Hand Painted Wall Mural.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

paint wall mural stripe blues
Mike has a phrase he exercises on occasion that has always, it, it just, I,    ....it raises my hackles and makes me wince, grind my teeth; I am not a fan of it at all:

"It's better to ask forgiveness than permission."

Having read the info in that link there though, I completely see where the original premise comes from, that "no" is an unacceptable or rather, incorrect, answer at times.  And sure, I am terrible at taking no for an answer especially when I know that the no giver is heh, patently wrong.

That no can come from a fear-of-change place or a that’ll-be-a-pain-in-my-a** place or I-don’t-want-to-see-you-succeed place or, well, you may protract further.

That yes is the far more correct answer.  So plow ahead and do it anyway.  I get that.  For sure.

Why does it make me blanch then?  Because it's usually applied to situations that are, well ya know, it’s applied incorrectly shall we say.  Then asking for forgiveness is a rebuff, it does not rectify the situation or make it any better, it lacks regard for the other party.  That I'm still gonna be ticked. Only now more so.

In life, there are pleeeennnnty of times when asking permission is far more advisable.

Ok, but enough with life lessons here.  I painted a freakin' wall mural.  What does the life lesson gobbly-gook have to do with this?

I was asking for forgiveness rather than permission.


Because.  I already asked for permission and Mike said no.

I very much wanted to paint this mural on the wall behind the television, an image I espied on Instagram, but he didn't like the design or didn't want to look at it behind the television, or something, I’m not sure.  Just no, no explanation.

deciding on wall mural images
Actually, I ended up being torn between two with the right hand one being the original desire.
But I could not get it out of my head.  How cool it would be.  How visually interesting.  I had to do it. Had to.

In taking this quiz for sh*ts and giggles, heh, it decides my style is eclectic, fair enough, as much as I desperately wish it to be minimal.  Though you'd never know that by looking around our house, ahem.  So fine, I used the quiz as factual validation.

So I painted it on the wall between the living room and the kitchen.  One piece of a multi-project puzzle with oodles of plans to further that area so it wasn’t just going to be the mural.

hand painted wall mural  nature scene in progress
And so I began.  Drew on the wall with erasable charcoal sticks.*  That's the uh, light through our front door on the wall.
It was my birthday, hey, what can I say.  The Week of Becky, and baby gets what she wants during that week.  Hahahaaaa

One day Mike comes home from work and “.....what......what is going on here?”

hand paint wall mural progress with palm trees
Ok, so this was a little after he asked.
“Babe, it’s gonna make sense, I’ve got...just wait and s…..”

“Uhhhh,” he interrupts, stinky side eye, shrugs, and with a warble, “ohhh-kayy.”

hand painted palm trees with branches and plants
Moving along.  I know, Finn's toy basket, heh.
Time passes. I share photos of it in progress to my mom and our nifty pal Gia; they both respond politely, diplomatically, confusedly, “o-- .....oh.”

floral and palm trees hand painted wall mural
Think I was about here when I showed them.
I press forward.  It’s gonna make sense.  Really.

Hot painting tip:

You too can paint a wall mural, even if you incorrectly assume you have zero artistic skill.  Truly.

Print the image you want to use and draw a grid over it, say quarter or half inch squares, inch, whatever.

using a grid guide to hand paint on wall
You can also draw the grid on acetate and tape it over the image too, that way you can look at it with and without guide lines.
On the wall using a chalk line* filled with erasable powdered charcoal,* snap a corresponding grid say, six inches or a foot.  For instance, quarter inch equals six inches, half inch or one inch 'a foot.  Number down and across on both.

Now, focus solely on one square and draw what’s in that box on the wall.  Ignore the whole picture, focus on the one square.  You can even further divide up a box if it helps.

Or, purchase, borrow, rent an overhead projector and print the image on acetate* or whatever, project and trace.

Pick up a few brushes, some acrylic paint, use leftover paint you have, check the mis-mix section or buy those little sample colors at the paint counter.

Voila.  You’re an artist.

Back to the story at hand.

The mural nearly complete, Mike arrives home another evening.  “Ya know, I was talking to so and so at work and I’m tellin’ him, I dunno what my wife is doing, it’s crazy.”

Ok, so he hates it.

tropical hand painted wall mural with leaves flowers and plants
Here's where I stopped.  The first time.  Called it done, time to let it sink in.
Time passes, I tweak it a bit here and there.  I stare at it nightly from my vantage point on the couch.  Something’s not, ehhh, there.

Yeah it’s busy.  Yeah it doesn’t jibe with anything else in the house.  Yeah there’s no precedent.  Yeah it’s outta left field.  But so am I.  And that's why it made sense.  Or was going to when everything else was in.

Time passes.  Mike says it’s growing on him here and there as he waves dismissively at it.

Still not working quite yet for me despite having the entire wall designed and built and complete and magazine-worthy in my head, photographers here shooting it for their layout, I tweak it a tiny bit more.

tropical scene hand painted on wall
Ok, done done.  Done.  It's either this or....
Then.  Then one day Mike comes home and he shoots the wall a look with such disdain smeared across his face, I was aghast.  I think I did gasp.  In my head.

He claims he was thinking of something else, mid-thought process on a topic wholly unrelated.

Mmm hm.

another view of tropical floral hand painted wall mural
Kinda sorta my vantage point of the wall mural nightly.   Why yes I did get a new rug for over here too, thanks!  It was at the Habitat ReStore, wool!, 6x9ish, brand new, stylish, and only forty bucks!  Bargain.
That’s ok, I calculated, tomorrow I paint over it.  And so I did.

Took my fancy sander to it, ground down the bumps then painted diagonal stripes.  Took a speed square,* marked a coupla' lines, taped.*  A reminiscence to the original stripes but better, using colors already existing around the house.  And more complementary to the foyer area too.

painting over hand painted wall mural with stripes
Welp, here we go.  Bye bye wall mural.  I kinda miss you a little bit now.  You photographed so nicely.
Ultimately, I got the original out of my system and moved on.  Sometimes that’s exactly what needs to happen.  Sometimes you gotta try it, see it.  Be brave.

Mike came home that night, I was halfway done, desperately wanted to have it finished before he arrived but it slipped my mind to start early and my workload for the day was incompatible.

“...what…what’s going on here?”


“Huh.  Ok.  I like this.”

Relieved, I wrapped it up the next day.

“Oh.  Yeah.  Yeah babe, I like this.  Yeah.  This is cool”

angled hand painted wall stripes in shades of blue
Aaaand the stripes are finished.  Yeah, a little 70's vibe there, eh?  I edited Finn's toys out a bit after all this too.  When he wasn't looking, of course.
Colors used, starting bottom left and moving up right:

(And by the way?  A great way to test samples is with Samplize* as they're peel and stick, super easy to use, move 'em around, made with real paint, delivered overnight, and you're not jacking up your wall with lots of patchy spots.)

close up of angled wall stripes
Forgiveness granted.

See what this area looks like now by clicking here!

*The charcoal sticks, chalk snap line, powdered charcoal, acetate, speed squares, and painters tape are Amazon affiliate links. The Samplize link is a well, Samplize affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. This is gorgeous! I'd never think of doing something like this, but it looks really cool.

    1. I admire your ambition and doing such a great job on the mural. It was like a little multiple-times-a-day trip to somewhere beautiful, exotic and tropical. With your skills, you can always bring it back... (Hint) Or, even try a different scene that you love since you have a perfect "canvas" right there for your efforts. I am thinking where I might want to try something like this in my place!

    2. Oh goodness, thank you so much for all your super kind words! Heh, hint received for sure. It's definitely possible that this or another could make an appearance any day. I truly appreciate your kind compliments, thank you. I sure hope you find a spot in your place!

  2. I liked the wall mural myself. it sort of took you somewhere.

    1. Thank you, what a great compliment! I agree, it inspired imagination. Alas, someday somewhere else maybe. Thanks!

  3. Wow...you ruined an absolutely beautiful mural to put some uninspiring stripes on the wall. Having been married to another soul-crusher of a husband, I understand. But, Wow...

    1. Wow, ok. No worries. It was my decision to paint over the floral mural. Mike was starting to like it, in fact. I'm sorry you were married to a soul-crushing husband. If you read on a bit more, you'll see what a fantastic, loving, generous, good-humored, patient, and not soul-crushing guy Mike is.

      There are a million ways to treat a wall, a million murals to be painted, I could change my mind again. Sorry you feel the stripes are uninspiring; I hope you'll come back and see the finished area when I get there. Thanks for your time.

    2. I liked the stripes, and I like the mural. Walls shouldn't be plain and shouldn't the in colors. Both of these burst with personality.

    3. Thank you! I agree with you, walls should not be plain (aka boring)!

  4. Mike has no taste and needs to go

    1. Wow, jeez louise. Paint or Mike, paint or Mike....I think I'm gonna keep Mike, he's irreplaceable. Heh, all right, thanks for reading, have a great day!

  5. Sorry, that mural was very nice......and different. Stripes ? Anybody can have some stripes on a wall. But seems it was YOUR decision, NOT Mikes. Too bad, you had something different.

    1. I don't disagree, the floral one was nice, and different. And sure, anybody can have stripes. A large part of my point with this post was to teach people how to do both, to encourage casting artistic fears aside. Now I see I really just need to finish this area to reveal the larger plan; this is only one part of many.

      I can always repaint. That's the joy of paint and making plans: both can be changed. Thanks.

  6. I had a great time seeing the mural evolve! I wish I had the talent to paint like you do, that was amazing. I also like the stripes, too! You are a true artist!

    1. Oh excellent, thanks! Thanks so much! Trust me, if you follow the tips I outlined, you can do it too, I promise! Thanks for the super nice compliments!

  7. Aww honey! We all have different view points, and share even if it hurts someone's feelings, our bad. The mural was beautiful, so is the stripes. Have a great day and never give up your painting. Hugs

    1. Awww thank you! Oh I know, everyone has different thoughts, tastes, opinions, it's totally fine. My taste is definitely not for everyone, I know it, and that's a-okay. Most of all, Mike is a great guy, my hero. And it's the internet, what can I say!

      Thanks so much for the compliments on both murals! Thanks too for the good wishes and hugs! Same right back atcha!

  8. I loved the mural and in my house would love it in the hallway or the bathroom or my bedroom, it would have been wasted behind a TV. Alternatively, I love the stripes, well done you in painting over and changing something you no longer wanted there.

    1. Thanks so much! I hope you do paint a mural in the hallway or bathroom and enjoy it! Thanks!

  9. I think they are both very nice! Sometimes with art, we decide to go in a different direction because the piece we might be working on just isn't sittin right with us. That's part of doing art, sometimes decisions need to be made. Have nice day!

    1. You are soooooo right, you couldn't be more right. Thank you so very much for such astute words What a great comment, thank you for taking the time to write! You too have a great day!

  10. Love them both! Have you read Burt Dow Deep Water Man? He painted his boat with paint from previous projects: “That pink plank,” he says, “is the color of Ginny Poor’s pantry… and the green one is the color of the floor and doors in Doc Walton’s waiting-room… and there’s the tan porch and trim color from Capt’n Haskell’s house.”

    1. Thank you very much! I have not but now I should go find that as we sound like the same people! Thanks for the tip!

  11. I like your mural. Perhaps on a bathroom wall with a ''by the sea'' theme, and nautical accessories. Mike's office colour would be a great complementary to the mural, and paired with white in your accessories...great nautical portrayal.

    1. Thank you so much! Thanks for your thoughtful ideas too, I really appreciate the viewpoint! Thanks for taking the time to write!

  12. I think your mural was beautiful! And the stripes are cool, but I got excited when I saw your work in progress of putting the stripes in... the black on the bottom - the prep stripes with the plants and palms peeking through...I thought it was fantastic and just needed maybe one more stripe and was excited to see it finished that way. Just a thought. But love your results too!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you saw that too -- I thought it was cool and wildly different to have the two juxtaposed together. Heh, I knew it'd be a harder sell to Mike than the floral mural itself, haha! Maybe someday I'll do that though, it was cool. Thanks so much!

  13. You can come paint that on my walls anytime. I don't like the stripes at all!

    1. Thanks for the invite! No worries, no need to like the stripes. The main goal here was to encourage folks to have some paint fun and learn how to do both easily. Come read on and see how the whole thing turned out here: https://www.flippingtheflip.com/2021/03/lets-redo-it-again-high-fidelity-zone.html


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