Want a wall mural for your baby’s nursery or kid’s bedroom, but vinyl is too expensive or not available in the colour you want? In this tutorial, I’ll explain how to paint it onto the wall!
How I painted a tree onto the wall in my son’s room when I could not find a vinyl decal
When I was expecting my first son, there was a huge trend to put vinyl decals of trees in a nursery. I loved the idea, and I wanted it too! But I had a problem as the only ones I could find in South Africa was too expensive or the colours were not customisable. The Etsy shops did not deliver to South Africa, and the shipping would have been too much in any case. So I gave up, it was not meant to be.
When my son was four months old, we moved into this house, and I started thinking about those trees again. We knew we would stay in this house longer than the previous, and I was willing to try something more permanent than a vinyl decal. I would paint it onto the wall!
How to Paint a Wall Mural
- A cellphone
- A plastic filing pocket or another piece of plastic you can use and a black pen
- A printout of the tree or shape you want to paint onto the wall (mine was A6 paper size – don’t print it too big)
- A pencil that you will use to draw onto the wall
- Sample pots of good quality wall paint in the colours of your choice. I used Plascon Double Velvet (which is an interior wall paint) in the colours Mother Earth, Maiden Grass and Windblown
- Craft paint brushes and a 25mm paintbrush
Drawing the Shape on the Wall
You don’t need a projector or fancy drawing skills for this step. Trace the outline of your tree onto the plastic pocket you are using with a black pen. Wait until night, when it is dark enough to project, then grab someone to help you. Switch on your cellphone’s flashlight, and shine it through the plastic onto the wall. You can adjust the size by moving closer to or farther from the wall you wish to paint. Moving the plastic closer or further from the cellphone also changes the size. Now as one person holds the cellphone and design steady, draw the shape onto the wall with a pencil.
The projection is a bit blurry, but it is by far the easiest to project something if you don’t have fancy equipment, and it shows enough detail to get the outlines transferred onto the wall. I did not think of this hack when I drew the tree onto the wall and followed a far more complicated method as I can’t draw something that big by hand onto a wall without messing up the scale.
Then, when you have enough light again to paint by, you can start painting. I wanted the wall mural to be as durable as the rest of the wall; that is why I opted for sample pots of wall paint. In my experience, the wall-paint sample pots are less expensive than craft paint and provide a smoother finish than some craft paints. Paint the tree trunk with the 25mm paintbrush first, and complete the finer branches with a craft brush. Wait for each colour to dry completely before moving onto the next.
It is really as easy as that. This wall mural has been on the wall for almost five years now, and it still looks perfect. My son still loves his tree! When he grows up and does not want the tree there anymore (please don’t let that day come too fast), we can just paint over it.
Do you like the tree mural, would you paint it or go the vinyl route instead despite the cost? What other ways do you have to transfer designs onto walls before painting or do you draw by hand? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
You can also take a look here at the toy cupboard I painted for my son in his room here. I used the same blue (Plascon – Windblown) on the cupboard as for the birds in the tree.
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Goodbye for now!