Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DIY birch tree forest mural

There is one huge wall, spanning 30 feet long. It's concrete, lightly white washed, and super gross. 
So we decided to do something about it! 

We loved how this project turned out and documented the process so you can make your own magical birch tree forest mural, too! It would also look great on a small, accent wall or in two-tone colors. 

First, we hit up Home Depot for some Frog Tape, brushes, rollers, masks (to protect little cryings), and paint. We scored a great gray all-in-one primer and paint by Behr in the "oops section." Only $15 for a gallon of high-quality paint! 

We used the Frog Tape to create the edges of the trees, leaving the white-washed wall as the actual tree, using all those imperfections and holes in the concrete to our advantage. We also put tape up where we wanted branches. 

With an exacto knife, we cut alongside down the edge of each tree, letting our hand wave slightly, and pulling off the excess tape. Because trees obviously aren't exactly straight up and down, this helped it look a little more realistic. Then, Chas did an amazing job of using the exacto knife to cut out the shape of each branch from the tape. 

With all the tape in place, we ran our hands along the edges, pressing firmly into the concrete to help really seal the deal. 
(Click here for pictures of just the wall and tape up.)

Next came the paint!

This is what the wall looked like after applying just one coat of our paint. 
We didn't really know what to expect with a dirty, unprimed concrete surface but other than taking extra care to fill in all the little random holes, there was no problem! 
The best part was peeling off all the tape. This was when we could really start to see our vision come together and it actually start to look like something!
The final step was adding the details to all the trees.
With a small paint brush, I carefully painted all the little horizontal line and knot hole details. 
The whole wall looks like this: 
(That's 18 trees total, folks.)
And, of course, we had to include this on one of the trees. 
(Chas' idea.)
I can't tell you how much fun we had working on this mural. 

It felt so invigorating and refreshing to have a big, creative project in process that we could both work on together. So, so much more fulfilling than watching a movie together or even, dare I say...eating cheeseburgers and onion rings at Hires?! 
Yup. I went there. 

We love how it turned out. Really love. 
Now, instead of a basement, we "go down to the forest" to do our laundry. 
And sometimes (every day since it's been finished), we go down just to stand and look in amazement at what we accomplished together. We're pretty proud of ourselves. 

Eventually, we'll get a huge rug to put down there and create a big play room area for little cryings. 

But for now, it's just our magical forest...
and occasionally ping-pong happens in the forest as well.

37 comments:

SaffaKate said...

I really LOVE LOVE LOOOOOVVVE it! I might even steal the idea for our nursery. I've been wanting to paint a tree and just love how these came out.

Messy said...

This is awesome! I have been waiting for you to tell us more since your last post with a peek! Looks amazeballs!!!! I adore it.
Cheers,
Messy

Saskia said...

First, awesome. Second, how jealous am I that you have a basement? B. and I live in a basement. One day I hope we'll be above ground with everyone else!

Colleen said...

This is magical!! I would love something like this in my bedroom!!

Becca said...

Your magical forest is beautiful! You should be proud! :) x

sweetlifealacarte.com said...

This looks so great! What a creative idea - it's such an improvement!

Annie said...

That's fantastic! I love it!

Annton Beate Schmidt said...

I just love it too!

Sarah said...

I loveeeee IT!

dr3am3r said...

that is such a great idea. it's so classy and just plain fun. it looks like a lot of work, though!

brynne frei said...

cuuuute!! come do that at my apt?! thanks!

Nicole said...

this is literally incredible beyond words. go girl go.

xo

Kristin said...

Sam, what a fabulous idea! It looks GREAT! Way to go - and hooray for fun projects that you can do together = twice the accomplishment feeling! :-)

Jenna said...

This is wonderful!! Love it. PINNING.

Jessica said...

That is SO awesome! I love, love, love it!

aislin said...

this is so pretty!! especially the adorable carved tree. how romantic!

http://scribblesbya.blogspot.com/

Dara M. said...

looks amazing. love the part where you "carved" out your initals in the tree. You will have to add cryings initals there soon.

I am Megan said...

This is flippen amazing! I am absolutely in love with it. Well done!

Rosemary said...

Rad!!!!!

Erin said...

This totally rocks. Hub and I have talked about making a wall of trees somewhere in our house, but couldn't figure out how to do it. Thanks for the tips. Looks fab!

laurenjeanallece said...

The mural looks FANTASTIC, but I must say, when I read "we go down just to stand and look in amazement at what we accomplished together", I couldn't help but think of the day (very soon!) when you two will be saying that exact same thing about the sweet little baby looking back at you!

Caley said...

I've been anxiously waiting to see this since you posted the preview last week! I LOVE how it turned out! White trees are my favorite! Nice work you two! :)

caleyparkdesigns.blogspot.com

Alexis Kaye said...

looks amazing! you artists!

Season Atwater said...

Looks awesome!

Stephanie Leann said...

This is sooo cool! The details are fantastic! Perfect for an unfinished basement although I could see this fitting well in any room :)

Maria said...

This is so amazing! It reallly does look so beautiful!

wildchild said...

that is super cute :) so perfect for a little playroom. good for you guys!

misslarissabree said...

Oh my word this is so beautiful!!

Michele Falcone said...

Oh wow, this is awesome! I am definitely pinning this to my home decor board.

Michele
www.shortgirllongisland.com

Beth Ridings said...

this is so fun! what a great memory & project to share!

Beth Ridings said...

this is so fun! what a great memory & project to share!

Stacie {Curious Damsel} said...

Wow, your basement looks immense :) Such a lovely idea!

Hello I am a new follower

Stacie xo
Curious Damsel

Lexie Loo, Lily Boo, and Dylan Too! said...

That looks awesome!

N said...

That looks fantastic! You had a lot more patience than I did on my tree mural - I only ended up painting 4 of them :)

Would love your thoughts on my birch tree mural which I painted for my 2 yr old son's room:

http://simplynamoured.blogspot.com/2012/03/room-tour-noahs-room.html

Clinton Hurlburt said...

That looks great! Patience is really a virtue 'cause you did every single detail on those knot holes and tree lines that were, if i may say a LOT! OMG! If I'm going to make something like this, I think I would choose the smallest wall area there is so I won't have to paint as much as you did. Haha!

Clinton Hurlburt

Brittany Ellis said...

I just painted a Birch Wall in my bathroom and linked back to you as my inspiration! Thanks for the post it helped a ton while doing mine!
-Brittany of Faded Furnishings

http://fadedfurnishings.blogspot.com/2013/11/painted-birch-tree-wall.html

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