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Pretty Handy Girl: Painting Decorative Graphics on a Wall

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Painting Decorative Graphics on a Wall

On Monday I showed you my fireplace painting from white paint back to brick. This was only one step in our major living room renovation. I hope you will hop back again this week to see some of the other transformations we made to this room:

1. Faux painting brick over a previously painted white brick fireplace
2. Lightening up a room in 5 steps
3. Painting decorative graphics on a wall (this post)
4. Preparing to Install Antique Heart Pine Floors (and living to tell about it!)
5. Installing Heart Pine Floors and the Final Reveal

Step 1 was a magical transformation of white painted brick to brownstone brick using paint!

Step 2 was actually a 5 step program to lightening up the room, we dubbed the dark cave. 


And as promised, we've arrived to Step 3 in our Living Room renovation.

So, I admit it, I'm gaga for those silhouetted wall graphics. Some of my favorites are from Leen the Graphics Queen.

Because I have a background in illustration, I didn't think twice about customizing the wall behind our bookcase with a design. If you have a super shaky hand, definitely stop here and head over to Leen's!

If you are up for a challenge, keep reading. After clearing my built-in bookshelves, I started by lightly outlining where the bookshelves met the wall with pencil or chalk. Then I took out the bookshelves.

Next I used chalk to draw the outlines of my design. I was careful to avoid having a bird where the shelves would meet the wall.

Don't think you can draw freehand? Try this trick (it works for enlarging a design also):

You can always print something you find online or make a copy of a design you see in print. 

Legalese: Please be respectful of other's artwork and
don't try to sell anything you put the image on. 
That is copyright infringement! Technically even copying the image from 
someone else's site or from a book is too. But, we'll bend the law just this once. 

You can take your print out and draw a grid across it (see above). Then draw your larger grid on the wall and focus on drawing one box in the grid at a time.

Now get your good brushes out. Make sure you have at least a small round brush with a good tip. And a flat brush will help too. A good brush really makes all the difference.

I used my Benjamin Moore Aura wasabi powder paint leftover from this project and over my chalk outlines.

So, here is something I didn't tell you yesterday. I actually left the dark pine green behind my bookshelves in the living room. So, when I used the lighter wasabi powder green it showed up lighter on the pine green. It is an optical illusion that the graphics are lighter than the rest of the room's color.

After the paint dried I used a damp rag to remove the pencil and/or chalk marks. Then put the shelves back in.

See, no birdies were harmed during the creation of this wall treatment. By tracing the shelves from the start, I was able to ensure that the birds were not covered up by the shelves.

I love the whimsy that the graphics add, don't you?

When I style my shelves, I TRY to keep it sparse.

And that was it! The cost was next to nothing since I used the same gallon of paint for the walls in the room (from yesterday.)

I hope you will stop by for my next post on preparing the floor for hardwood flooring. And installing BEAUTIFUL antique reclaimed heart pine flooring. I am so excited to show you this!

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At August 19, 2010 at 9:09 PM , Blogger Nestled In Rosenberg said...

Your wall graphics came out beautifully! Your paint colors are fantastic as well. Great job!


At August 19, 2010 at 9:59 PM , Blogger Rhiannon said...

wow! awsome! i give you credit for painting... my lazy butt would have ordered vinyl! LOL

At August 19, 2010 at 10:38 PM , Blogger Cozy.Cottage.Cute. said...

You drew that!?! Crazy good!

At August 20, 2010 at 12:28 AM , Blogger Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

I am quite impressed! Those turned out really nice!

At August 20, 2010 at 9:28 AM , Blogger Entertaining Women said...

Your graphic turned out beautifully. I love to paint, too. Here's a link to the post about the nursery mural that I did for my grandson. Thanks for sharing your lovely work. Cherry Kay

At August 20, 2010 at 10:36 AM , Blogger Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

I just gave you a blog award on my blog and wrote about you.

At August 24, 2010 at 11:33 PM , Blogger Meg said...

Oooh, very pretty. I like it so much! I want to do something like this on one of my living room walls but I'm a big CHICKEN! :)

At August 25, 2010 at 12:52 AM , Blogger Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

What a clever idea! I love the results!

At August 26, 2010 at 12:14 AM , Blogger Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

LOVE it! What a difference that makes!

At August 26, 2010 at 2:03 PM , Blogger decdiva1 said...

beautiful! i did something like that in my bathroom. i hope you can come visit me @ look under "bird bath". i love your graphics and the colors you used! great work!
~decorating diva

At September 12, 2010 at 5:24 PM , Blogger Herself said...

I am so jealous!

At January 13, 2011 at 2:43 PM , Blogger Cookie said...

Wow! is all I can say. I like your blog, Brittany. I'm following you now from BlogFrog. Stay blessed!


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