This is a tale of ugly brown closet doors. You know the kind.
The kind that have basically been in every house I’ve lived in. LOL They serve a purpose, but they are not pretty. So I wanted to paint something over them.
I’ve done my share of murals over the years and while it can be challenging I also find it extremely satisfying. The challenging bits are the physicality of it (painting for hours while standing or bending, standing on ladders, stooping) and being flexible with your design. When you paint on something like an old wooden closet door, it is different than painting on a canvas. Having said that, I do like to plan my murals out, or at least have something down on paper that will give me a starting point. So I sketched out some flowers in a design I thought would work. I waited until I got to the hardware store to choose paint colors and then I labeled those colors on my sketch.
Of course, once I got going I had to adjust. The size and scale needed to be right for the room, so I changed the flowers and layout slightly. I also wanted to incorporate the knobs for the door into my pattern.
But first, of course, I painted the whole thing an off-white. I chose a white with yellow undertones because of the blues, turquoises, and reds I was using in the design.
I used Dutch Boy Platinum Plus Interior, which is a paint and primer in one. I put one coat on but did go over again in certain spots, especially the edges. In the center, I did one light coat because I knew the rest would be covered with the design.
Then, I used a color blocking method. I chose to get sample bottles ($3 each!) in four different colors in Dutch Boy satin indoor wall paint.
I found this to be more than enough paint to cover the whole closet. In fact, I had almost half of each color left at the end. (Time for another mural perhaps?)
There are basically three ways I’ve done murals. One is to draw lines in a dark or light color that act as the border for each element on your mural. Then, you can go back in with a color and fill in.
Another way (and one I’ve used a lot) is to create essentially a large painting, with a palette full of colors that I use and shade and blend as I would on a regular painting. (I basically used this approach in the little half wall mural I recently did.)
And the third option is to do color blocking, which means you set the base for each element with color, and then you go back in with white or black and add lines, which essentially add shading and highlighting elements. This approach is good when you are creating something really big and will be viewed from far away and also when you are using a limited color palette. I decided to use this approach for this particular project because mostly, it will be viewed from across the room. Also, the space this is in did not have any other large, graphical elements in it, so something bold and big would help this room feel more complete.
Another reason I chose this method is because I like this way of creating color first and then bringing it all together with black and white. If you’ve ever taken a class from me or done one of my ecourses, you’ve seen this.
So I went slowly, adding blocks of color and spacing things out. I started with the largest components of the picture and then did color blocking to map out the smaller features.
My husby kept the dog out of the room for me and would pop in every so often to say hello and take a picture.
But mostly, it was me and some music and several hours just getting into the soothing nature of a large project like this. This type of painting allows your mind to wander and I especially enjoy it for that reason.
It’s been up for a few days now and I have to say I really, totally love it! When I see these images, it’s not like I’m looking at something I painted on a closet door, it is something else that allows my eye to travel. It allows me to see and think of different things and gives me that sense of imagination that all art does. That is the value of art. Truly. It helps transport you from where you are now to a place where there is possibility.
It took the puppy a few more days to get used to it, however. LOL She would bark and growl at it at first, but now, she’s good with it.
Wouldn’t you love to know what goes through a dog’s mind sometimes? I would.
Here’s a progress video to show you how it all came together.