The 1 – 2 – 3’s of creating a wall mural

It’s midweek motivation & what better way to kick off autumn than with an ambitious (I mean s-i-m-p-l-e) wall mural! When I say “wall murals”, I use this term rather loosely, we aren’t talking about anything edgy like  banksy street art or a vibrant colour clashing Camille Walala piece. Although I’d beg borrow & steal to get my hands on either. #kiddingnotkidding.

You may be thinking … WHY? Why do I need a wall mural in my life? My response is why not?! It is the perfect way to add your own creative stamp in your home. It’s fun. It’s easier than you think. It’s more original than slapping on a single colour, b-o-r-i-n-g. Life is all about experiences, yes?! Perhaps some inspiration is needed … these Instagrammers inspired me with the magic they created in their homes.

Okay, Andrea of Hunt & Scavenge is an artist & her monochrome masterpiece sent me over the edge. It’s elegant & bold and pure creativity. Anettetalstad’s eye popping yellow & pink sunburst is simply divine and it turns out it isn’t paint at all, its wallpaper (okay, I’m cheating with this one, but the idea is inspiring). Katty of One.Four.Six is known for her wall murals, she gets bored with a space and BAM she’s sketched & painted something before you can blink your eyes. Helen of NotAbouttheKids love of stripes is infectious as is her love for colour, her feed got me thinking that I could do stripes. Of course, when it comes to stripes LoveFrankiDotCom is masterclass with her monochrome floor and statement lampshades. And a newbie to me is Racheal of BanyanBridges who has created an EPIC colourful wall mural. NOTE: She’s done a few wall murals, so check out her feed. Her motto “make art permanent by painting it directly on the wall”. I say yessssss.

Are you feeling inspired? I am.

Before we jump, a bit more monochrome inspo – from the art world – these two art installations were a big influence on my own design. Legendary Sol Lewitt retrospective at the Mass MoCa has impact. Where as in Palm Springs, Claudia Comte created “curves and zigzags” during moderism week. Remember, inspiration can come from anywhere.

Rewind a couple months back, I decided that my son’s room was feeling a bit bland and a tad boring. He’s a toddler running riot and deserves a fun creative imaginative space. His room is long and narrow, so anything to distract away from the awkward shape was a win-win in my books. Now, you might remember (or not, that’s cool), I painted an abstract interpretation of the Swiss Alps along one wall last year — but — the other wall was bare and was shouting out for some love & attention & something bold. For this brazen DIY project, my goals were to …

  1. Make the existing art “pop” off the walls. My solution was to paint boxes around the art in different colours. Not just any boxes, I made one of the sides at an angle. Ohh. Ahh. Very daring.
  2. Create a bold statement that would expand the room and make a fun play space for my active toddler (read: to ensure his toys stay out of the lounge). Look out, this is me going crazy.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not the most natural DIYer. I have loads of ideas & enthusiasm but sometimes I get sidetracked. Please tell me I’m not the only one. I was completely intimidated by the uber professional looking murals on Pinterest, so I stepped away from “searching & pinning” and just got on with it.

Here is my novice’s guide to painting a wall mural & how to stay on track.

Step 1 – Get sketching. This is the fun bit. Go crazy, try a couple different options, sleep on it,  think about it a bit more, then sketch out your final design. My first wall mural was a colourful mountain range (aka what I call Abstract Swiss Alps) and now a wall bursting full of colourful abstract stripes. I haven’t mastered curves yet.

Tip: Tape your sketch to the wall. Step away from Pinterest & stick to your plan. For the mountain range, I mixed jagged bits with straight angles and single colour mountains too.


Step 2 – Materials. Hmmm, to say I always trip up here is an understatement. I always seem to run short of paint and tape, I never have enough paint brushes, and I stir my paint with a kitchen knife. So please learn from me. Below are “the essentials” that you should have within arms reach:

Tip: Baby wipes are a must have for those drips and when you go over the lines. I learned the hard way, it’s best to wipe up your mistakes immediately. As in now.

Step 3 – Measure, mark, tape, repeat. Oops, check that lines are level too. This is where your handy tape measure and pencil take over. For my accent boxes around the art, I had 10cm on each side then added more for the angled bits. My stripes are 10cm too.

Tip: When doing stripes, tape out one area first, paint that area and then move on to the next area. This means you can make adjustments, if needed.  Whereas the mountain range, I taped out the entire mural before I opened the paint.

Step 4 – Get painting. Tip: mark which colours go on which bits of your mural or stripes — that way there are no mistakes with the wrong colour on the wrong bit.

Step 5 – Celebrate & share. There are few Instagram hashtags to talk about your project & what you’ve created. I use #diystories #mydiymydecor #diyproject

Art before & after … it still surprises me how something so simple can radically change the vibe of a room. These boxes were super simple to do and really accentuate the art.

I’m not going the lie, the Swiss Alps wall mural was a marathon. It didn’t help that I caught a massive cold midway through and ran out of supplies multiple times. There are still a few touch ups and areas that are just okay, but overall I’m really happy with the fun colourful vibe it has created in my son’s room. See below for the details.

The stripes are bright & bold and surprisingly were easy to do. It has created a serious statement wall that my son loves to play with. He is obsessed with cars and just about every day is driving them up & down & along the stripes. The lines mirror the lines of the Swiss Alps. Yes, the yellow is perky but it is softened by the newly hung art that ties it all together.

Now, if I can create this, you can too! I hope I’ve inspired you to get painting and create something original in your home. Cheers – it’s time to toast with a glass of bubbles. Any questions – just shout.

Hope you have a FAB week,

Liz xx

The Details

One question I’m always asked is how much paint?!

I purchased 1 quart of Little Greene Paint Company Trumpet Yellow and 1 sample pot of Route One Blue and Regency Blue. I still have some left over.

Measurements (wall H 3.4 meters x W 2.3 meters)

  • Stripes are 10cm wide each
  • 4 different directions – horizontal, vertical, and 2 opposing angles.

Mountain range:
It is generally best to stay within the same colour family when painting the mountain range. Of course, I wanted to shake things up and added the perky yellow & moody blue. I purchased 2 sample pots of Little Green Trumpet and Deep Space Blue. I also purchased 1 sample pot of Farrow & Ball Purbeck Stone, Worsted, and Mole’s breath. I already had F&B All White and Cornforth White paint.

Measurements (wall H 3.4 meters x W 3.4 meters)

  • 2x large mountains at H 2 meters x W 1.8 meters (at base)
  • 3 medium mountains at H 1.2 meters x W 700 (at base)
  • plus a sprinkling of smaller and partial mountains to fill the gaps

Get Painting!

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