so the entire table is open and flat. Then I can create my design with the Unicorn Spit and see what the entire table looks like. Also, you won’t get drips if you put the leaves up/flat.

      But then you have the problem, when you put the leaves down there is a bare space. So I wait for the entire table to dry really well. Then put the leaves down and come back and cover those spaces with Unicorn Spit. Just choose a color(s) that blends/flows with your design and it will look good.

      Once that is dry, I put the leaves back up to seal the table. Just be careful your sealer doesn’t drip into the cracks where the table folds down. Same thing. Let it dry all the way. Then put the leaves down and lightly seal the spaces. You don’t want it to get too thick so that the leaves get stuck, but you need to seal so the paint doesn’t scrap when you put the leaves up and down.

      Drop-leaf tables are kind of a pain because of all the steps … but they are sooo pretty when they are done!

      ~ Courtney

  19. So beautiful and such great explanation! Quick question: What colors did you use on your “Red Fire” table? I love it! Thanks in advance! – mandy

    1. I used: Molly Red Pepper (red), Phoenix Fire (orange), and Lemon Kiss (yellow). I might have also used a little Pixie Punk Pink (hot pink). You could probably skip the orange since the red and yellow combine to make a nice orange by themselves. 🙂

  20. just beautiful and great tutorial. I am a complete green horn at this and was thinking of renovating an old picnic table. what about doing this on a picnic table, how would i get in-between the boards?

    1. Hi Jaime, I would use a paint brush to get in between the boards. You can paint Unicorn Spit on. (I just like using my hands because it is fun!) But you can smoosh it down in there with a paintbrush. On a picnic table, I would just be careful about the sealer. Make sure you choose something that is rated for outdoors as Unicorn Spit can fade in sunlight if it isn’t protected. ~ Courtney

  21. I’am doing some mandala designs on canvas with the unicorn spit paint, what would I seal it with?

    1. Hi Maria,
      I would seal it with an oil-based sealer. If you use a water-based sealer, you run the risk of “re-activating” the Unicorn Spit and it will spread around and lose the mandala design. I seal my furniture with Minwax Polyurethane. I have never used it on canvas so I can’t say how it will look. ~ Courtney

    1. Hi Kim! it depends on what I have on hand. Sometimes I sand with very-fine sandpaper (like 400 grit or higher). Sometimes I just use a paper bag. Just depends what I can find first in my messy workspace. 🙂 Both give you nice results. I don’t have a preference. ~ Courtney

  22. I received unicorn spit from my daughter’s for Christmas after seeing all the beautiful unique designs and colors you can do when refurbishing furniture on Pinterest. I have been searching for”how to” sites and finally found one of the best at explaining the step by step instructions. Thank you!! I can’t wait to start my project now, having the knowledge and confidence I needed. Sincerely , Jamie

    1. Hooray! Thank you for your kind words Jamie. I’m happy that my tutorial is helpful. Good luck with your project! I’m sure it will be BEAUTIFUL <3

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