I’ve recently become a big fan of wall murals. I never thought I’d say that, because when I think of murals, I think of cartoon characters painted on a wall, or some sort of landscape scene. Well, I guess I like the idea of a landscape scene because it’s what I ended up going with for our twin boys’ nursery, but in a very simple and minimal way.
The nursery has always been a space well used by our entire family. In our last house, I even slept in the nursery a few times while I was pregnant, and dreamed of the day we’d have our babies at home to snuggle endlessly in a room to call their own. There’s something so special about planning for and decorating a room for babies, isn’t there?
My idea for this room was to make it a place for rest, winding down with a book and snuggles, and that our boys could grow in and into and hopefully share for many years to come. The furniture in this room is in a mid-century modern style, so I also wanted to honour that in the mural by keeping the lines very clean and crisp (and I have tips on how to do just that below). Enter the simple geometric mountains.
If you’d like to make your own, here’s what you’ll need:
- Two colours of paint (for the front mountains and the back)
- Two small rollers
- Two small paintbrushes
- Painter’s tape
- Utility knife
That’s it! It’s important to use good painter’s tape (meaning the stuff that costs a little bit more) to ensure you get crisper lines. Trust me, I’ve tried it both ways, and this is a case of “just spend the extra couple of bucks.”
Now, if you’re wondering how to choose the paint, the easiest trick I can share with you is this: pick a swatch you like, choose one of the two darkest colours for the large mountains and then go one to two shades lighter for the smaller ones. This way you’re guaranteed to have colours that will coordinate. I chose the lightest blue for the back ones because I really wanted them to blend into the background, like they’re really really far away.
I’d love to tell you there’s some mathematical equation to figure out where to place the mountains, but there simply isn’t. It’s trial and error, and truthfully I only experienced 2 errors, which are easy to fix when you’re working with removable tape!
I started with the large mountains at the “front” and made sure they just nearly touched the baseboards. This was important. It would have been way too heavy on the bottom if I hadn’t done this.
Next I taped the smaller peaks at the “back” and with all of these I made sure to vary the heights. The real trick here is not to overthink it!
Now I went in and cleaned up my tape. Use a utility knife for this and score the tape in a straight line where the mountains that are to be the same colour meet.
Now you’re ready to paint! I started with the top (lighter) colour and moved on to the dark blue, which ended up needing three coats. I only let each coat dry for a little over an hour before putting the next one on, and as soon as I finished the final one, I took off the tape. This is another little trick to getting the painter’s tape to work for you. If you remove it while the paint is still wet, you won’t run into the issue of having the tape pull off any of your beautiful handy work! So if you were wondering why the paint still looks wet in the photos, and why you really can’t see the smaller peaks at all, it’s because the paint hadn’t dried yet. And also because I’m a mom of two boys and had to complete this at night while they slept elsewhere!
At this point I had to decide what to do about the gaps in between the mountains. I could either leave them or let the paint dry, re-tape everything and paint the gaps. Well, luckily my husband ended up loving the gaps, and i agreed with him. So they stayed. It adds a little bit more of an abstract feel to the mural, and it suited their room so well.
Once everything was dry, I was able to move their furniture in and get to decorating. And then the mural really came to life for me!
I really didn’t want to have any frames hanging over their cribs because I know they would do everything in their power to grab them, so this also solved the problem of having art on the walls.
Have you ever painted a mural? If so, what did you paint? And if not, would you ever try it?