I'm super excited to share with you a tutorial on how I tried to replicate this gorgeous watercolor flower wallpaper for my baby girls nursery. I came across this wallpaper on pinterest and was completely set on having it, but didn't want to pay an arm and a leg to cover only one wall. When I was searching for tutorials, I wasn't able to find much online. So I tried to make it as simple as possible for myself...
Here's a before photo of the wall color in the bedroom, it was tan for my son's vintage sports themed room. It seems like only yesterday I was painting and decorating Maxx's nursery! Wahhh!
As you can see below, choosing a wall color was harder than I thought. After going through a million samples, we ended up painting 3 walls Iced Cherry by BEHR and had the attendant at home depot cut 70% of the color out to lighten the pink. I used a white eggshell finish on the wall that I was going to paint the flowers on. You want to stay away from the glossy finishes because the diluted paints will just drip right off and wont give you that watercolor effect.
After I painted my white wall, I sketched a plan (on a piece of paper) of where I wanted to arrange the flowers on the wall. I'm obsessed with sketching out my ideas for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G from redecorating to planning our next party and arranging where the tables should go. I get a new notebook every year for all my sketches. I know, I annoy myself too, but it totally helps me narrow down my thoughts and stay organized.
You'll notice some green painters tape in the center of the wall, I wanted to make sure to leave that space empty so I can hang her name decal. I also marked off where the crib was going to be so that I could practice those flowers first just in case they came out awful they'd be covered by the crib. Then I got foam board from the Dollar Tree and cut out large shapes for flowers and petals for the larger flowers. Next faintly trace them with pencil on the wall. You want to draw faintly because you will be painting over the markings and if its too dark they will show through. My markings are light and some still show through if your standing super close to the wall, but I don't mind at all.
Please forgive all these dark phone pics - my 4 year old Maxx was my photographer! -8 months prego
After you trace everything out, the fun part begins... PAINTING!!! I bought sample paints from home depot (3.99 each) for all the colors. I used 3 different shades of the pink wall color mentioned above for most of the flowers, a darker pink for the rose looking flowers, a yellowish orange for some of the centers, brownish black for the others, and a forest green for the leaves. I ended up only using less then half of the sample sized containers. I realized I bought way too much paint because remember you dilute the colors with water. I recommend going to Michaels Crafts Store and purchasing the small tubes of acrylic paints in the colors you like.
I started with a black foam paint brush but later switched to a large soft pointed tip paint brush that I found in my kids art box. I prefer this paint brush because it gave those imperfect paint strokes that I was going for.
First dab the brush in the water then into the color and start painting the outline of the flowers.
Then I dip the brush in the water only and started filling in the center of the flowers giving it a gradient effect.
Remember I was going for the imperfect watercolor look so I was carelessly going outside the lines, smudged here and there, and left some empty streaks.
Keep a paper towel on hand just in case you need to wipe up any drippage. You want to wipe it up immediately so that it doesn't mark your wall. If I felt that the paint was too dark then I would use the paper towel to wipe and blend.
You'll notice that I painted one color at a time. I started with the smaller light pink flowers and did all of them before moving on to the next flower. Start with the lighter colors and work your way to the darker ones. This way your able to use one paint brush and simply rinse in between.
For the center of the flowers I diluted the dark brown color and smushed an oval, then dipped my brush back into the paint and speckled some spots. Haha Oh all the technical terms.
It was night time when I finally finished! But below is what it looks like in the day time.
Overall I think the wall cost me around $30 . I was super intimidated to try it but I'm so glad that I did! The prep work was pretty time consuming because of tracing the stencils to make sure the wall was well balanced. Surprisingly the painting was the easiest and fastest part. If you decide to try it please leave me a comment below, Id love to see how it comes out!
Click HERE to see the full nursery.
I'M JANELLE MARINA
Wife, Mama Shark, + Photographer.
Most days, you'll find me in mismatched socks and a top knot, working behind my computer with a smile on my face, listening to Zac Brown Band and R&B
--or, dancing in the kitchen with my 3 littles and hunka husband, seeing who could come up with the coolest dance moves. I'm a wedding photographer, West Elm lover, aspiring advocate for our buddies with special needs, and a Certified Dreamer since 1986. We live in a cozy city in Southern California and are always up for a good adventure. I enjoy telling stories with my camera, grubbing on spicy food, and solving the latest Dateline case.