Technique of the Week:
Spattering or Splattering 9/9-13

So, you ask, what’s the difference? I have heard the terms used interchangeably so I looked it up.

Here are two non-academic sources to look at (which is ok because we’re trying to understand how the general population use the two words). It seems like it’s a fairly nuanced difference and there also seem to be different interpretations.

To summarise ‘’
Spatter – small, fine drops of liquid
Splatter – small OR big, heavy drops of liquid

To summarise the top answer on quora:
Spatter – the visible effects the drops of liquid have when they’ve fallen onto a surface. E.g. Blood spatter on someone’s shirt.

Splatter – the action that happens to the liquid so that the drops fly out. E.g. The car splattered the mud everywhere.

So according to quora spatter is potentially used more as a noun whereas splatter is used more as a verb, although both can be used for either.

If you said spatter or splatter in everyday conversation people would know what you’re talking about – drops of liquid that have flown onto something.

I posted on Facebook two sources you should check out:

  • First is a video on U-Tube

paint spattering u-tube

  • Second is an article HOW TO SPLATTER PAINT
    paint spattering canvas
  • If you attended the MVCT Retreat in August, you did spattering on two pieces. First, on the brush caddy which we painted with neon colors in cover coats, then spattered all over to get an artist’s paint-room effect. Second, we painted a frilly plate with concepts, then spattered some dark brown on top.


You can splatter/spatter a background OR spatter over your design OR spatter a random design where the spatter itself is the art. Masking tape and/or contact paper can be used to block out areas where you don’t want the spatter to appear.

Carol’s Carousel Creations
Where having Fun is why we come!

One thing nice about this technique is that anyone can do it!
Even the little ones and even the old folks.
It does make a mess though, so be mindful of your neighbor.

About carolscarouselcreations

I am a retired math teacher. My jusband and I have been pouring, cleaning, firing, and painting ceramics since 1970 and have been teaching since 1972. We are both Duncan certified and members of IADCCT (International Association of Duncan Certified Caramic Teachers) and MVCT (Mahoning Valley Ceramic Teachers), a local chapter in North East Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. We have a home studio where we teach Technique Workshops and have Open Class time. We also have a party van which we take to local nursing homes. A new addition in 2020 is our online Facebook Live classes/demonstrations. We have two Etsy stores AfAfKidsNFriends for our African-American pieces and CarolsCarouselShoppe for our carousels. Find us on Facebook at CarolsCarouselCreations or send us an email to
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