For anyone thinking of buying a new house, let me just tell you. Flat painted walls and potting training do not mix. Weird combo, I know. But I speak from some very unfortunate experiences. As a result of those experiences the reno for our main bathroom got moved up from “lets start thinking about maybe doing it soon” to “okay, today is the day, pick out paint”. Once I got the go ahead my brain was turning a mile a minute with ideas, and of course, I had to get a little funky.
A little bead board, a few painted oranges, some pink, some gold, and a whole lot of my newest favorite color, baby blue! In my eyes, a mix made in heaven.
Lately I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the murals I do in my home so along with putting the before and after photos in this post I have also created a DIY to show you guys how I do them. Step by step. Most of the time it is just a series of shapes that make up a pattern, no need for perfection. Which is how I prefer it.
Below you check out my time-lapse of me painting all the oranges, the step by step DIY on how to paint them, and the before and after shots of the bathroom!
Lets start with some after shots, because really, that’s the fun part:
Here’s what it looked like before! A whole lot of flat wall paint that was stained with everything you could imagine, including water? Who knew water could stain?? The biggest lesson I learned in all this… NEVER leave flat paint. Now to convince my husband of that, because our whole upstairs is STILL flat…
When we put up the bead board and all the trim we also used MDF in some places that wouldn’t get wet, just so we could save a little bit of money (you can tell by which trim looks brown). It was a bit harder to paint, but in the end cut the price nearly in half.
Check out the STEP by STEP pictures of the oranges are below. If you have any questions please reach out and ask!
You will need – the colors you choose to use and varying sizes of brushes. Specifically a very small one for detail work, a medium-sized one for filling, a slightly larger one for adding the water, and sponge brush.
I like to think of my murals as layers. The first being the biggest or the most important piece, the second being a complimentary piece, the third being a smaller painting, something that can fit around the larger pieces and accent it nicely. Than the following layers being small pops of color or fillers. The biggest key and honestly the ONLY thing that matters when painting is consistency. Your oranges could be 10 inches apart and look like boxes, but if they are all the same then it will look fluid and patterned. There is absolutely no need to be an artist, just be consistent.
This is one of the main reason I love the “watercolor” look. It is easy, for the most part fast, and offers a lot of room for mistakes that can be written off as intentional.
My headliner and the first layer on my wall was the oranges.
1. To get that water-color look make a quick outline with your main color.
2. Dip a larger brush into the water to dampen it (you can always add more). swirl it from the outside in until the outline is filled. Tip: keep a rag on hand just in case you use too much water.
3. Once the outline is completely filled decide whether you want it darker or lighter or if it is fine the way it is.
4. I wanted mine a touch darker so I took more of the regular orange paint and swirled it into the still wet paint along the outsides. Visible brush strokes are okay.
1. Grab a sponge brush and gently dip it into your orange paint, wiping off any excess.
2. Smudge it around one half of your orange until it has a textured vibe.
Make some black speckles inside that darker orange area.
The next is the second layer. I kept the extra leaves around the same size as the oranges and just made them a bit lighter in value. I think they compliment each other well and even “tone down” the oranges a bit.
1. Draw a single, imperfect (brush strokes are good!) line for the length of the leaves.
2. Add blobby leaves along the top part and around, leaving a little bit of stem. Make sure that you rotate the top and the bottom along with the sizes so that not all leaves are facing the same way or identical.
3. Add a second layer of paint if it is needed.
4. Add the detailing! I put little V’s and U’s in each of the leaves. This contrast was my favorite part because it really changed the vibe when walking into the bathroom. When getting ready to do the detailing you will snag a smaller brush like the guy below, and do this at the same time you do the stems of the oranges.
1 – 2. Draw on your leaves and the stem (or just two leaves, or even one, they can all be different).
3. Do a second coat if needed for a more opaque look.
Add in some extras if you like them and have the extra space.
The third layer is my pretty little pink flowers.
1. I kid you not, these are just V-shaped blobs. Smacked on with a paint brush. The only tip I can give you is to make a lot of the one color you are mixing (if you are mixing) so you don’t have to go back a try to remake the same color again. This goes for everything being painted.
2. Using the same color as the oranges stems draw the pink flowers stems as well.
3. Add three white dots to the inside of the pink and (because I didn’t think my stems were thin enough) paint a white line done the green stems to make them thinner. This was a fortunate mistake because I ended up being very happy with how the light hit it.
The last layer, my “filler” layer is just blue dots. I placed them wherever there was a lot of white space that needed filled. Some spots just have one or two dots, others have a dozen.
And that’s it! I hope if you’ve attempted it that you are just as in love with it as me! 🙂