How to create a textured background using salt

30 September 2021
Learn how to create a textured background using a household ingredient that you're sure to have in the cupboard... salt!

Raid your kitchen cupboard for the key ingredient to creating this great background with unqiue results everytime! Coarse salt will work best but regular table sort will work too. Why not try using two different sizes at the same time to give an interesting effect?

Top tip! The design depends on the size of the salt grains – the bigger the grains, the bigger the blooms will be. 

Salt background technique tutorial

You will need

  • Canson watercolor paper
  • Berry Blaze, Desert Heat Re-inker Kaleidacolor by ImagineCRAFT featuring Tsukineko
  • Paint brush
  • Masking tape
  • Kitchen salt 


1. Adhere the watercolour paper from all the four edges to a board using masking tape. 

sprinkling salt background technique step 1

2. Apply water generously using a paint brush over the surface. You could also use a water-filled spray bottle to do this. The wetter the paper is the more the paint will feather out. Prepare your colours.

sprinkling salt background technique step 2

3. Dip a paintbrush into the first ink to pick up some colour and lightly dab the ink randomly about the wet paper. Apply as many colours as you wish – this example uses two. If you don’t have Re-inker you could also press the lid of your stamp pad into the dye and take the ink from there. You could also choose to do squiggles, lines, swirls or spots of colour.

sprinkling salt background technique step 3

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4. While the paper's still wet, sprinkle some salt lightly over the paper – this will cause the colours to blend slightly. 

sprinkling salt background technique step 4

5. Leave the salt to sit on the paper. Blooms will start to appear around the salt pieces. You can leave the piece to dry naturally or use a heat tool. 

sprinkling salt background technique step 5

6. Once completely dry, rub the excess salt off the paper and the pattern is ready to use. A slight layer of salt will remain but this just adds to the effect! 

sprinkling salt background technique step 6

Feeling salty that the tutorial's over? Why not try creating another background, like Joseph's Coat embossing technique?

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