Two Failed Wall Mural Attempts

Well, I don’t think the wall mural is going to happen in the guest bedroom. I’ve made two attempts, and neither one of them worked out.

On the first one, I wanted to do something inspired by the Urban Outfitters mural that I shared in this post. I just loved the pink mountains and the trees.

It started off okay. I knew I would never get mine to look as amazing as the actual wallpaper mural because I’m pretty sure the artist who did that one didn’t paint with latex wall paint. But I needed to cover a 14-foot wall, so using any kind of artist paint was out of the question.

Anyway, it took forever to get the mountains to have anything even resembling that soft look of the inspiration wall mural…

mural 1 - pink mountains

Trying to blend and soften and keep the paint wet enough to do those things is so incredibly difficult with latex wall paint. I used Floetrol, as well as some Liquitex Slo-Dri Blending Medium that is used with actual artist paints (but wall paint is acrylic, so I took a chance). But even with those things added, it was still drying too fast to get any really good blending accomplished. I did the best I could and then moved on to the trees.

This is where I decided to abandon this whole idea. I started with the little light-colored trees at the back…

mural 1 - pink mountains with trees

And as I painted those little trees, and realized the sheer number of tree layers I’d need to work up to the big, dark foreground trees, I realized that I just didn’t care about this mural enough to put that much time and effort into it. I mean, if I had really loved it at that point, I would have continued. But I was already kind of meh about it, so I just didn’t have the motivation needed to put hours and hours and hours of additional work into it.

So then I decided to stick with a simpler idea and do something inspired by the ombre mountain mural from Etsy that I shared in this post.

I definitely would have had more luck with this one had I just copied it exactly, including the color. But I had this idea in my head that I wanted to use some fabric from my stash for the headboard. It’s this blue velvet that I originally purchased for the breakfast room dining chairs…

I’ve kept it in my stash because it’s such a gorgeous fabric, but as you can see, it’s way more blue and less teal than the ombre mountains wall mural. So I had some paint color matched to the fabric to use for my mural.

I did a little sanding and then painted right over the first mural, starting with the sky. Because I had my mind stuck on pink, I decided to do a pink and white sky. I absolutely loved it when the paint was still wet…

mural 2 - pink and white sky while wet

And of course, I’m just talking about this top area…

mural 2 - pink and white sky while wet 2

But as it dried, it got darker and the white disappeared. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice it until after I had painted the first row of mountains because I was too distracted with trying to get the right light grayish blue color. But that was also a miserable fail…

mural 2 - pink and white sky with first layer of mountains

I had started with my original dark blue color that I had color matched, and I added just a little of that blue to lots of white, and then to tone it down and make it more of a grayish blue, I added some black. But no matter how much I mixed and tweaked that color, it still looked like something that belonged in a child’s room.

And then I stood back and finally noticed that my soft pink and white sky had turned almost all pink, and a much darker pink at that, and I finally decided to call it quits.

So now I’m back to the drawing board. I think it’s time to abandon the idea of having a feature wall of any kind. I just need to get this room done, probably with solid-colored walls all around. I can always add an amazing piece of artwork above the headboard.

Anyway, I’m disappointed that it didn’t work out, but I’m not disappointed that I tried!! But now I’m on to other plans. I’m just not quite sure what that is at the moment. 😀

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  1. I’m thinking the headboard should be the feature on the wall. And, of course, the beautiful bead spread or coverlet and pillows you use to dress your bed.

  2. Don’t give up, you always make it in the end! How about these alternatives?

    a) Instead of trying to paint the shapes, get some sort of sticker, cut it the correct shape, use it to mask the wall and use a paint roller to just paint. Then make some stamps for the trees.

    b) Just paint the wall a background colour and use wall decals to get the pattern, e.g.:
    or something like that (neither one is what you were going for, just showing you the kind of thing I’m talking about).

    Also, did you see our posts regarding the light you actually wanted for your living room?

    1. I did see those comments! It’s so strange that it told me it was out of stock and wouldn’t be back until the fall. By the time I saw your comments, I had already ordered the other one. And it’ll work out great. It’s here, and I’ve already painted it. I just need to install it today.

      1. I’m happy that you are happy with what you got then! Check out the decals as an idea, I have used one in my bedroom in the past and it’s great – it wasn’t even any good quality one, but it’s been there for seven years and it hasn’t faded, moved, anything! It did require me heating it with the hair dryer when installing (because it wasn’t a great quality) but other than that, it’s been perfect!!!

      2. Just an FYI when trying to blend fast drying paints…I enjoy watching the Forger’s Masterclass on YouTube and he suggests adding KY Jelly to the paints to give added blend time. I’ve not tried it but it sounded like a great idea. And he uses house paints 😉

  3. It’s the pink. And your “wall decor” is usually more graphic. I wonder if you could just do ombre layers of waves (horizontal) more washed out than not, so not solid at all…..teals, blues and grays? Kinda misty moody–would go great with headboard fabric.

  4. Thanks for showing us a “fail” although it’s not a fail in my eyes. I get it, though; it’s not what you envisioned. I concur with all walls painted the same and then decide. You may find that furnishing the room with a couple of fun items is all you need to call it a day. My philosophy for guest rooms is “less is more.” Maybe your beautiful velvet is calling for a fun macramé wall hanging?

  5. I’m late to the party – but often the ombre look in each layer is an optical illusion and each section is actually a solid colour – appearing darker at the top because it butts against a lighter colour, and lighter at the bottom because it is butting against a still darker section.

    If you are still up to one more try – you might try solid sections once you’ve worked out the colour of each.

  6. I’m a little out of my element, so this may not work (don’t laugh 😄). If you are hooked on a mountain scene, how about hanging a textured vinyl wallpaper, like linen or canvas texture that you can paint over. Perhaps it wouldn’t dry as quickly.

  7. Have you considered painting a pretty background and using vinyl wall decals to achieve the mural look you want? I don’t have your artistic skills, so we painted a room in just one color and added a gorgeous tree design made from vinyl for a mural effect; 6 years later it still looks gorgeous. I’ve seen others with more creative skills paint the wall using an ombre effect or with other patterns. (Here are some sample tree designs on Etsy:

  8. Kristi, How about skipping the trees altogether? Painting a massive amount of trees will be a massive pain in the neck. I would take it from where you switched to blue and go for the blue ombre mural from your inspiration. Blue and pink will be gorgeous. Do a mockup in photoshop if you are not sure.

    1. Thank you for posting a “fail” of yours that’s so courageous of you.It’s also very inspiring because it gives us artists/design enthusiasts hope ,to keep trying until we achieve our dream vision.
      And you are uber talented, I’m sure you will achieve yours.

  9. I love the idea of just doing an ombre wall, too. It all looks fabulous to me, but unfortunately my mom’s artistic talent skipped me and went straight to my kids. AT least it stayed in the family!

  10. It’s a place that later you can do an accent wall. If a great idea comes up. We put up a long picture ledge above our headboard to have a place to display photos and more. I had an Analysis paralysis problem, & never got around to framing things. The ledge allows a rotation without as much commitment from repairing the walls for just the right display.

  11. Thanks for keeping it real and showing us failed progress. One of the reasons I like your blog so much better than that of many others is because you show how you get from point A to point B, with all the detours along the way.

    Only perfect finished shots get so old and tedious and make some blogs seem unapproachable.

    Your strength has always been that you dare to experiment, and aren’t afraid to redo when the experiment fails. How many tries did it take you to get the entryway perfect? Don’t let this drag you back down into inertia. Finding your path one mistake at a time is part of your process. It’s because you’re so overflowing with ideas and creativity that sometimes you have to first figure out what doesn’t work, to then arrive at what does work.

    You’ll find something that’s truly you in the end.

  12. Glad to see you posting again …. but Facebook seems to have forgotten that I was following your blog and hasn’t bothered telling me that you had posted the last two posts! Bugger, I so look forward to them too. I’m guessing, from the fewer comments, that others are having the same problem! I actually dropped in to see if you were ok, so have now caught up. Here’s hoping we all get to see your posts from hereon out!

    1. I subscribe to get email notifications. I haven’t gotten any notifications in July. I’m glad I came over here to see if there was anything new!

  13. I know you’ll find just the right “Wow” to go there. I always admire your resourcefulness and creativity.

  14. I love, love, love the idea of an ombre wall! I could see a sunset with yellow at the bottom transitioning to pink.

    If you go with a solid color, maybe open shelves above the bed with decor?