Sunday, November 25, 2012

Four Seasons Tree Mural

I've been itching to work on the nursery for several weeks, since I decided the wall could look a little more interesting than this:

Yes, I know. Pathetic! This is how it's looked ever since we moved in 1.5 years ago and since the new baby is getting basically the same theme as Ryan's old nursery, I thought the least I could do was spruce up the wall a bit!

First, I spent months pinning inspirations on Pinterest. See my entire board here. My mom helped me paint the entire room a neutral tan color (pulled from the curtains) and I decided to take the plunge into a hand-painted mural.

I borrowed a projector and Ryan thought it was awesome that my screen saver made a room-size picture of him show up on the wall.

But, I thought that might be a little hard to paint and also might be a bit intimidating for the baby, so we settled on a tree. 

And yes, I know it's a stock photo and I honestly did try to buy it, but the minimum "credits" to purchase on this site was $50 and the image I ended up using (by pasting it onto a PowerPoint slide and adjusting until it fit on the wall) was only $.80. I would have happily paid a few dollars, but $50 is a bit far when I probably won't ever use anything else on the site. So, sorry, I used it as a guide.

I hand-painted the white trunk of the tree using white primer and the leaves using the leftover Acrylic craft paint I'd used to make the 4-season wooden cutouts for Ryan's original room.
The Acrylic ended up not covering that well and I knew I needed some good white paint for the final coat, so I bought some semi-gloss bright white paint from Lowe's and also had them mix up a $3 sample jar of Valspar paint of each of the 4 colors. If you have any inkling of painting a mural type thing with just a few colors, I highly recommend getting the sample paint jars from Lowe's. They are supposed to cover 4'x4' and are available in ALL their paint colors, instead of being limited to craft paint.  After 2 coats of acrylic and one of Valspar Latex, This left me with a white tree and four different color leaves to represent the four seasons.

 I decided it didn't look "finished" enough, so I went ahead and added white outlines to all the leaves as well as "veins" in the same design as my Ikea curtains.
Here is the final tree with outlines:

I still need to do another coat of the leaf outlines, but otherwise I love how it turned out!

This covers the entire back wall of the nursery and although part of it will be covered up with the changing table and crib for a while, eventually it will work great with a twin bed. It also solves the problem of it not being "safe" to hang pictures above the crib and changing table, but prevents the wall from looking like this:
The nursery still has a ways to go since our crib and dresser haven't arrived yet, but at least we're making progress. I'll hopefully post pics of the entire room once it's complete (and hopefully it will be complete before the baby arrives, since he or she is due in 3 short weeks!)